Can Dogs Get Colds?

Just as humans deal with the sniffles, coughs, and overall discomfort of colds, many pet owners wonder if their furry companions face the same issues. The answer is both yes and no. While dogs can exhibit symptoms similar to those of a human cold, the causes and specifics of canine respiratory illness differ. It’s essential for every pet owner to be aware of these nuances to ensure their dog’s health and well-being.


can dogs get colds


Identifying the Symptoms

Dogs, like humans, display certain signs when they’re not feeling their best. Some common symptoms that might resemble a cold include sneezing, coughing, a runny nose, and watery eyes. Lethargy, reduced appetite, and a mild fever can also occur.

Differences from Human Colds 

It’s critical to note that while these symptoms mirror those of a human cold, dogs do not catch colds in the same way we do. Their respiratory issues are caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria that are different from those that affect humans.

Common Causes of Respiratory Symptoms in Dogs

Dogs can be affected by various infectious agents that might manifest symptoms similar to a cold. Some of the most common include the Canine Influenza virus, Bordetella (often referred to as “kennel cough”), and canine parainfluenza virus. It’s also possible for dogs to experience allergies, which can produce symptoms similar to a cold.

Prevention and Protective Measures


One of the best ways to protect your dog from certain respiratory issues is through vaccination. Vaccines for Canine Influenza and Bordetella, for example, can be beneficial, especially if your dog frequents places with many other dogs, like parks, groomers, or boarding facilities.

Keeping a Clean Environment 

Ensuring your dog’s environment is clean can also make a significant difference. Regularly disinfecting their toys, food and water bowls, and sleeping area can help reduce the risk of viral or bacterial infection.

Avoiding Sick Dogs 

If you know a dog that’s displaying cold-like symptoms, it’s best to keep your pet away until the other dog is fully recovered. Close contact can lead to the quick spread of infectious agents.

When to Seek Professional Care

Anytime your dog displays signs of illness, it’s wise to consult with a veterinary professional. If your dog’s symptoms persist for more than a few days, seem to be worsening, or if your dog has difficulty breathing, it’s crucial to seek immediate care. Remember, early detection and intervention can be vital in ensuring a quick and smooth recovery.

For those in the Miami, FL area, Country Club Animal Hospital is a trusted partner in pet healthcare. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing top-notch care tailored to your dog’s specific needs. If you’re concerned about your dog’s health or want more information on canine respiratory issues, don’t hesitate to reach out. Call (305) 663-3300 for an appointment or book an appointment online