Can Dogs Get A Cold?
According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), on average, adults suffer from 2-3 colds per year.
Colds are even more prevalent among children.
For this reason, you might as well wonder, “Can dogs get a cold?”
Let’s take a deeper look at the answer to our question for the day.
What is A Cold?
Cold is a viral infectious disease. It affects the upper respiratory tract, which includes the throat, mouth, and nose. Signs and symptoms may include coughing, sore throat, sneezing, runny nose, fever, and headache.
There are various types of viruses that may cause cold. However, it is the rhinovirus that is most common.
Do Dogs Get Colds?
The short and quick answer is no.
The virus that affects human beings may not be able to infect dogs. Generally speaking, colds viruses are species-specific. Thus, the viruses that make us sick would least likely cause your dog sick.
However, you might say that you have seen your dog suffering from cold-like symptoms. Well, yes, this is true as well. Dogs may exhibit symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes, and even dripping nose. However, this is more likely not a case of colds, but what we call the kennel cough.
What Is Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough is characterized by a cough that sounds like a honking goose. It may sound frightening and alarming for most pet owners as it is sometimes accompanied by gagging and/or retching sound.
Kennel cough is caused by both viruses and bacteria. The infection is highly contagious. It is spread from dogs to dogs upon contact. The Kennel cough viruses and bacteria can be airborne found in the dispersed droplets of dog saliva. Dogs exhibit symptoms within more or less ten days after exposure to the disease-causing agent.
Should You Be Alarmed?
Thankfully, in the vast majority of kennel cough cases, it is not life-threatening. In fact, symptoms will simply go away on its own in about two weeks. Most dogs are able to recover without medications or medical intervention.
How To Help Your Dog?
We need to encourage our dog to drink lots of water. Aside from that, place your dog in a quiet and calm area of your home. It would also be good to prevent your dog from barking that can elicit coughing.
If you are going for a walk, better use a harness rather than a collar. The added pressure on his neck may worsen coughing.
To ensure your dog doesn’t infect anyone, he should be kept away from other dogs.
Can I Prevent An Infection?
Since the virus and bacterium that cause kennel cough are invisible to the eyes, it could be difficult to prevent it. Of course, one of the best ways to prevent the infection is to prevent exposure to infected dogs.
Additionally, there’s a specific vaccine that could help prevent kennel cough. So, be sure to ask your vet about it. Get a complete annual vaccination for your pet as well.
Finally, be sure to help in improving the immune system of your dog. Feed him with the right food. Give him enough rest. Encourage adequate exercise. All these should help him fight off infections even before they start.
When To See Your Vet?
If the kennel cough of your dog doesn’t clear up on its own for more than three days and there’s no sign of any improvement, then by all means, contact your vet. Be alert to life-threatening signs and symptoms such as dehydration, excessive vomiting, refusal to eat and drink, and difficulty in breathing.