Q:

Can dogs catch colds?

A:

Quick Answer

Dogs can catch colds, although the virus that causes their cold is different than the one that infects human beings, states Pet MD. The symptoms of the cold virus that affects dogs are the same as those experienced by humans as well.

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Full Answer

The symptoms dogs experience during a cold include sneezing, coughing, runny or stuffy nose and watery eyes. The illness can't be spread across species, but other dogs can catch it. If other dogs are in the home, they should be separated from the one that is infected. Prevent dogs from catching a cold by keeping them inside during cold, wet weather. Short trips outside for bathroom breaks are fine. Taking precautions to keep dogs as healthy as possible prevents compromising their immune systems so they aren't as susceptible to germs and viruses. To do this, make sure that they drink plenty of fresh water each day and that they eat a healthy diet, and ensure that water and food dishes are kept clean. A humidifier may also be used in the sleeping area of dogs that suffer from respiratory issues.

Treat the coughing and sneezing of dogs that are already infected by giving them plenty of fluids and healthy foods, such as chicken soup. They should lay in a steamy room to help clear their stuffy nose. To do this, run a tub full of hot water and allow them to lay in the room for a while. The respiratory condition typically clears up on its own within several days. If the illness persists, a veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to aid in recovery.

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