So can dogs get colds?
The common cold is about as irksome as can be. It’s also not the worst thing to happen, to humans or to dogs. Dogs, like humans, are susceptible of getting symptoms like the sniffles, watery eyes, adorable sneezes, and lethargic state.
The short answer is, yes. Dogs get colds. But what can you do to help treat your dog’s cold? And is the virus contagious? Should you be worried about children in the house?
There are several questions that you might have, and we’ll get to the bottom of it. So read on to find out everything you need to know about your dog’s cold, and what you can do to make your puppers feel better.
How can I tell if my dog has a cold?
If you notice that your dog’s been a little off throughout the day, then it could be possible that your dog has the cold. There are several symptoms they display – similar to human cold symptoms – like coughing, sneezing, or a runny or watery nose.
However, you do need to be careful because there are a number of other more serious diseases that share the same symptoms as the cold. If the cold persists or your dog looks mildly to extremely uncomfortable, then be sure to take your buddy to the closest vet for a check-up.
How serious is my dog’s cold?
Other dog diseases which share similar symptoms to the cold virus are giardia, influenza, kennel cough, allergies, fungal infections, or parasites. The vet will be able to help you identify if there’s something wrong with your dog, or whether it’s just the common doggie cold.
You should also be alert if your dog is either a young pup or an older dog. Average, adult dogs have a stronger immune system, and will usually be able to fight the cold away naturally. Older dogs and young puppies are weaker, however, and will have a difficult time fighting off the symptoms. Visit a vet instantly to get the appropriate medication for your dog.
If your adult dog, usually bouncy and full of life, appears to be persistently lethargic for a couple of days, then it’s better to seek treatment so that your dog can feel better at the soonest time possible.
If you’re unsure whether your dog’s cold is serious or not, then you could visit the vet just to be rest assured that your doggo is a-okay. Better safe than sorry.
How can I treat my dog’s cold at home?
Seeing your puppers down with the cold and so low on energy can be a bit disheartening. However, with a little love, care and attention, you can get your best friend to be back in shape in no time.
Think about it: how would you want to be treated, if you had a cold?
Chicken soup is for the soul (and the cold)
There’s no better way to fend off a cold than with a bowl of warm chicken broth. Doctors and professionals recommend soup all the time, and there’s a reason for that. Not all store-bought broth has the most beneficial of nutrients for your dog, but making it at home should do it justice. It’s super easy to make at home, and will give your dog a good night’s sleep. Chicken soup has healthy acids and other things that help restore your dog’s kidneys, guts, and overall health.
Remember to Stay hydrated
When sick, it’s easy to skip out on meals and feel too lazy to get out of bed. The same applies for your dog. You’ll find you dog’s appetite has curbed if she has a cold. Water is very important for dogs, though, and they shouldn’t go a full day without drinking water. If this happens, be sure to contact a vet immediately. A dehydrated dog is risky business you don’t want to deal with.
Breathe in Steam, Breathe out Toxins
Breathing steam is a beautiful way to clear out your dog’s nasal passages. This helps clean out your dog’s nose to stop the cold-induced wheezing. You can get a steam going by leaving your shower run hot for a while. You could also use a vaporizer or a humidifier and get the same results. Place it in the same room where your dog sleeps. You could do this two to three times a day, until your dog’s cold subsides and your dog finds it easy to breathe again.
Skip out on tonight’s walk
While taking a walk is a great remedy for the blues, your dog might be too worn out to do some jogging. Going for a walk could deplete energy more than your dog cold can handle, and hinder his recovery progress. Be sure to get some rest, plenty of naps, and some afternoon cuddling.
Try not to exert too much energy by playing games
Your dog might give you the puppy eyes, begging you to play with them. If your dog has a cold, though, then try not to wear them out too much. Sure, play, but don’t exert too much energy. This will only tire out your dog and make your dog’s cold last for longer.
Don’t interrupt your dog’s sleep
It’s never nice to have your sleep interrupted. Sleep plays a significant in the recovery process, healing tissues in your body and restoring your health. Dogs need an average of 12 to 14 hours of sleep a day. However, during down days or sick days, your dog might sleep for longer stretches. Some dogs can sleep for 16 hours a day.
If your dog doesn’t get out of bed for the entire day, then that’s a red flag you shouldn’t ignore. Contact a vet immediately to receive guidance on what you can do for your dog to get healthier.
Make sure your dog is getting annual vaccinations
Some dogs will be more prone to catching a cold than others, due to their size or breed. Unvaccinated dogs, however, are prone to a range of diseases, among them the common cold. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals states that dogs should receive an annual vaccination, recommending the 5-in-1 vaccine which fights off distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza. It will also decline the likeliness of your dog catching a cold. You can also feel rest assured that when your dog gets the sniffles, that it’s not some fatal disease you should be concerned about.
Avoid playing in the rain
Rainy season is upon us, so be extra careful about how wet your dog is. Try to avoid going on walks if it’s raining outside. If your dog happens to get wet, then make sure they get dry as soon as possible. Dog sweaters are also in these days, and are a neat way to keep your pup fashionably warm.
Refill Your Dog’s Water Supply
If your dog has a cold, then the saliva in her mouth is contaminated with sick bacteria. It’s important that you clean out your dog’s water bowl regularly – at least once a day. This will ensure that your dog is cleaning fresh, clean water. If you don’t do this, then the bacteria and the cold might linger for a bit longer.
Clean Your Dog’s Toys and Utensils
Similar to the previous point, anything your dog intimately comes into contact with while sick will probably be contaminated. Clean your dog’s toys and products regularly to stay void of remaining bacteria. For their dishes, you should clean it at least once a week to avoid catching fungal infections. For toys and ropes, try washing them in a washing machine and let them out to dry.
If all fails, medicate the cold
Colds are never the most dangerous thing in the world, but sometimes a little medication will help give you that extra push you need to recover. There are over-the-counter drugs like cough suppressants that your dog to take to ease the cold symptoms. It’s always best to ask a vet about anything you administer to your dog, to be wary of any possible side effects.
Limit playdates with other dogs
With puppies, the more, the merrier. However, if it’s flu season, then you want to make sure to limit your young pup’s time spent with other dogs. Other dogs might have underlying cold symptoms or be in the beginning or finishing stages of the cold. While adult dogs can handle a common cold, it’s risky for elder and younger dogs to catch a cold.
Colds aren’t contagious between dogs and humans, so you don’t have to stress too much about this factor.
Overall, colds are generally unavoidable. Even the healthiest of doggos in the world is prone to catch a cold or two in his lifetime. Relieving your dog of these ailments and decreasing the symptoms is the best thing you can do to make sure that your dog is comfortable.
What do you usually do when your dog is down with a cold? Let us know in the comments!
Check out some of our other popular posts below: