No one likes being ill, right? We all know what it’s like to get a snotty nose, especially around wintertime and with coronavirus in the air you might be worried about your dog.
Can my dog catch my cold?
If you are sick and you want to cuddle up with your pooch, that’s fine. Some infections are species specific which means a human cold can only affect a human so you won’t give it to your dog.
BUT a dog can catch a cold from another dog
Common colds in dogs are Kennel Cough which is a highly contagious respiratory disease and sounds like your dog is honking like a goose. This is something that is treated by a vet so if your pup is showing signs of nasal discharge, sneezing, face pawing and breathing through their mouth, then it is heavily advised that you make an appointment. Dogs also suffer from their own strain of flu – Canine Influenza – symptoms include a lingering cough, sneezing and high temperature. Seek veterinary advice for this too and isolate your pup to prevent it spreading to other dogs
At the time of writing ( Sept 2020) research from European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Conference on Coronavirus Disease showed that transmission from pets to humans has not been reported, but since the virus changes minimally or not at all after transmission from humans to animals, such reverse transmission may occur. So no, at the moment we don’t think dogs can catch coronavirus and pass it on to you. It is known however, that coronavirus can be spread from person to person via the surface of pets, e.g. by stroking.
- Observe social distancing from other pet owners as you would any other person
- Do not touch other people’s pets
- Do not let other people outside of the household touch your pet
- Wash your hands regularly before and after contact with animals, especially before eating and touching your face
- Avoid any non-essential trips to the vet
- If you fall ill with coronavirus ensure someone else from the household exercises your pet instead of you
- If you are walking someone else’s pet for them or they are for you, you must stay two metres away from the other person when handing over the pet
Home remedies to help a sneezing dog
If your dog just has a case of the sneezes and a bit of a snotty nose then here are some home remedies to help your dog out and bring them some comfort.
Why not try chicken soup! It sounds mad I know, but who doesn’t love a bit of chicken soup when they are ill? As crazy as this seems, if you do make your dog some chicken soup your dog will actually enjoy the taste, benefit from the nutrients and the steam off of the soup will help to open your dog’s nasal passages and bring them some relief.
Steam inhalation helps you breathe, so bring your dog in the bathroom with you when you take a shower or a bath, as the steam in the bathroom will do the trick.
Human Nasal Decongestants
Now this may seem like a strange idea too but if you happen to have a nasal decongestant in your medicine cupboard then check with your vet and you might be able to use this. Your vet will suggest the recommended dosage but make sure not to use the medication for more than 3 days as this can actually cause increased congestion!
Antihistamines for allergies
If your dog’s stuffy nose is caused by an allergy then you can buy an over the counter antihistamine to help. You should consult with your vet beforehand to make sure that it is safe and what the correct dosage is. The antihistamine will work by combatting the histamines your dog is producing as a part of the allergic reaction. If it is an allergic reaction then it is best to find out what is causing your dogs irritation and remove it from your household, to prevent any further discomfort or problems in the future. Some side effects of antihistamines are lethargy, decreased urination and appetite loss.
Reduce time outside in certain seasons
If your dog suffers from seasonal allergies then you will need to get a vet-prescribed medication and during these months. If your dog’s allergies are severe then you may wish to limit outdoor times in these months and remove any irritants such as flowering plants from around your home.
We are all a bit down in the dumps when we are ill, so it shouldn’t be surprising that your pup will be feeling a bit sorry for themselves too. Make sure you take good care of your pup and take them to the vets as soon as possible to find out the cause and get a treatment.