Can Dogs Get Colds? Questions about dog owners answered

The runny nose can affect your pet at any time. From anything to a change of season, travel, or a cold winter snapshot, your furry family member can get sick. With cold and flu season approaching, you may be wondering, “Can dogs get colds?” For this reason, we contacted the Trupanion veterinarian Dr. Caroline Wilde put together to better understand dogs and colds and what it really means to your best friend.

Can Dogs Get Colds?

Find out if dogs can catch colds or if it's something else entirely.

Your dog or puppy’s immune system may react differently to their home, new environment, or interaction with another pet. Even a cold for a human can mean different things to your furry friends. Wilde breaks down what it can actually mean for a dog to catch a cold.

“Colds in humans are caused by an adenovirus. The adenovirus in dogs does not cause any signs of respiratory tract. So while dogs don’t actually have a cold, they can get contagious respiratory infections, which are more often bacterial, as is the case with kennel cough. “

Also, your dog can easily get an upper respiratory infection, it is a viral disease. Consider keeping your pet at home if they feel sick and keep toys, bowls, and pet areas common in your home.

Signs that your dog may have a cold

If your dog is behaving a little differently, it’s time to investigate your pet’s behavior. Of course, you may not always notice infection in your pets. Wilde points out some common signs of an upper respiratory tract infection that you should look for in your best friend.

Consider the following:

  • Eye discharge
  • Nasal discharge
  • to cough

Your pet may not always show all of the signs of illness. Therefore, contact your veterinarian. You can determine the next best steps for your furry friend.

Treatment plan

Of course, you want your furry friend to feel better. For example: “Your pet may need antibiotics or even an X-ray to rule out pneumonia,” says Wilde. Your dog’s treatment plan may vary depending on the severity of the diagnosis. In addition, your pet’s vet will prescribe a treatment plan and will reach out to you if you have any concerns about your pet.

Tips against a cold

Whether you are staying at home or traveling with your furry friends, it can be helpful to have some tips to help keep your pets happy and healthy. Here are some must-haves no matter what time of year.

  • Follow your veterinarian’s vaccination guidelines to avoid preventable respiratory infections.
  • Make sure any boarding school or daycare has up-to-date vaccinations for all of your pets.
  • Avoid contact with dogs who have respiratory problems.
  • Keep your pets at home when they feel sick.
  • Be vigilant in public spaces such as in the dog park, in the snow groomer or in the veterinary clinic.
  • Keep your pet company with special attention, cuddles, and love.
Can Dogs Get Colds? The time of year can affect pets of all ages

Respiratory disease can affect dogs of all sizes and ages. However, if you watch your pet, talk to your veterinarian, and stick to your pet’s treatment plan, your pet may be ready to get out and have some adventure in no time!

For more information on dog grooming, see Why is my dog’s nose dry? Questions about dog owners answered

About the author

Kelli, Rascoe

is a digital content writer and publisher for Trupanion. She spends her work day writing for the Trupanion blog. She loves writing about pets, getting inspiration from pets, and luckily hanging out with her rescue dogs all day. In her free time, she enjoys exploring and traveling with her family. Her work has been published on the DOGTV blog, the KitNipBox blog, the Get Your Pet blog and Fansided, among others.


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