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Staying Healthy

Do Dogs Get Colds and Flus?

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Just like us, pets are prone to colds and flus. More often than not, the respiratory symptoms manifested in animals are a result of viral, bacterial, or fungal infection.  However, most commonly, canine colds and flus take place due to virus. Since these illnesses can result in serious secondary bacterial infections if left untreated, consulting your vet for immediate treatment is very important.

Symptoms and Causes

· In dogs, some of the most common indicators of colds and flus include moist, soft cough; thick nasal discharge; and rapid, labored breathing. Cold symptoms are usually brought about by Bordatella as well as flu virus.

· Canine influenza, commonly known as dog flu, is a highly communicable respiratory illness that can spread easily among dogs. There is no available vaccine or serum against this condition. Respiratory infections in dogs are usually an effect of congested, humid conditions with inadequate ventilation like in pet shelters and kennels. Aside from that, poor nutrition and sanitation, and even stress on a pooch’s immune system also contribute to cold and flu contagions.

How to Care for Your Ailing Pooch

· If Fido is sneezing or coughing, but is still in otherwise good health, you may treat his condition by feeding him with healthy foods, and letting him drink lots of liquids. Allowing your dog to stay in a warm, humid room sometimes will also help by letting the temperature around him loosen up his lungs and sinuses.

· Remember that while most respiratory symptoms can start improving within only several days from the period of onset, some pooches, however, have immune systems which are not as equipped for the illness. These dogs might require antibiotics and other prescriptions in order to fully recuperate.

· If your ailing pet is either very old or very young, it would be best if you have him examined by your vet. Dogs at these ages are more likely to have less capable immune systems; making them to suffer more from the illness.

· One of the most common preventive techniques is keeping Fido inside your house during cold and wet weather conditions. Brief trips outdoors can be done, of course, for relief. Keep in mind that it is not the chilly temperature that sets off the illness. Instead, it’s the overexposure to unfriendly environment that creates a physical situation in your dog which makes it easier for viral or bacterial germs to take hold of your pooch’s body.

· Ensuring that your dog’s physical condition is at its healthiest is the key preventive measure for a host of canine diseases, not just colds or flus. Always provide your pet with adequate exercise, lots of clean, fresh water, and healthy foods so that his immune system can always better resist whatever microbes come his way.

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  1. Avatar Of Nathan Warrick

    nathan warrick


    my dog has a common cold how long does it take to get over it roughly please tell me i really want to know thanks 🙂

  2. Avatar Of Marny marny says:

    My vet told me I can give childrens aspirin

  3. Avatar Of Maxine Becknwe

    Maxine Becknwe


    It’s spelled bordetella, not bordatella. And yes, there is a vaccine for canine influenza.

    • Avatar Of Andrea



      Although you should research and see if this is really a safe thing to give your dog. Over vaccination can be deadly. Supporting their immune system by feeding a really good food (not anything you can buy at a grocery store, Walmart or Sam’s Club) adding probiotics, Omega 3 oil & other immune support supplements are much better than over vaccination. Also staying away from steroids whenever possible because they suppress the immune system, over use of them can cause thyroid issues and more.

  4. Avatar Of Jannifer Jannifer says:

    Thank you for information. Dog colds and flus like human. My dog have colds in sometime. I touch her body if feel hot. I will take care. Some time I get her to the vet.

    • Avatar Of Andrea



      You cannot tell if your dog has a fever by touching it. You need to take it’s temp rectally. There are videos on YouTube that show you exactly how to do it.

  5. Avatar Of Sydney



    Sheree, NO TYLENOL NO TYLENOL!!!!! It is VERY VERY TOXIC. There are a whole lot of foods and plants that can kill a dog/cat. You need to read (for your pet’s benefit) about those toxic things so that you can give your pet a long and healthy life. DO NOT over the counter medicate an animal. You MUST check with your vet first! Also, if your pet is not “acting right” for 48 hours they MUST be taken to the vet. They may have ingested something that requires their stomach to be pumped, or need emergency for pancreatitis, etc. Animals can go downhill VERY fast, and you must always keep a close watchful eye on them. They cannot verbally tell you how they feel, but their demeanor sure can. Good Luck, and I repeat NO TYLENOL! (Chewing gum is also toxic)

  6. Avatar Of Mary Duetrz

    mary Duetrz


    PLEASE NO TYLENOL!!!!!!!!!!! Your dog’s kidneys can shut down. It is a big NO’NO!!!! Just like chocolate, caffeine, grapes, avocados. Before you self medicate please check with your vet. Theyt usually are very nice about telling what you can give them and what you should not. Also check out plants that are toxic. Particularly during the holidays. Poinsettas are toxic. VE CAREFUL!!!

  7. Avatar Of Sheree



    What is Tylenol? Can u put menthol drops on there bedding.

  8. Avatar Of Dale dale says:

    Thanks for sharing this information. Yeah their health is really important. I always see it as a very important factor.
    I am a dog trainer and these info is very useful with my dogs. worth the time reading this. I also want to share my useful tips with you guys. I run an online dog training service. You can visit me at
    Online Dog Training at your service. See ya! 🙂

  9. Avatar Of Cindy



    My dog is usually very excited when she sees us but today she is not eating, not drinking, and she is not excited when she saw me and my family. Her tail is also down all the time and she looks depressed. We don’t know if it’s she’s sick. Are those any symptoms for a type of sickness? If so, which one?

  10. Avatar Of Carrie



    Thank you, that is very helpful information. My dog was boarded for 9 days and came home with a cold, I was wondering if I could give her any over the counter medicine, such as tylenol?

    • Avatar Of Betty



      I would not give him any over the counter meds without checking with your vet. I have heard Tylenol can be toxic to an animal.

    • Avatar Of Kristy



      DO NOT GIVE YOUR DOG TYLENOL!!! my dog needed his stomach pumped as his previous owner gave him some without realizing it was toxic for dogs. Had he not been rushed to the emergency animal hospoital when he was, he wouldnt have made it.

    • Avatar Of Jackie



      Tylenol is VERY toxic to dogs. I had a dog who got into a bottle of tylenol and she was in the hospital for 2 weeks fighting for her life. I have heard you can give your dogs baby asprin. I would ask my vet first.

  11. Avatar Of Colleen Boyle

    Colleen Boyle


    Your article says there is no vaccine for canine influenza, but that isn’t true. The place where I leave my dogs if I have to travel for work requires it and my dogs have gotten it for the past couple of years.

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