Can dogs get colds?

Dog under blanket

Can dogs catch a cold? There are certain times of year when it seems as though everyone you know either has a cold, is getting a cold or is in the process of recovering from a cold. This dreary, sneezy season can sap our energy and make us long for a warm duvet and something comforting to drink. What about dogs? Do they suffer from the seasonal sniffles, too?

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Your dog can catch a cold

Unfortunately, dogs can catch colds. However, your dog will only suffer from a canine virus, so the bug won’t pass from dog to human and vice versa. As with humans, the cold can vary in severity from mild to serious.

Symptoms of a cold in a dog are similar to those in humans: a runny or blocked nose, watery eyes, and coughing or sneezing. Your pet might also be lethargic, have a reduced appetite and generally seem a bit down in the dumps.

How to spot a more serious condition

If your dog is either very young, very old or has another health condition, you might want to have the illness checked by a vet. Otherwise, most dog colds will clear up in a few days. If your pet shows other symptoms, such as a hacking cough, fever, or vomiting and diarrhoea, then you should get this checked out immediately.

While the symptoms of a dog cold are generally fairly mild, they can easily be confused for other more serious conditions such as kennel cough, canine influenza, allergies and parasites. Monitor your dog carefully so you don’t miss any crucial signs.

Helping your dog through a cold

No one likes to see their dog suffer. While dog colds generally clear up by themselves, you can try a few home remedies to help your furry pal cope with unpleasant symptoms. Why not try making some canine chicken soup? Boil up chicken meat with brown rice and low sodium chicken stock, then allow to cool before giving your pet an immune-boosting tasty bowlful.

Steam can also help to clear your dog’s nose. Use a humidifier or put your dog in a steamy bathroom for a short while to make breathing easier. Don’t forget to give your dog plenty of water, a snuggly blanket (with a warm water bottle or heating pad if you’re feeling especially kind). Keep walks and playtime short to help your pet stay rested.

Preventing canine colds

Every dog is different, so some pets will catch a cold a few times a year while others stay healthy through every season. If your dog is prone to poorliness, you may be able to prevent colds by improving your pet’s general health.

Make sure your dog has a nutritious, balanced diet, a clean environment and plenty of exercise and fresh air. When the temperature drops, consider getting a dog coat and try to keep him or her dry and clear from draughts.

No one wants to think of their dog falling ill, but if the worst does happen you will need quality pet insurance to help with those vet bills. Ask Computerquote to give you a quote for pet insurance today on 0800 840 1212 or 023 9262 7319

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Dog under blanket

Dog on vet table - ear inspection

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