Can My Dog Catch My Cold?

And can you catch a cold from your dog? 🤧

do dogs get colds

Do dogs get colds? And if you have a cold, can you somehow pass it to your dog? (These are the kinds of questions that keep dog parents up at night.)

To get you a quick answer, we reached out to Dr. Gary Puglia, a veterinarian at BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital, to find out if you need to hide from your pup when you have a cold.

Can dogs get colds from humans?

Luckily — no!

“Most colds in people are caused by viruses that are contagious from one person to another,” Dr. Puglia said. Meaning that no, your dog can’t catch your sniffles.

Keep in mind, though, that your dog can catch other human illnesses, like the human flu virus and even COVID (but it's pretty rare).

While your dog won’t catch a cold from you, she can catch one — or the dog equivalent of a human cold — from other dogs. (But don’t worry. We asked, and no — you also can’t catch a cold from your dog!)

What is a dog cold?

“The infection that dogs can catch from other dogs that may be most similar to the common cold in people is kennel cough, which is a respiratory infection that often starts with upper airway inflammation/congestion,” Dr. Puglia said.

Common symptoms of kennel cough

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing

How to treat kennel cough

The best way to treat kennel cough is to prevent it.

“[Kennel cough] is very effectively prevented by the common vaccines your pup is getting at her annual exam,” Dr. Puglia said.

This vaccine — usually called the Bordetella vaccine — may also be administered to protect your dog if she’s likely to be exposed to a lot of other dogs.

This means that if your dog hangs out at the daycare, dog groomer or dog park, you’ll want to get her vaccinated for kennel cough — although most daycares and groomers will make sure your dog is up to date on shots anyway before they let her come in.

If, however, your dog does end up catching kennel cough, it’s easily treated with antibiotics. So, your pup should hopefully be back to feeling normal in no time!