Can your dog catch your cold or Flu? For that matter, can you catch an illness from your dog? I was curious, since I am currently battling yet another cold this season (I seem to keep re-catching the same the same cold since September), and my dog appears just fine.
No, you can’t get a cold, parvo, or “kennel cough” from your dog. You won’t even get heartworm from them. However, there are a few illnesses and ailments you can catch that your dog also has. You can get Lyme disease, not from the dog itself, but because the tick sucking on their blood has decided to make you their next host. You can also contract scabies from your dog, as the mites that are causing your dog’s affliction are eager to affect our flesh as well. You can also get worms from your dog, via cleaning their poop out of the yard and transferring eggs into our own systems. So while it is highly unlikely you will get a virus from your dog, their parasites are typically as happily at home on our bodies as our mutts.
Can we transfer illnesses to our dogs? Will my dog catch my cold? No. Dog illnesses like colds or “kennel coughs” (the main reason dogs get colds) are not transferable to humans, and likewise, we will not transfer our own illnesses to our dogs. Colds and their viruses are species-specific, so the cold you are suffering from will not transfer to your dog (or cat, or fish, or bird). If your dog catches an illness, they got it from another dog, not you.
The best way to protect your dog against illness is to keep them properly vaccinated and to recognize a cold or flu in your dog when you see one. Coughing that lasts over 10 days, yellow discharge from the nose, watery, runny eyes, and low fever are warning signs of illness in your dog. If you notice your dog exhibiting illness, get them to a vet as quick as you can for possible treatment, and rest assured that if your dog falls ill with a virus, it wasn’t you who gave it to them.