understanding dogs and flu.

understanding dogs and flu. Image: Pexels

Canine cold or canine flu? Understanding your dog’s sniffles

Just like humans, dogs can also catch the flu, including the H3N2 strain, though inter-species spread is rare.

understanding dogs and flu.

understanding dogs and flu. Image: Pexels

While you nurse a cup of tea and battle a cough, you might worry about spreading your misery to your furry friend. Luckily, you can rest easy. The influenza virus that plagues humans isn’t the same as the one that can knock your dog off their kibble.

As per Wag!, it’s possible for dogs to contract the H3N2 canine flu from cats, but the occurrence of dogs and cats transmitting this illness to each other is infrequent.

Different Strains, Different Canines

The good news is, the common flu virus that sniffles its way through human populations isn’t a threat to your dog. They lack the receptors that the human flu virus needs to latch onto and infect cells.

However, there is a canine influenza virus (CIV) that can cause illness in dogs. While less common than catching a cold from another dog, there have been documented cases of canine influenza jumping from humans to dogs, though this is rarer.

Spotting the Signs of Dog Flu

Canine influenza shares some symptoms with the human flu, so watch out for:

  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite

Preventing the Spread

While the risk of you passing the flu to your dog is low, it’s always wise to be hygienic. Wash your hands before and after cuddling your pup, especially if you’re feeling unwell.

The most common way dogs contract canine influenza is through interaction with other infected dogs. Vaccination is a great way to protect your dog from CIV, so discuss it with your vet.

So, while you can’t give your dog your flu, keep an eye out for signs of canine influenza, and consult your vet if you’re concerned. By following these simple tips, you and your furry friend can stay healthy throughout the season.


Artificial Intelligence assisted in compiling this article.