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Can Dogs Catch Colds from Humans?

I apologize for my lack of posts lately.  Life sometimes gets a bit hectic, as I'm sure everyone understands.  Around this time of the year, thanks to the impending holidays, my "regular" job always has a lot of extra hours available which I've been taking advantage of.  On top of that, my fiance came down with a cold last week which he, of course, also decided to share with me.  Misery loves company, or so they say.  Yesterday, as if working extra hours while being sick all week wasn't enough, Kit wasn't feeling well either.  Something was giving him an upset tummy, which unfortunately isn't all that rare for Kit.  He's always had a very sensitive stomach.  I'm not sure what triggered his latest episode, if maybe he ate something that didn't agree with him or what.

Luckily, although I could tell he wasn't feeling 100% and he did vomit a few times, I wasn't overly worried about Kit.  He was still very eager to eat, was drinking and using the bathroom normally, and has been his normal peppy self during his walks.  I probably would have called his vet this morning if he was still vomiting, but he seemed to be feeling quite a bit better after dinner last night, did fine overnight, and (so far) seems to be back to normal today.

Yesterday my fiance knew that Kit wasn't feeling well and wondered if perhaps Kit had somehow managed to catch our cold.  With both of us being sick all week, and one of our symptoms also being an upset stomach, it didn't seem all that far fetched to wonder if perhaps Kit had become victim number 3 of our first fall cold.

Luckily, as it turns out, dogs contracting colds from humans, and vice versa, is very rare.  The viruses that cause what we commonly think of as colds are usually species specific, and don't have the ability to jump from one species to another.  There have been some instances of dogs, cats, and even ferrets contracting the flu from humans, though, so theatrically it's not impossible for some of the viruses that make us sick to also have the ability to effect our pets.

But, again, this is very rare.  That's not to say that dog's can't catch colds, just that, for the most part, the viruses that cause our furry friends to feel sick are not the same ones that impact us.  That's good news for all the pet owners out there who, like me, know that doggy snuggles are the best medicine!

Dogs can, of course, catch viruses from other dogs, some of which mimic human cold symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, upset stomachs, runny eyes, and runny noses.  If your dog is acting sick it's important to keep a close eye on him/her and not just write off symptoms as being a simple cold.  Some symptoms commonly associated with the common cold in humans can be signs of something more series in dogs.  If your dog experiences anything more than mild symptoms, or symptoms last for more than a few days, it's important to get your furry friend in to see a vet.

Also remember that it's important not to medicate your pet without first speaking to your vet.  There are lots of OTC medications that humans can take to feel better when they are sick, but most of them are not safe to give your pets.  Even the ones that are potentially safe need to be carefully dosed, so should not be administered to pets without vet approval.

I'm glad that I don't have to worry about giving my colds to my dogs.  When I'm sick I like nothing more than to cuddle up under a blanket sandwiched between Kit and Fen.  Even crazy Mr.Fen seems to know when I'm not feeling well and, thankfully, tones down his crazy a bit until I'm feeling better again.  Do your pets seem to know when you are sick too?  Comment below!

As an aside, thanks to everyone for all the awesome names you suggested for our blog Betta!  Don't worry, I didn't forget about the naming contest.  The poor Betta has gone all this time without a name, so I'm very excited to have you all help us pick one for him.  My fiance and I are going to go through all the submissions this weekend and personally narrow them down a bit.  I'm planning on posting a poll with the finalists on Monday, then giving everyone a week or so to vote before we officially name our scaly little buddy.

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