We all know what it’s like to have a cold – unpleasant symptoms like a stuffy nose, sneezing, scratchy throat, watery eyes, and more. If we’re lucky, our cold is only bad for a couple of days, but, unfortunately, it sometimes drags on for a week or more. So, if you have pets, you may find yourself asking: can pets catch colds too?
Can Pets Catch Our Colds?
The good news is that the rhinoviruses that make us suffer can’t be passed on to our four-legged friends. Diseases that can be shared between humans and pets are known as zoonotic diseases, but the common cold isn’t one of them. So, the answer to the question, can pets catch colds is yes, but we have our own types of colds, and our pets have theirs.
Note that if you have a dog and cat that like to snuggle, they can’t pass a cold to each other because viruses are mainly species-specific. However, if you have one animal with a bacterial infection you need to keep them away from your other pets.
How Do I Know if My Pet Has a Cold?
Although your pet can’t catch a cold from you, a pet cold involves similar symptoms to humankind – runny/stuffy nose, sneezing, coughing, etc. However, you need to be able to spot the difference between a mild cold and a more severe upper respiratory issue. Take your pet to the vet if they are experiencing any of the following:
- A dry, honking cough
- Heavy discharge from nose or eyes
- No interest in food
Can a Pet Cold Be Cured?
No cure has yet been found for the human common cold, and the same applies to a pet cold. If your pet has a normal type of cold, they will improve with time. However, just as with humans, you can encourage faster recovery with a little old-fashioned TLC, including:
- Making sure your pet gets plenty of rest. Cut down on walks and play until they get their energy back.
- Keeping your pet hydrated! Add a little unsalted broth to the water bowl to encourage extra liquid intake (the equivalent of human chicken soup!).
- Providing the best quality diet.
Can Pets Catch Colds? Final Thoughts
Prevention is by the far the best medicine. Doing your best to keep your pet’s immune system in the best possible shape is crucial to prevent colds and various other health conditions. This includes a top-quality diet and ensuring your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations.
Coping With the Loss of Your Pet
No pet owner wants to think about the day they will no longer have their furry family member by their side. But, with a little logistical planning, the dreadful day can be made a little easier, allowing you to focus on grieving your beloved pet. Plan to visit Midlands Pet Care, a family-owned and operated company, for compassionate end-of-life care for your pet. Give us a call and we will help you make any necessary arrangements.
- If you don’t live near us, we welcome you to check out our choice of pet memorials. We know you will never forget your pet, but a memorial in the right spot will honor their memory forever.