Dog Care

Can Dogs Catch A Cold?

Can Dogs Catch A Cold?

Written By Amica Graber

Sep 1, 2016

Ruh-roh! Someone’s sick! You’ve put up a safe perimeter around the couch and quarantined yourself away from the outside world, but just as you’re drifting into a Nyquil-induced coma, a wet nose touches your wet nose and a slobbery kiss slaps you on the cheek. ARGH!

Just when you thought you weren’t going to pass on the cooties to anyone else, your dog jumped up and got a face full of ripe germs. Can dogs catch human bugs, or are we hardwired differently?

Can My Dog Catch A Cold From Me?

If you’re suffering from a common cold, don’t panic about keeping Fluffers trapped with you and your germs. Dogs can catch colds, but not from humans! That said, make sure that you’re actually suffering from a cold and not a virus like influenza or strep throat, which can be passed on to dogs. But if you have a cat,  shove that kitty elsewhere. Cats can catch common colds from humans.

Can My Dog Catch Strep Throat From Me?

Theoretically speaking, your dog could catch strep throat from you — however, it’s pretty unlikely. Just to be safe, make a habit out of thoroughly washing your hands. Don’t allow your dog to be in super close proximity to you when you’re at your most contagious, which is the first 3 days.

Can My Dog Catch The Stomach Flu From Me?

Scientists recommend that if you have any symptoms of influenza, just shy away from all lifeforms until you’ve survived the purge of your immune system.

Illnesses Your Dog Can Get From You

While it’s pretty unlikely that your dog is going to get hit with a serious case of the sneezes if you accidentally cough in their face, it’s best to keep your distance. That said, there are some illnesses that are known to transfer between pets and humans. If you or a family member has contracted one of the following conditions, keep Fido on a short leash.


Dogs can contract mumps from humans. If you have mumps, and if your dog is exhibiting symptoms that include a loss of appetite and swollen glands, take them to the vet.


MRSA in dogs can be very difficult to treat, and they can catch it through humans — especially if they have any cuts or wounds. If you have MRSA, send Fido to stay with someone for a while, or keep them away from you. Dogs catch MRSA from humans through shared surfaces, like bedsheets, so make sure you bleach your sheets regularly and keep your dog out of your bed until you’re better.


Dogs can catch salmonella (food poisoning) by consuming raw meat or poultry. Although you can’t directly give your dog salmonella, if you’ve fed them scraps of a bad meal, you’re both likely to get sick.


If you have tuberculosis, get a family member or friend to look after your dog, or hire a pet sitter who can look after your pet in your own home. Although tuberculosis in pets is rare, 75% of tuberculosis cases in dogs comes from human-to-dog transmission. There is no treatment for tuberculosis in dogs, and tragically, many infected dogs have to be euthanized.

So although dogs are unlikely to catch a cold from you, it’s better to be safe than sorry. The best way to ensure your dog stays safe is to treat your furry friend like anyone else — don’t get too close, no couch snuggles (sorry), and drink plenty of fluids until you’re safely on the other side of it!