Dog Has a Cold (Dog Cold Symptoms and Medicine)

dog has a cold

Can Dogs Have Colds?

The answer is yes; dogs do catch colds and experience the same symptoms as we humans do. When we talk about catching a cold, it refers to a wide range of viruses. All these viruses are a group of cold viruses that causes symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, sore throat. Dog’s cold also causes the same symptoms. The only difference between the human flu and a dog cold is that some of the cold viruses are dangerous for the dog’s health and therefore become essential to treat the dog’s cold more carefully.

A human cold is contagious, so it can infect the other person also. Now the question arises here that can make a dog catch a cold from a human? So, the answer brings some good news, if you are having a cold and your buddy wants to cuddle you, so you don’t have to turn him away. Some infections, bacteria’s and viruses are species-specific. That means the viruses are unable to cause illness in dogs. So humans cannot share the cold with the dogs; a human cold can only affect the human.

Signs Your Dog Has a Cold (Dog Cold Symptoms):

Following are various dog cold symptoms

  • Nasal congestion and discharge
  • Difficulty in breathing through the nose
  • Runny eyes
  • Mild fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sneezing
  • Wet coughing
  • General apathy

Also read about best protection dogs.

Other than cold, there are some common cold-like illness found in dogs, such as-

The Canine Flu-

Canine influenza is similar to cold and spreads like the same way only. The symptoms seen in a dog having canine influenza are loss of appetite or conjunctivitis.

Kennel Cough-

This dry cough is related to the respiratory system, which can be associated with honking noise. The kennel cough can only be treated by seeing a vet.


If the dog’s cold lasts for weeks, it means the dog is allergic to seasonal and environmental changes. If the symptoms also include skin infection, then the dog is not only suffering from cold but the specific allergies even.

Canine Distemper-

The symptoms of distemper are similar to cold, like runny eyes and nose. This virus affects the dog’s lymph nodes and tonsils. Other symptoms may include vomiting and diarrhea; in such cases, advice of a vet is essential. If the distemper is left untreated, it can affect the nervous system of the dog and may lead to seizures and paralysis.

Specific Breed Respiratory Conditions-

We all know that different breeds have different body structures and are prone to specific ailments. While some breeds are prone to the brachycephalic airway syndrome, Sometimes the condition is misinterpreted as cold.

What to do When Dog Has Cold (What to do If Dog Has a Cold):

Dog cold is a minor illness that can be treated at home without visiting the vet. The owner has to take a few precautions, but when the cold symptoms do not manifest at home, or the dog’s condition seems to be more acute, immediate vet treatment is necessary.

Whenever you ask yourself what to do if dog has a cold. Follow these measures to treat your dog with a cold-

  • When you notice any symptom of cold in your dog, try to keep him dry and warm. Provide the dog with warm blankets to curl him up. You can even use dog sweaters and socks to help him to stay cozy. You can also use heated dog beds that are available in the market. 
  • When a dog suffers from cold, it can dull their sense of smell, feeding the dog with warm food not only helps to recover, but also makes their meal more fragrant and more comfortable to find.
  • Dog cold makes it difficult to breathe through the nose; by increasing the amount of humidity, it becomes easier for them to breathe. Set up a humidifier in the sleeping area of the dog.
  • Dogs usually need 12 to 14 hours of sleep, but when they are sick, they may need even more time. When they have a cold, avoid taking them for long walks, playing which can exhaust them.
  • You can also add supplements in the dog’s food such as honey, coconut oil, and cinnamon, which can help to build the immune system and also provides relief from coughing. 
  • If the cold lasts for more days, or you find any other severe symptom, seek the vet as, in some cases, cold can require medication.
  • If you have multiple dogs as pets, and one is displaying the symptoms of a cold. Separate the dog from the others, provide them separate space for resting, and feed the dogs individually. Do not let them share their meal or water.
  • If the dog’s immune system is not healthy and strong, keep the dog’s immune system in its best shape by assuring a balanced diet, enough exercise. 
  • Clean the dishes and hard toys of your dog once a week with warm water. Warm water will kill the bacteria present in the recipes and protect the dog from getting ill. 
  • Currently, there is no such vaccination for dog’s cold. But other vaccines will protect the dog against hepatitis, parainfluenza, leptospirosis, distemper. Always stay updated on your dog’s vaccinations.

What Can I Give My Dog for a Cold (Dog Cold Medicine)?

Hydration is essential for dogs who have a cold to keep them hydrating make sure they have constant access to clean and fresh water. If the dog refuses to drink water for several hours, try to feed the dog with a splash of low sodium chicken or beef broth to the water. Make sure to change the water once in a day, wash their bowl with dish soap and warm water. A quick visit to the vet is required for proper treatment if the dog has dehydration.

The vet may perform a physical examination of the dog to listen to his heart and lungs. The vet may also suggest a series of diagnostic tests to assure that the dog does not have a severe condition because the mild cold is not a cause of concern. Other tests such as radiographs, blood, and fecal analysis can help to segregate the purpose of dog’s symptom and enables for the best treatment plan.

Also read about how to get a dog to stop whining.