The flu is a respiratory disease caused by a virus, and it infects both humans and dogs. But how can you be sure your dog doesn’t pick up the virus from your constant sneezing?
Many people wonder how you can give your dog the flu. The answer is, it’s highly unlikely for them to catch it from you. Dogs don’t carry as many of the same viruses that we do and they’re immune to some of those that we are. Most of their disease-causing germs come from eating whatever they find on sidewalks and other public places rather than what we eat and inhale.
But there are cases where dogs have gotten the canine flu from humans. Humans are often carriers of various strains of dog influenza. What this means is that they carry it without getting sick themselves. One study found that over 50 percent of dogs tested carried the H3N8 dog flu virus. Most of the carriers were their owners, who, after being in contact with the infected dog, carried the virus to their own pup through their clothes and belongings.
Can Dogs Get The Flu From Humans?
In a word, yes. In fact, it’s the most common way that canine influenza spreads. The CDC reports that CANINE INFLUENZA H3N8 is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs caused by an influenza A virus. This virus is transmitted through direct and indirect contact with infected dogs through their oral secretions, feces, or nasal discharges. Since dogs are not the only hosts of the virus, they can transmit it to their owners through bites, scratches, or sniffing or by coming into contact with your dog’s saliva (the dog’s teeth) or feces.
If you or anyone else in your household is currently sick with the flu, your dog could contract the infection by coming into contact with your saliva or other bodily fluids. This can occur when you share food together, kiss each other, play raucously, or even when you pet each other.
How Can I Tell If My Dog Has Canine Influenza?
Your dog may not suddenly become ill and exhibit signs of the flu. Sick dogs usually show one or more of the following: diminished appetite, depression and lethargy, fever, cough, and occasionally vomiting.
When dogs are sick with canine influenza, they usually will not eat as much as they normally would. They may also be lethargic and lose interest in their surroundings. The phlegm may be yellow or green in color, and also looks like mucous that gathers in the back of their throat. It can run out of their nose when they cough.
If you notice these symptoms in your dog, it is important to take them to a vet right away. It is also important that the entire household is on guard, this includes other dogs and cats as well as children.
Although it is not common, there have been some cases of dogs getting the H1N1 virus from humans. But the good news is that for most dogs it will only be a mild case with no serious complications or health concerns.
With this said, the usual precautions should still be taken when dealing with sick pets. For example, both people and dogs can carry the flu with them on their hands and clothes for days after they have already become socialized with the infection. If you have a new puppy, it would be a good idea to avoid any social gatherings that involve people who may have been exposed to the flu virus. Although it is very rare, it is possible for a dog to get sick from one of these people if they come in direct or indirect contact with their infected hands or clothes. Make sure that you and your dog only play with other dogs that are not sick.
It is possible for dogs to be exposed to flu by coming in contact with someone who has contracted or been exposed to the virus. If your puppy touches your mouth and then licks his nose, he/she could easily contract this virus.
Now that you know dogs can get the flu from humans, explore other flu-related dog articles that you might be interested in.
Has your dog ever suffered from the flu? Was it transferred from you or your family members? We would love to hear from you. Please share your stories by leaving a comment below!