Very much sick dog under a blanket, isolated on white

It’s that time of year again: watery eyes, runny nose, coughing, sneezing – but we’re not talking about the human population. Can your dog catch a cold? Yes, indeed, but it’s not the same virus that spreads among all of us. While his or her symptoms may mirror your own (and what a happy coincidence if you are ever under the weather together), cold viruses do not overlap between species. So, what does a canine cold virus look like? How can you make your dog feel better? Don’t fret: we’ve got your bases covered!

Symptoms To Look For

You may observe that your pup has less energy to play, exercise, or even eat a meal. Although many pets tend to sneeze as a result of allergies or the resident dust bunny beneath the bed, excessive sneezing is a decent indicator that your dog is suffering from a canine cold virus. If it’s concurrent with a runny nose with thick discharge, watery eyes, lethargy, and a low-grade fever, he or she may need medication to help fight the illness. Left untreated, a virus can turn into a secondary bacterial infection that may benefit from an antibiotic.

The Bigger Picture

Your dog’s overall wellness hinges on preventative care – and that includes vaccinations. Certain vaccines can help protect your pet from contracting severe illnesses that have similar symptoms to the common cold and may even help boost his or her immune system against such illnesses. Checking out the ASPCA guide is well worth it in order to protect your pooch from all manner of contagions.

Other Germs…

Your young or senior dog may not have the most robust immunity against a cold virus. We recommend that you give us a call if you see symptoms persist for more than a day or two in order to help fight the bug.

When diarrhea or vomiting are present, a relatively harmless cold may actually be something more dangerous. At this point we’d have to rule out Kennel Cough or canine influenza virus and then develop a treatment plan.

What You Can Do

There are several ways that you can support a canine cold virus and ease your pup back to health:

  • Lots of fluids (must keep him or her hydrated with fresh water)
  • Rest (try to restrict extra exertion until symptoms let up)
  • Hot steam or vaporizer
  • Good, healthy foods

Preventing Canine Cold Virus

Your dog’s ability to fight off a canine cold virus is similar to our’s. By keeping him or her healthy and active, you are doing your part to ensure he or she will have the best shot to fight off illness – and recuperate faster after exposure to a cold virus.

The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital hope that your dog doesn’t come down with a canine cold virus this winter. However, if your sweet pup does exhibit symptoms, our staff will gladly take care of them and help him or her back to health. Please call us with any questions or concerns!