How to Know If Your Dog Has A Cold

Did you know that your dog can catch a common cold? One of the biggest shocks for new dog owners is that their dogs can catch the same colds as we can especially in the vulnerable months of winter. While most people are vigilant about commonly known threats to man’s best friend, they don’t think to prep for things like the cold or the flu. 

Though your dog won’t catch the same strain of the cold as you, there are known flu and cold strains that affect them. If left untreated, these bugs can turn into more serious problems for your dog just like they can for humans. Also, it is important to learn how to differentiate between a canine cold and more serious diseases like canine distemper or kennel cough.

What Does Canine Cold Look Like?

One of the upsides to learning about dogs having colds is that the symptoms look almost the same as they do for us. Therefore, it is really easy to tell when your dog might be experiencing a cold versus their normal behavior.

Dog cold symptoms can include:

  •      Coughing
  •      Sneezing
  •      Watery Eyes
  •      Runny/Stuffy Nose
  •      Fever
  •      Lethargy
  •      Loss of Appetite

While a cold may cause your dog discomfort and frustration, they are usually not life threatening for healthy dogs and you probably don’t need to take them to the vet. However, there are other similar conditions that are much more dangerous. If your dog is exhibiting symptoms of one of these diseases, a vet visit is immediately necessary. The two to watch out for are kennel cough and canine distemper. Kennel cough is a contagious cough that has a honking sound and is typically found in dogs that just spent time in a kennel.

The second, more serious disease can be easily life threatening. Canine Distemper is characterized by vomiting, coughing, high fever and thick discharge around the eyes and nose. If you see any of these more serious symptoms, take your dog to the vet immediately.

Treating Canine Cold

There are lot of home remedies that you can use to treat your dog’s cold. A lot of these are similar to what we do for humans and can be easy to replicate for the dog. Try out these remedies to quickly turn things around.

  • Warm Chicken Soup – Much like humans, this treat can help cure what ails your dog. Just make sure there are no bones in the soup.
  • Steam Bath – While you take a bath or shower with hot water, put your dog in the room so the steam can clean up their sinuses.
  • Plenty of Fluids – Make sure to increase their water intake during this time (and bathroom visits to boot.)
  • Extra Rest – Allowing your dog to sleep and relax for longer can go a long way to curing the cold quickly.

Your Vet Can Help

While you don’t need to take your dog to the vet if they have a cold, the vet can certainly help. In fact, if you have a very young or very old dog who is not as healthy, the vet might be necessary anyway. At Riverside Animal Center, our trained staff and veterinary professionals can help you figure out what your dog might be feeling and whether it is something to worry about.

If you are seeing any alarming symptoms or have questions about how best to treat your pet, contact us today to make an appointment.