If you’re a parent, I’m sure you’re always wary and on the lookout for signs that your kid has caught a cold or the flu. Right? It’s pretty natural, seeing as how messy the darned condition is to deal with.

Well shouldn’t it be the same with pooches?

Because if you didn’t know, and have been fortunate enough that your puppy hasn’t caught it yet, let me tell you…

Dogs do indeed catch colds. And it’s just as much a pain with them, too!

Now if you’re worried about your dog having caught a cold from someone who already has it at home, that’s unlikely. At least in case of a cold.

The common cold virus isn’t known to be communicable across species. It’s much more likely that your dog caught his off another doggy playmate at the park, the daycare or other places he encountered other pooches.

But when it comes to flus and respiratory illnesses caused by bacteria – where the symptoms resemble those from a cold – it’s not quite clear whether people can catch the disease off dogs. Or vice versa, really. So it’s probably a good idea to take precautions until you get a definitive diagnosis from your vet.

But as far as recognizing cold symptoms go, it’s pretty straightforward. You can recognize them almost immediately…

How Do You Know if Your Dog Has a Cold?

Like we mentioned, cold symptoms are easy to spot. Even if it’s not a common cold virus, you’d have to be absolutely oblivious to miss some of these symptoms. So you at the very least know that something is wrong with your pup, and he needs the vet.

Some of the common symptoms of a cold include:

  • Nasal congestion and discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Fever – mild or otherwise
  • Coughing
  • Runny eyes
  • Poor appetite
  • General lethargy

The symptoms for a common cold should be not be particularly severe. Of course your dog wouldn’t be in the best of spirits. But he shouldn’t be totally down for the count, so to speak.

Cold symptoms should start to wear off over a week’s time, provided you take good care of your pup. And here are some great tips on how to do that…

1. Feed a cold…

You’re familiar with the saying, aren’t you.

That’s right…

It’s pretty much the same approach with canine colds, too. When your dog has a cold, the best thing to do is make sure he is drinking lots of fluids, and warm, healthy food. Chicken is great, of course.

Also, while this may be stating the obvious, do make sure he’s plenty warm. Warm blankets, hot baths, and maybe even a nice humidifier in the room are all great ideas to battle cold.

2. A visit to the vet

Like we mentioned earlier, you can’t be absolutely sure that your dog has a cold and nothing significantly more serious just from the symptoms. You need a professional opinion to pin-point the root cause of his condition.

Besides, not all dogs manage to shake off a measly old cold that easily. If your dog has a shaky immune system, he’s going to need some boosters to fight off the virus. And a prescribed dose of antibiotics or other medicine is in order in such situations.

Same goes for dogs that are older, as well as young puppies. And, while this goes without saying, you have to keep your sick puppy away from other dogs, lest you start a doggy cold epidemic in the neighborhood!

3. Keeping warm and hydrated

We talked about this in the section on feeding the cold. But this is worth reiterating, especially for the owner who lives in colder locales, and their dog has a cold.

If your pup is suffering from a cold, it’s a good idea to really limit the time he spends outdoors. While exposure to the chill may not help the cold virus to make further progress against your puppy, the physical discomfort will worsen your pup’s condition. And believe me, that has a bearing on how quickly he recovers.

Keeping warm and hydrated is the fundamental path to recover from colds. So keep your pup wrapped up, and keep refilling that water bowl.

We hope you found this post helpful if you were wondering how you know if your dog has a cold. If you have tips or suggestions of your own, do mention them in the comments section below.

Image credit: Papajohnsathens’ Pin