Can My Dog Get the Flu from Me?
With the recent breakouts of influenza virus, many people are suffering from the viral infections. Certain strains of influenza such as swine and bird flu are rampant in spreading the disease thus affecting a large portion of the population. People, who have pets often have the question that whether their animals can get the disease from them? In case of dogs, the answer is yes as they can become ill if their owners have the flu. However, the cases reported are not high because the viral strains keep on changing their structures and evolve over the years due to which the situation changes every year.
Transmission of Zoonotic Diseases
Zoonotic diseases are the ailments that transmit from animals to humans and vice versa. There was an incidence that becomes viral in 2009 when a large number of humans contracted swine flu from pigs. Ultimately a large number of cats and dogs died after becoming infected with the H1N1 virus from their owners.
Clinical Symptoms of Flu in Dogs
The symptoms of respiratory tract diseases including the post-infection stages are mostly similar in both humans and dogs. If your pet is showing the following symptoms after your illness then makes an appointment with the veterinarian:
1. Loss of appetite
4. Heavy Breathing
5. Nasal/Ocular Discharge
6. Irregular Sleeping
How the Dogs Catch Flu?
They catch the infection just like we do. If you have the flu and you have a contact with your pet through hugs, giving them food and water, taking them to a walk or playing with them then, they can easily get the virus. Dogs which are older and have previously suffered from any kind of disease are more susceptible as they have a weaker immune system.
How to Treat Your Ill Dog?
Once your dog starts to exhibit flu-like symptoms, a proper diagnosis from its vet is very critical in order to get a suitable treatment for many diseases in animals shows same symptoms. There are vaccinations available for treating flu in dogs such as CIV, CPV and DA2PP that help to prevent canine influenza and canine parainfluenza. It is always safe to get your dog vaccinated from time to time to prevent the occurrence of infectious diseases.
Apart from immunization, it is important to take care of your pets’ sanitary condition and provide them a healthy lifestyle. Your house should be cleaned and has minimum exposure to infectious agents. All family members should take care when they are sick and limit their contact with the animal and keep them clean. Close contact with your pet during your or their illness should be avoided and hands should be washed with a good anti-bacterial soap. Your pet is your responsibility to take care of yourself and also of them when any member of your family gets sick.
The Bottom Line
Dogs can certainly get flu from you but the situation can be prevented by taking precautionary measures. In case of your dog becoming infected, unfortunately, immediate medical help will help in their swift and healthy recovery.
Stay safe and keep your pets safe as well!