Flu is a big issue these days and has been that for a long time. We all get flu occasionally. If you are a dog owner, you will want to know the answer to this question. Can a dog get flu from a human? This is an important thing to understand and know. Below we will present all the information you should keep in your mind. Without further ado, let’s begin.
Can Dogs Get Flu From Humans?
Can a dog get flu from a human if the person is infected? The answer is yes. There are two types of flu viruses that affect people and dogs. The first one is human influenza which attacks humans. The second type is canine influenza which attacks dogs. But, things are not as simple as you may believe.
Dogs can get human influenza. This is the virus that is transmitted through the air so all you have to do is to be close to your pet and he can get the flu. We must add that this is extremely rare. In most cases, there will be no transmission of this kind and your pet will be fine despite you spending a lot of time with him while you are sick.
However, there are cases where a dog was infected with the virus due to a sick owner. Even then most dogs don’t have any symptoms. They just carry the virus and perhaps they can infect other people and dogs. A few of the dogs will show symptoms though.
The best comparison is the swine flu. If you remember, this virus, H1N1, started in pigs and then jumped to humans in 2009. This pandemic was a huge problem. Between 150.000 and 600.000 people lost their lives in a pandemic that was active between 2009 and 2010. The obvious thing here is that the influenza virus can jump between different species.
Flu can jump between different species. For instance, you can transmit it to your cat, bird, hamster, ferret, and even guinea pigs. In general, the virus will attack creatures that are warm-blooded. This also means that animals such as fish, snakes, turtles, and similar are 100% immune from flu. If you have many different animals at your home, keep in mind that viruses can affect all of them.
What to do if your dog has the flu?
If your pet has the flu, he will show almost the same symptoms as you have when you are sick. This means that you can easily tell when he is sick and what he has. The main symptoms are:
It is important to add that your pet can have all of these or just 2-3 symptoms. Regardless of the count, you will have to take him to a vet as soon as possible. A vet will examine the dog and start the treatment. It is also mandatory to alert your vet and tell him about the symptoms and that you and your pet are sick.
A vet can isolate your dog and protect himself from virus exposure. In addition, flu and kennel cough have the same symptoms and both are very contagious diseases. A vet must tell the difference and use the appropriate treatment.
Your dog will need 2-3 weeks to recover. Dogs are tough so they will survive this. They need plenty of water and they need proper food. Your vet will advise you on how to feed the dog at this stage. Different dog breeds require different food plans and different foods. All of them require plenty of water or liquid in general. Most of the time vets prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These will fight fever. Antibiotics are a common part of the treatment as well.
The other way around is not possible
Here we have one good thing or one irrelevant thing, depending on how you look at the situation. As you can see, dogs can get the flu from humans. But, we can’t get flu from them. There are no records of this ever happening and there are no reports of any kind that suggest this is even possible. So, if your pet has the flu, you are safe.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do anything. Canine influenza is extremely contagious. Your pet can infect other dogs and other animals! That’s why you will have to keep him isolated and allow him to recover. He will need a few weeks and he will need plenty of fluids and proper food. Even after the flu issue is gone, don’t let your pet interact with other dogs. He is probably still contagious and he needs more time until the virus is completely eliminated.
What About COVID 19?
Obviously, we must cover COVID 19. Sadly, here we don’t have great news. This virus has been a huge problem for the entire planet. It can affect people and dogs. The transmission is fast and can easily occur. Your dog can be next to you and he can collect the virus. When this happens, a dog will start displaying the symptoms.
Most dogs don’t have any of the symptoms. But some do have. These are minor symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath, and similar. Other dogs will have more severe symptoms. In both, more severe cases you will have to take your dog to a vet. Now it is mandatory to alert your vet and tell him about your COVID 19 infection and that you suspect your dog has the same thing.
The Final Word
Can a dog get flu from a human? Yes, he can and he will have the same symptoms if have any. Most of the time this doesn’t happen or a dog doesn’t have symptoms of any kind. But the transmission is possible and several studies confirmed that. The situation is the same with COVID 19 virus. Always call your vet if your pet has the flu and shows any of the symptoms.