Some people is living close to their pets and it is common to sleep in the same bed as their owners. However, many pet owner might wonder if their dogs can get sick from a human. If you want a simple and direct answer, it is yes and no. Let’s get into it!
Can Dogs Get Sick From a Human?
Yes. Is this a common issue? No. Of course, you don’t like nor need a simple answer like this. As such, we will have to explain the topic in detail and reveal when this is possible and when you don’t have to worry about it. A good thing is that this can happen, but it is not as common as you may believe.
Dogs Can Get Flu From Humans But Not Get Sick
It is probably a confusing statement. Can dogs get sick from a human infected with the flu? Yes, but this is extremely rare and dogs don’t get sick. They can collect the virus (human influenza viruses) but they will have no symptoms.
The virus that attacks humans is different. It is the human influenza virus. The one that attacks dogs is canine influenza. An interesting fact here is that this virus will not attack humans. Dogs who have this virus will have lethargy, cough, and runny nose.
Dogs Can Get Bacterial Infections From Humans
When the situation moves to bacteria, there are a few cases in which a dog can collect the bacteria from a human and end up with an infection. Below, we will explain those infections.
The full name here is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. We have these bacteria on the skin most of the time. If it comes in contact with the deeper layers of the skin, it can cause skin infection. Dogs can get bacteria from humans. In dogs, the bacteria will cause issues with the urinary tract, the respiratory system, and skin infection.
Campylobacter jejuni causes this infection. Both dogs and humans will have symptoms. Dogs will display a lack of appetite, diarrhea, and fever. Fecal-oral transmission is the most common.
Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria causes this infection. People with it will have shortness of breath, fever, and cough. Dogs will have vomiting, weight loss, and cough as well. There are a few cases of this transmission.
Salmonella bacteria cause Salmonellosis in dogs and humans. If a person doesn’t wash his hands properly after using the bathroom and has the bacteria, he can infect his dog. Symptoms are fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. Humans have the same symptoms.
Other illnesses you can infect your pet with
As you can see, it is possible to infect your dog with bacteria. But there are a few more issues you need to know here. There are a few illnesses that you can transmit to your pet if you are not careful.
Sadly, this virus we are all talking about can affect both people and dogs. The SARS-CoV-2 virus causes the illness. People have shortness of breath, fever, and cough. In some cases, severe symptoms are present and a person must go to a hospital. You can infect your dog with the COVID19. There were a few reports of this issue. Usually, dogs have mild or no symptoms at all. At the time of writing, experts believe that this risk is very low.
Theoretically, you can transmit Mumps to a dog. There have been a few reports over the years. A good thing is that the risk is incredibly low and this virus is almost non-existing. Even dogs who had the antibodies didn’t have any of the symptoms.
It probably sounds scary or like a huge problem. Ringworm is a fungal infection. It will affect nails, hair, and the skin. In most cases, an animal will transmit the fungi to a human. But it is possible to happen another way around. If a dog comes in contact with the affected area, he can collect the virus. He will suffer from bald areas on the tail, ears, and face.
Prevention Methods All Dog Owners Should Use
The matter is obvious by now. So, what can you do about it? Well, there are a few prevention options you should keep in mind. An advantage here is that these will prevent transmission going in both ways.
1. Always Wash Your Hands
There is no need to tell you how important this is. Use soap and warm water. This combo will remove most of the bacteria from the hands so you won’t be able to infect your dog while handling his food bowl, water or etc.
2. Pick And Dispose Of The Poo
Poo will contain all sorts of bacteria and viruses if a dog has them. Always collect it and dispose of it properly. Using sealed bags is mandatory in this case scenario.
3. Vaccinate Your Pet
When your pet is vaccinated, he is more protected from all kinds of viruses, bacteria, and diseases. That’s why this is a mandatory step for all dog owners and all who want to have a healthy dog all the time. Your vet will tell you the same thing!
4. Decrease Contact With Your Dog If You Are Sick
If you are sick, it is best to decrease the time you spend with your dog. This directly decreases the risk of you infecting your pet. Wash your hands before you feed your dog and try not to play with him as much as before. It is hard, but a mandatory thing to do.
5. Avoid Biting
A dog who will play with you roughly can easily scratch you or bite you. He can come in contact with the bacteria you have and the one that can make him sick. If you are sick, avoid this type of interaction.
The Final Word
Can dogs get sick from a human? Yes, they can. This is a rare issue and you probably won’t witness this in your lifetime. But, some level of risk is present and as such you need to prevent it as much as you can. Use the methods we have here and you two will be fine. Just remember that this transmission can go in both ways so you need to stay protected as well.