Dogs' flu & colds

What Are The Symptoms Of Colds In Dogs

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: March 1, 2017
What Are The Symptoms Of Colds In Dogs

The common cold is not only one of the most common diseases in humans, but also among dogs and cats. Changes in temperature, the cold and colds spread by other dogs are some of the causes of canine colds. A dog cold has similar symptoms as a cold in humans but can be a bit more difficult to identify. Luckily, the virus that causes a cold in dogs isn't the same as in humans, meaning that you don't have to worry about catching your dog's cold. Keep reading this article and discover what the symptoms of colds in dogs are.

You may also be interested in: What Are the Symptoms of Pneumonia in Dogs

Steps to follow:


The most common virus that generates cold in dogs is Parainfluenza, which is highly contagious. To a lesser extent, cases of colds caused by Adenovirus Type 2, is one of the main causes of dog cough. Also, this last condition may also be another cause of canine flu as well as other more serious diseases such as distemper.

What Are The Symptoms Of Colds In Dogs - Step 1

Regardless of the cause of cold, the symptoms of colds in dogs are usually always the same or similar. The first is constant sneezing. It's exactly how humans sneeze when we contract a cold, our dogs do so too. In general, dogs won't just sneeze once, it will be followed by one or two more.

What Are The Symptoms Of Colds In Dogs - Step 2

In addition to frequent sneezing, it is normal that a dog with a cold has abundant mucus in the nose. Congestion and a runny nose is not only a human sign, animals can also suffer and, in the case of colds, it is one of the main symptoms. If the runny nose is accompanied by blood, you should go to the vet, it could be a result of a more serious illness. When dogs experience increased mucus they tend to lick their nose more often.

What Are The Symptoms Of Colds In Dogs - Step 3

Coughing and difficulty breathing are some of the most common cold symptoms in dogs. To spot it watch your dog carefully and take note if it seems annoyed at not being able to breathe properly, if it sounds like its wheezing with a stuffy nose or heavy breathing. Also, if the cough is severe it may be accompanied by mild vomiting. Some dogs with colds have more watery eyes than normal.

What Are The Symptoms Of Colds In Dogs - Step 4

The cold provides a state of general discomfort which makes your dog listless, sad and tired, dejected and helpless. It is also very likely that it will lose its appetite and even thirst, so it is important to pay special attention to their care and keep them hydrated at all times. You should try getting it to eat as much as possible but always without actually forcing. To boost its appetite you can wet their food a little with some lukewarm water. If your dog refuses to eat, we recommend reading our article what to do if my dog doesn't want to eat.

What Are The Symptoms Of Colds In Dogs - Step 5

Headache are one of the most common symptoms but unless you can get your furry friend to talk, knowing it has a headache can be a difficult task. Notice if your dog has difficulty keeping its eyes wide open, if it flees noisy areas and loud sounds or if it prefers to lie in places away from direct sunlight, actions that normally would not do. Rest is the best way to relieve pain and general muscular weakness.

What Are The Symptoms Of Colds In Dogs - Step 6

In severe cases, the dog may have a fever. In this case, you could use some home remedies to cure a dog's fever. In general, canine colds are usually not a serious condition and in about a week it will be healed, you should go to your vet if you notice any of these symptoms to examine your dog and determine the best treatment. Remember that sometimes, a cold can be caused by a more serious disease, so it is important to see a professional. Do not miss our article on how to treat your dog's cold.

If you want to read similar articles to What Are The Symptoms Of Colds In Dogs, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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paul keven simmons
I have a little westie 3 years old ? she is very energetics as are most westies but lately she is sneezing ? hacking and seems to be short of breath and takes me a while to slow her heart rate down ?? as you might now trying to get a westie to slow down is vertualy impossible I,m very, very worried she might have a heart defect and its frightening me ?? I in tend to take her to vets but don't want to waste the vets time ?? is there anything I can do ??
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Paul,

We understand you may be worried. We cannot diagnose anything in these comments, only a veterinary health professional will be able to do this appropriately. As you said, small dogs tend to have a higher heart rate. However, with hacking and sneezing, these don't tend to be related to heart murmurs.

It could be a cold, it could be something stuck in their throat, it could be a minor infection or it could be nothing. We don't know and it would be irresponsible for use to tell you otherwise. We have provided some articles which might be useful, but if you are really unsure and think there is something you should be worried about, you need to trust your instincts. You would much rather take them to the vet and find they are fine than not take them and find they are not.
My dog's nose has got green mucus and it is not eating at all, not even meat. It is not sneezing or coughing though. I am worried bcoz it has lost so much weight. What could the problem be and how can i treat these symptoms?
OneHowTo Editor
You should take your dog to a vet as soon as possible so it can get proper diagnosis and treatment
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What Are The Symptoms Of Colds In Dogs