Can Dogs Get Sick from Humans?

These days, getting sick is unavoidable. It can be because of too much work, stress, or even bad weather. As a pet owner, it’s normal to think, “Can dogs get sick from humans?”

Pets are with you at home, and they see everything that you do. As with dogs, they eat and sleep in the same environment you’re in. Do you think your pets can also get sick from you?

When you’re curious about how pets can get sick from people and how to dodge it, then scroll down below to read more. In this article, we want to aid pet owners who are looking out for their dog’s health. We’ll help you understand how human sickness can affect your dogs. 


Human Flu, Colds, and Pneumonia: Can Dogs Get These from You?

The last thing that you would dream of is to get your dogs sick. Worse is when you are the cause of why your fur baby is suffering. Is it true that humans are able to pass on sickness to dogs?

Yes and no are both answers to this. Depending on the situation, there are factors that affect sickness contraction. There are certain illnesses that can and can’t affect your pets.

Dogs don’t contract human sickness in an instant. People transmitting bacteria to dogs is not always possible. It depends if it is direct or indirect contact, airborne or fecal-oral transmission.

There are ailments that humans and dogs can both contract. But they don’t always get it from each other. This is because not all human pathogens survive in dogs. Your dogs have more resistance to infections compared to humans.

Even if humans can transfer illnesses to dogs, these cases are rare.

dog wrapped in a blanket

What Diseases Can Your Dog Contract from You?

It’s vital that you’re conscious of diseases that your dog could contract. You can also use this information to avoid going near them during your sick period.

People get sick from several parasites. Hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms are capable of affecting dogs. Sarcoptes scabiei mites can also affect your pets if you are careless.

1. Giardia is the most common disease that dogs contract. But they don’t receive this from people by direct contact. Dogs get Giardia and also other protozoans through contaminated water.

Dogs can get this from infected animals as well. Humans transfer Giardia to dogs through fecal-oral transmission. When your dog is affected, it might start exhibiting weight loss and diarrhea.

Contact a vet and make sure your pet gets the treatment. Vets will usually give oral medication as treatment.

2. Mumps is also a viral and contagious disease. Dogs are susceptible to mumps too. Your pet might show symptoms like loss of appetite, fever, and swelling of salivary glands.

3. Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus or MRSA can also be infectious to dogs. It is a strain of Staphylococcus aureus. This type of strain is resistant to various antibiotics. Humans contract this virus through healthcare.

Pets can also contract this strain when they are with owners who are under exposure to the strain.

4. Having salmonella is also risky for pets. Humans contract these from raw eggs or chicken. This is transferable between people and dogs.

Salmonella passes through direct and indirect contact and through fecal-oral transmission. On the bright side, your dog might have more resistance to salmonella than you.

But if your pet has a tendency of drinking from toilets, they are susceptible to this. Make it a point to have your dogs stay away from the toilet. Another option is to give your pets clean water and place it somewhere they frequent.

5. Ringworm is also something you want to avoid having near your dogs. This is a fungal infection and not a parasite. It is also the easiest to transfer from humans to dogs. Symptoms of having ringworm include hair loss, itchy rashes, and having mild illness.

Treatment of ringworm includes the use of topical medication.

6. Flu is one of the most common sicknesses that humans have. Influenza and pneumonia fall into this category. There are studies that show dogs contracting varieties of flu from humans. 

The H1N1 flu virus from humans is liable for influenza and pneumonia in dogs. This virus is on record as dangerous and fatal not only in dogs but also in other animals.

The good side is that other flu strains don’t seem to affect dogs as much. This means that there are low risks of having your pet contract your normal flu.

a brown dog

What Diseases Can Your Dog Not Contract from You?

On the flip side, there are also diseases that you can’t pass to your dog. This is good news to dog parents. Even though nobody wants to be sick, at least it won’t spread.

  1. There are certain parasites that don’t affect dogs. These would be lice which are unable to live on dogs. The process of evolution though makes this tricky. There could still be chances where virus and bacteria adapt to survive through dogs.
  2. Lyme disease can both affect humans and dogs, but they can’t get it from each other. In order for the Lyme disease to start spreading, it should be in a tick.
  3. Colds are also very common in humans, but unlike flu, your pet can’t catch your cold. Colds in humans and dogs are very different from each other. This means that both species can’t contract colds from each other.

If Still in Doubt, Take a Trip to the Vet

When worried about your dog being sick, contact your vet. It’s important that your pet gets the medication he needs before anything gets worse. You should also make sure he eats healthy food and doesn’t go drinking dirty water.

It also helps when you can train your dog and have them exercise to improve their immune systems. Learning these, can dogs get sick from humans? In various situations, they can and can’t. The important thing is that you’re there for their well-being.

About the author

Sarah Andrews

Hi I'm Sarah, dog lover and blogger. I was born into a dog-loving family and have been a proud doggy mommy ever since I can remember. I love sharing my dog knowledge and love being an active part of the dog-loving community.