Could my pet catch my cold? © iStock

Could my pet catch my cold?

A poorly pooch might share the same symptoms as you do, but not all illnesses can infect another species.

Asked by: Debbie Rees, Leicester


The viruses that cause ordinary colds are all quite species-specific. Dogs can’t catch human colds (or vice versa), but they do have their own version, called canine infectious tracheobronchitis or kennel cough. The influenza virus is much more adaptable though. Bird, pig, horse, dog and human flu have all been shown to jump the species barrier. And bacterial diseases are even more contagious. Cats and dogs can both catch tuberculosis from humans, for example.


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