Can Pets Get The Flu?

Can Pets Get The Flu?

December 7, 2022

With the flu and other dangerous conditions floating about, you might wonder if you can transmit illnesses to and from your pets. These are some serious answers to your valid concerns.

Can Dogs Get the Flu From Humans?

Yes, dogs can certainly get the flu from humans because they can transmit it through the air. Thus, a human can pass a virus to an animal by coughing or sneezing around the pet. The pet can also pick up the virus by having contact with something the human has touched, such as a countertop, utensil, or shared object. 

Can Cats Get the Flu From Humans?

Cats are also susceptible to catching the flu from humans in the same way dogs can catch it. 

Can Humans Get the Flu From Animals?

Humans can get the flu from animals, but the likelihood depends on the strain of the virus the animal has. For example, H3N8 is a canine-specific virus that is highly unlikely to spread to humans. However, dogs can spread this virus to other dogs or catch it from other canine animals. 

Because there are so many different strains of diseases out there today, it’s best to take every precaution available to prevent anything from transmitting. 

Signs of the Flu in Humans

Part of preventing disease transmission is recognizing the signs beforehand. These are some flu signs you might experience:


Generally, anything over 99.3 degrees is a fever. You should assume something is wrong if your thermometer comes out with such a reading. 


You will most likely feel sick to your stomach, and the desire to eat will probably be non-existent as well. 

Muscle Aches

Many people report experiencing muscle aches while they suffer from the flu. You might experience that uncomfortable feeling, too. 

Nasty Taste

A metallic or nasty taste is quite common in individuals with the flu. Therefore, you can suspect a strain of influenza if you experience that taste along with other symptoms. 

Sore Throat

Your throat will most likely be sore during the beginning stages. 

Signs of the Flu in Dogs

Signs of the flu in dogs differ slightly from how they manifest in humans. 


You might notice that your pet seems to be lying around and uninterested in doing anything. That’s a top sign of an illness. 


Your dog may cough or sneeze more than normal. You’ll know that an illness is brewing if that occurs. 

Eye Discharge

You may also notice a nasty discharge in your dog’s eyes, indicating that he or she is fighting off something. 

Loss of Appetite

Your dog may not accept food when you offer it, which might indicate that the pet is nauseated. 

How to Prevent Passing or Getting the Flu

These are some tips for preventing either getting the flu or giving it:

Take Vitamin C

If you’re concerned about flu transmission, you should take at least 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily, boosting your immune system to fight illnesses. 

Get a Flu Shot

Flu shots are available for people and pets. Thus, you may want to consider getting one if you are vulnerable to catching the flu. You might have a slight reaction, but it should be much less severe than an actual bout with the flu. 

Wash Hands and Keep Coughs/Sneezes to Yourself

Wash your hands thoroughly to prevent disease transmission. A good rule of thumb procedure is to wash them in hot water for 20 seconds before drying them. 

Take care of yourself, and you should be able to escape the detriments of the flu. Get the flu shot to decrease the likelihood of getting it. 

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