The immune system is weakened, especially in cold, wet winter weather, snow or drizzle – not only in humans, but also dogs can quickly catch an unpleasant cold. The symptoms are also similar; this is how a cold manifests itself in a dog
- Discharge from the nose
- Light fever
In addition, dogs with a cold often appear tired, exhausted, and listless. Some dogs lose their appetite and eat less than usual. Some dogs rub their noses on objects or wipe their muzzle with their paws. If you observe such symptoms in your dog, it is likely that he has caught a cold.
WHAT TO DO IF THE DOG HAS A COLD
With mild cold symptoms, your dog primarily needs rest and a warm place to sleep where he can recover. This can take a few days. It is advisable not to let the dog swim or bathe during this time. After a walk in the rain or snow, you should dry your cold four-legged friend thoroughly and not leave it lying on cold floors.
With a cold, it is important that the dog consumes enough fluids. It has proven and it’s useful to soak dry food with water if the dog is not drinking enough on its own. If he looks very battered and limp and has a strong cough or slimy nasal discharge, you should consult the vet on the safe side. This also applies if the dog’s body temperature rises above 39 degrees Celsius (102.2 Fahrenheit) or if he no longer wants to eat or drink.
Sometimes it makes sense for the vet to prescribe antibiotics or other medication to help the dog get back on its feet. This will also prevent the common cold from developing into bronchitis.
It is quite possible that there are more than one symptoms behind the cold: A cough or runny nose also accompanies serious dog diseases such as distemper in dogs. If there is a mixed infection from bacteria and viruses, one speaks of kennel cough. This is another reason why it makes sense to consult the vet in case of doubt so that he or she can initiate therapy in good time.
PREVENTING COLDS IN DOGS
It is very unlikely that a dog will become infected with its owner or vice versa, but this can happen with a cold – in contrast to the flu, which is only contagious to humans. In any case, the common cold can spread from one dog to another. Therefore, the sick dog should not play with other dogs if possible and should not take part in exhibitions or be brought to the dog school for the time being.
To prevent colds, the dog must generally have a healthy immune system. Regular walks in nature and a balanced diet with all the necessary vital substances help him build up a strong defense and defy viruses even in rainy weather. Nevertheless, it is advisable always to dry the dog well when it is wet and to offer it a warm, draft-free place to sleep.