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Can Dogs Get Sick From Humans

Can dogs get sick from humans? The most obvious concern for most dog owners is that of the common cold or flu. Can a dog catch such an illness from us humans?

We actually look at this question in more detail in our article, can dogs get the flu. However, a short answer to that question is that very rarely will a dog catch a cold from a human. There are some strains of flu that can be passed from us to our dogs though.

Can dogs get sick from humans – Other illnesses?

What about other illnesses? Can dogs get sick from other human ailments? Can we transfer harmful bacteria to our dogs?

This question is actually relevant if you often like to kiss your dog. Many of us allow it happen, our dog licks our faces, or we hug and kiss his sweet fluffy face too.

A recent report and advice from Dr. Scott Hamann of the Yorkshire Veterinary Hospital, states that different species, (ie human, dog, cat or giraffe) carry their own types of bacteria, and will have different bacteria living in their mouths.

This means that when you get up close to your dog, and hugging kissing, (with the inevitable transfer of a little slobber), you will not pass on your potential sickness to dogs. We do not get sick from them, and our dogs do not get sick from us.

Good news for Owners that like to hug and kiss their dogs.

dog and human kissing

Can dogs get sick from humans – Stomach Bugs or Gastronomical Issues

If you have a stomach bug or illness, can your dog get it too? Well as we have covered, it is highly unlikely to be transferred through bacteria from human to dog. However, if you have eaten something containing harmful bacteria, in some instances if you have given your dog the infected food, they too will become ill from it.

One way such ailments may be transmitted to your dog is actually through your feces. Although this is highly unlikely to happen, if you have leptospirosis or salmonella, your dog could become infected from you if they are able to get at your toilet. Your feces and urine can carry these bacteria.

MRSA (methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) can also be transmitted from dog to human via excretion.

Serious Conditions

Some owners are concerned that more serious conditions can be passed from human to dog. Just to put those minds at ease who actually believe that dogs can catch aids, or cancer from humans – it just isn’t at all possible. We are completely different species after all. Although dogs can have cancer, it is not even contagious between us humans, let alone human to dog. Any worries of this type are completely unfounded.

Bottom line

In rare occasions the right type of air borne strains of flu can be transferred between human and dog, but these are extremely rare. Likewise in some conditions, harmful bacteria can be transmitted.

However, in general you have nothing to worry about if you are ill. Your dog will not become sick with the same illness as you.