Does the dog catch a cold?
Dogs, like people, can get constipated. Apathy, loss of appetite, and even sneezing and eyes that are too wet are signs that help us recognize a dog with a cold. But, how to take care of an animal with a cold at home? Providing the water and heat it needs, as well as keeping it away from drafts or learning how to feed the constipated dog are some keys.
The dog also gets a cold. The dog, like people, is a victim of evil viruses. These tiny microorganisms, although harmful, affect the immune system of our animal and cause damage to its respiratory tract, which explains why it is weak and without energy.
The cold of the dog, as it occurs in humans, is aggravated when certain bacteria enter the body of the dog, which take advantage of the fact that its defenses have been lowered. In it they reproduce and worsen our dog’s cold.
How to recognize a dog with a cold?
Coughing, sneezing and excessive secretions from the nose (mucus) are warning signs that the dog has a cold. An animal that stops playing can give the first warning that it has contracted a cold. “The apathy of the dog, who is tired and less willing to have fun, is a frequent symptom that he has caught a cold,” says veterinarian Franck Savary.
The lack of appetite is also common in the animal with a cold. Viruses and bacteria attack its respiratory tract, pharynx and throat, causing the dog to feel irritated and suffer discomfort when ingesting food. Moist eyes and mucus discharge from its nose – even bloody – are other common characteristics that, as in humans, distinguish a dog with a cold.
In any case, a cold dog often has a fever. “Fever is the body’s way of reacting to a pathology”, explains the canine specialist. The normal temperature of a dog is somewhat higher than that of people, “since it ranges between 38ºC and 39ºC,” says Savary. However, when the thermometer exceeds 39.2ºC, the animal is considered to have a fever, so it will require care.
If this happens in summer, the embarrassment can mislead us. “The dog cools itself worse than us, through its mouth and its pads, so if the external heat is too high, it is normal for the dog to experience a rise in temperature”, warns the veterinarian.
Caring for an animal with a cold at home
Coughs, poor appetite and mucus are good reasons to visit the vet. The canine doctor will indicate the anti-inflammatory and antibiotic, if necessary, more suitable for the dog. We must never self-medicate the dog with human drugs. It is a very dangerous practice, since they can be toxic for our friend, and even cause irreversible ailments in some organs as sensitive as his liver.
In any case, protecting the dog from the cold is another of the keys so that our furry friend recovers from his cold soon. Canine winter clothing can be a good idea to insulate the dog from low temperatures and humidity. These garments can be especially useful for smaller dog breeds, as they are less able to retain their body temperature.
It is also important to keep the constipated animal away from drafts. “A dog with a cold should always sleep indoors, under cover and on an appropriate bed for him, with blankets that protect him from the cold,” warns the veterinarian.
Heated humidifiers can also help the dog to keep its airways hydrated, thereby reducing irritation in the area. If you do not have one of these steam extractors at home, a trick is to introduce the dog in the bathroom and let the hot water stream in the bath run for about ten minutes. The dog must remain dry, on the floor of the room and on a towel. The hot water will generate steam, which will help our friend to regain his normal humidity.
A dog with a cold, in any case, must have plenty of fresh water, since during the cold he loses more fluids than usual: frequent mucus is an escape route for constant moisture.