Can Dogs and Cats Get Colds From Us?

Dogs and cats can get colds, with the same miserable symptoms (sneezing, coughing, watery eyes) we get, but they don’t catch them from us. Most viruses are unique to a species; whereas our common cold is caused primarily by the rhinovirus, most dog colds come from Bordetella bacteria or canine flu viruses, and most cat colds are due to feline herpes, caliciviruses, or Bordetella bacteria. Nonetheless, recently researchers have expressed concern about “reverse zoonosis,” in which humans pass diseases to animals through mutations and new viral forms. So if you are under the weather, rather than snuggling up with Fluffy, keep your distance – for her safety.

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