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Can You Catch The Flu From Your Dog? — The Grow Network Community
Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

-Jack Canfield

Can You Catch The Flu From Your Dog?

greyfurballgreyfurball Southeastern PennsylvaniaPosts: 555 ✭✭✭✭

I must have been sticking my head in the sand my whole life because I never even understood this was supposed to be some kind of problem which people actually worried about.

But since a well-known veterinarian actually took the time to write an article about this misconception I guess it is some kind of hot topic.

So here was his answer

__________________________________

"We’re heading into the thick of cold and flu season. And just like clockwork, I’m hearing a rumor that seems to circulate every year: You shouldn’t pet dogs during flu season.

That might sound strange, but these people have a specific reason:

According to them, dog fur can carry germs....

...so if you pet a dog that’s already been touched by a sick person, you could pick up their illness.

Now I’ll admit, I can understand where they’re coming from — after all, you probably wouldn’t want to touch a germ-covered doorknob or keyboard, right?

But is this really something you have to worry about with dogs? I’m happy to tell you... No!

A dog is not a doorknob.

In fact, an expert at Vanderbilt University recently looked at this exact issue, and found that it’s very unlikely that you could get sick from petting a dog — even if you touched it right after a sick person.

That’s because contagious germs prefer moist, warm environments.

So unless someone sneezes on your dog right after a bath… Germs really aren’t interested in living on them.

Which means if you’re worried about getting a cold or the flu, there’s really only one animal you should worry about touching...

Other humans. (In fact, just standing within 3 feet of a person who has the flu can expose you to airborne germs.)

Now the best news about all this is, not only can you pet friendly dogs without fear of picking up a cold... If you’re home sick, you’re welcome to do all the cuddling you want — and you don’t have to worry about your dog spreading germs to anyone else.

(And just to put you at ease: your dog can’t get sick from human germs either.)

Rest assured — when it comes to sickness, our beloved pets are a comfort, not a risk.

To happy and healthy dog years ahead."

Dr. Gary Richter MS, DVM

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Anyone else have an experience with this among your friends or family?

Comments

  • Mary Linda BittleMary Linda Bittle Posts: 615 ✭✭✭✭

    Colds and flu? Nope. With pets, I've been a little worried about parasites, but that is something that can be controlled. Here's the CDC page on zoonotic diseases- those that can be transmitted to people from animals. It can work the other way, too. Good info here, but a healthy, well cared-for pet doesn't scare me.


  • Scott SextonScott Sexton Posts: 36 ✭✭✭

    That's a good post. I suppose it's technically possible to catch a cold or flu bug off of your dog's fur. But it doesn't seem any likelier than catching it off of anything else. And if your dog goes outside, then it gets exposed to a germ-hostile environment with ultraviolet light from the sun.

    Unless your dog was just sneezed on, I'd be more worried about touching your mail than your dog.

  • Scott SextonScott Sexton Posts: 36 ✭✭✭

    That's a good post. I suppose it's technically possible to catch a cold or flu bug off of your dog's fur. But it doesn't seem any likelier than catching it off of anything else. And if your dog goes outside, then it gets exposed to a germ-hostile environment with ultraviolet light from the sun.

    Unless your dog was just sneezed on, I'd be more worried about touching your mail than your dog.

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