Can I get a cold from my pet?


If your pet gets sick, you may be concerned that you or your child could get the same illness. Also, you may be concerned that your pet will contract the disease. Regardless, it depends on what is causing the disease and overall health, but most common diseases that affect humans do not affect pets in the same way, and vice versa.

I can't catch a pet

  • Respiratory infections (colds, flu)

  • Infant cough (except in rare cases)

  • Canine parvovirus

  • Heart worms

Could have been infected by a pet

  • Tick-borne infections

  • Scabies

  • Toxoplasmosis

  • Salmonella

  • Rage

  • Tub

  • MRSA

  • Cat-scratch disease

  • Pasteurella multicoda

  • Staphylococcus aureus

  • Streptococcus pyogenes

What you cannot get from your pet

Viruses that cause illness in animals such as coughs, colds, and flu are different from viruses that cause these illnesses in humans and are not transmitted between humans and animals.

Some diseases that affect pets but do not affect humans include the following.

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Colds and upper respiratory disorders

There are several viruses that can cause upper respiratory tract infections in dogs and cats. None of these are transmitted to humans, but they can be very contagious to other dogs or cats .

Of course, there are hundreds of viruses that cause colds in humans, but you usually can't pass them on to your pets either. Dogs generally do not get cold viruses, but some experts believe that cats rarely get some types of the common cold .

Canine parvovirus

This virus causes, among other symptoms, vomiting and diarrhea in dogs and can be very serious or even fatal.

There is a disease known as parvovirus B19, or a fifth disease that people (usually children) can get sick from, but this is a completely different virus . Symptoms of fifth disease include a rash, a mild fever, and sometimes a cold. as symptoms.

Bordatellosis in dogs (kennel cough)

This chronic and often severe cough can cause serious respiratory complications in your dog and is highly contagious among dogs. This usually does not affect people, but people with respiratory or immune system diseases can become infected .

It is caused by several bacteria and viruses that act sequentially or together.

Heart worms

These are parasitic worms, which are transmitted by the bite of a mosquito, which is the host at one stage of the worm's development. If left untreated, heartworms will be fatal to your dog or cat, but they are not transmitted to humans through pets .

What could you catch from your pet?

There are several serious diseases that you can catch from your pet. Some of these diseases will make your pet sick and some will not. These are known as zoonoses .

Tick-borne infections

Animals are infected with Lyme disease by ticks, just like humans. It is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi , which is transmitted by tick bites.

You won't get Lyme disease just because your pet has it, but the same tick that infected your pet can infect you too.

Dog ticks can also transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever , which is a very serious disease in humans and is caused by the bacterium Rickettsia parkeri .

If you have pets, you should check them daily for ticks, and check yourself and your children if you have been outdoors, especially in or around a forest area.

Scabies or scabies

These conditions are caused by ticks. Well-fed and well-cared for cats rarely get mange or mange, but they are much more common in dogs.

"Red scabies" is not a concern in humans, but scabies, also known as scabies, is highly contagious in humans . Symptoms include severe itching, skin irritation, and hair loss in both dogs and humans. It should be treated as soon as possible to prevent secondary infections .


Toxoplasmosis is caused by a parasite and is found in almost all warm-blooded animals. Cats are ideal hosts for the most serious parasites.

In fact, it is only a threat to pregnant women (because it can cause serious harm to the fetus) and people with weakened immune systems . Up to a third of adults are infected with this disease and are immune to it. It does not pose a serious threat to healthy people who are not pregnant.

Those at risk of complications from toxoplasmosis should avoid changing kitty litter, avoid raw or undercooked meat, and wash hands and utensils thoroughly after handling raw meat .


Salmonella is a bacterium that does not usually cause disease in animals, but can be found in the feces of some pets, especially those with diarrhea. It is also commonly found in reptiles that are kept as pets.

Reptiles, including turtles, should not be kept as pets in families with children under the age of 5 because this age group is more susceptible to complications from Salmonella infection and is more likely to put things in their mouths.

Pasteurella multocida

Pasteurella multocida is a bacterial infection that can be caused by bites or scratches from dogs and cats (most commonly cats). This is rare, but generally causes cellulite at the injury site.


Rabies caused by the virus is the most serious and serious infection that can be transmitted from animals to humans. This incurable and fatal viral disease has been found throughout the world. However, rabies is extremely rare in the United States of America, with only 47 cases between 1990 and 2005. From 2008 to 2019, only nine cases were reported and all were related to infection during international travel .

It is extremely important to vaccinate your pets against rabies. If you or your pet are bitten by another animal, seek immediate medical attention. You should also try to find out the immunization status of the other animal if it is someone else's pet, or catch the animal if it is wild (and you can do so without being bitten again) so that it can be tested.


It is a fungal infection of the skin caused by Microsporum species. Ringworm can be transmitted from pets to humans and from person to pets by contact .

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

These antibiotic resistant bacteria can feed on cats and dogs and spread to humans, and vice versa. As with humans, a pet can be colonized by bacteria and show no symptoms or problems, or they can cause an infection.

Cat-scratch disease

This infection is caused by the bacteria Bartonella henselae and is transmitted through scratches from cats (especially kittens). In humans , cat scratch disease is usually a mild infection that causes a swollen lymph node or lump, but it can affect the eyes and be more serious .

Cat scratches can also transmit a fungal infection called sporotrichosis.

What can your pet catch?

As mentioned above, you can pass ringworm or MRSA to your pet, just as they can pass it to you. There are a few more human diseases that you can pass on to your pet.

Little pig

This viral disease can be transmitted to your dog, but it is extremely rare. Previously , it was a common childhood illness and now it is preventing mumps in people who received the MMR vaccine. This can be a problem in communities where vaccination rates are low.

Diarrheal diseases

Your pets can become infected with diseases transmitted by human or animal feces in water or on surfaces. These include the Campylobacter and Salmonella bacteria, as well as the Giardia parasites .

As with humans, they can cause diarrhea in cats and dogs, or have no symptoms. Studies have also shown that dogs can become infected with norovirus (the cause of human stomach flu) in homes where their human companions have contracted norovirus and the dog may have symptoms .

If you have a diarrheal illness, practice good hygiene, wash your hands after using the bathroom, and possibly keep pets away from the bathroom until the illness has passed.


Dogs are susceptible to the human form of the tuberculosis bacteria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis . They may have respiratory or digestive symptoms.

Cats generally do not get the human form of TB, but they can be infected in the same way as cattle.

Get the word of drug information

Pets make great companions, but keeping them healthy is important. Make sure they have fresh photos and are well cared for. This will keep them and their family healthy. If you are concerned that a minor virus, such as the common cold, will spread between your family and your pet, don't worry. But if you are concerned that your pet may have something more serious that could be passed on, contact your veterinarian and your doctor.

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