Can Puppies Get Sick from The Cold? Symptoms And Treatments

When it’s cold, we are always worried that our kids will get sick from the cold, and pet parents also worry if their puppies will get sick from the cold.

It’s only natural to worry about our puppies because in a lot of ways, they are our babies.

So, Can puppies get sick from the cold? Puppies can not catch humans’ cold because they have colds of their own such as dog flu, upper respiratory infections, and kennel cough. However, if you have the flu they can catch it from you, even though they’re immune to human viruses.

To learn how can they get the flu and how to protect them from getting sick in winter, keep reading.

Can Puppies Get The Flu?

Sick black labrador puppy to illustrate how can puppies get sick from the cold

They can get canine flu but they can not have the same type of flu as humans, however, the symptoms are similar to flu in humans but they have a different cause.

The Symptoms of Canine flu include:

  • Sneezing 
  • Coughing 
  • Lethargy 
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Runny nose
  • Eye discharge

If your dog is experiencing one or a few of these symptoms, you should take them to the vet because it could lead to pneumonia or even death.     

Can Puppies Sleep Outside in the cold? 

Absolutely not, when they are puppies they have short hair and they can not stay outside for more than 30 minutes in the cold, and they have to stay inside when the temperature drops to seven degrees or lower.

Even if you left them in a temperature higher than seven in the night it will drop and no blankets, sweaters, or anything can replace bringing them inside.

You can learn whether your dog needs a blanket here, and I discuss when to get them a blanket, when not, and even what blankets I get for my own pups.

How Cold is too cold for puppies?

10°F (-12°C) is too cold for any puppy of any breed and they can’t stay in this cold weather outside. Puppi can’t tolerate the cold when they are young (less than two years old) because their coats are not fully mature at this point and they can’t regulate their body temperature as well.

Also, the wind should be taken into account, there is an easier way and it is by buying a thermometer, it will tell you the temperature from a distance in your home, car, doghouse, or anywhere.  

At seven degrees your puppy may be in danger,  and less than seven degrees can threaten your puppy’s life.

Can You get sick from your dog?

You can get sick from your dog as their germs can cause a variety of illnesses, such as skin infections or severe illness.

However, you can protect yourself by washing your hands after playing, feeding, caring, cleaning them up, or grooming the dog.

They can also transmit several viral and bacterial diseases to humans such as zoonotic which will be transmitted to humans by infected saliva, feces, aerosols, direct contact with the dog, and contaminated urine.  

Can Your Dog Get Sick from you? 

They can catch some illnesses, but it does not happen that often.

Human influenza can infect dogs, however, they do not actually become ill.

There are some bacterial infections that dogs can potentially get from people such as

  • Tuberculosis
  • Campylobacteriosis
  • Cold sores
  • Salmonellosis
  • Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus

Diseases Dogs can get from humans

Let’s Break down the diseases dogs can get from humans:


Tuberculosis is a respiratory illness, it is caused by the bacteria mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Symptoms in HumansSymptoms in Dogs
Fever Fever 
Coughing Lethargy 
Weight loss weakness
Night sweats low-grade
Swelling in the neck Emaciation 
Loss of appetite Poor appetite 
Tiredness and fatigue 
Bloody cough

If your dog caught it from you they can easily transmit it to other people and other animals and it will represent a public health risk.

So if your dog has one or a few of the symptoms, you should take them to the vet.


It is a bacteria called campylobacter jejuni that causes this infection in both humans and dogs.

Symptoms in HumansSymptoms in Dogs
Diarrhea (often bloody)Watery to mucoid diarrhea 
Stomach cramps Abdominal cramping 
Vomiting Lethargy 
Fever Fever 

They may have diarrhea for a week or more and it will often relapse suddenly after they appear to be recovered.

Cold sores

They are fluid-filled blisters that appear on or around your lips.

One type of the virus can be transmitted to your dog and it can cause them genital lesions and mild respiratory symptoms in adult dogs, and they can be serious or fatal in puppies.


It is a bacteria that can cause an illness in both humans and dogs.

Symptoms in HumansSymptoms in Dogs
Vomiting Vomiting 
Blood in the stool Decreased activity level 
Abdominal cramps Loss of appetite 
Diarrhea Diarrhea (may be bloody)
Headache Fever 

If your dog showed one or some of these symptoms, you will need to take them to the vet.

Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus

Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus or more known as MRSA can be carried by humans on their skin without any symptoms.

However, serious skin infection can occur if the bacteria enter through a break or a wound in the skin.

Dogs can get it from humans who have that bacteria on their skin, and it can cause infections of the skin, urinary tract, and respiratory tract.   

What to give dogs when they are sick?

Here is what you should give to your dog when they are feeling sick:

  • Chicken is very important when your dog gets sick, so they can eat chicken and rice because these mild foods sit well in their stomachs.
  • Bone broth 
  • Pumpkin 
  • Baby food 
  • Shredded chicken on their meals

How can I treat my sick dog at home?

Avoid giving your sick dog water and food for two hours or until 6-8 hours after their last episode of vomiting.

After this period is over, start to give them small, bland meals such as chicken and rice.

If they are fine the next day they can gradually return to their normal diet.

How do you know if your dog is not feeling well?

Since your dog can’t tell you if they are not feeling well, you will need to watch out for what they are telling you with their body to know if they are not feeling well.

Here are some symptoms that your dog is not feeling well:

  • Fever 
  • Vomiting 
  • Cough 
  • Lethargy
  • Signs of pain such as hurting noises 

You should call the vet if you noticed any of these symptoms.

Look out for

  • Limping 
  • Pacing 
  • Restlessness 
  • Contorting into odd positions.

If your dog is limping, it doesn’t necessarily have to be because they’re sick, though. You can learn all the causes your dog is limping here and I also recommend what to do to help them feel better.

What are the symptoms of a viral infection in dogs?

Here are the symptoms of a viral infection in dogs:

  • Fever 
  • Coughing 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Snotty nose 
  • Vomiting 
  • Paralysis 
  • Seizures 
  • Runny eyes 

They can become infected through virus particles in the air or the respiratory secretions of the infected dogs.

How long do viral infections last in dogs?

Most dogs recover from viral infections within 2 to 3 weeks. But some dogs can develop secondary bacterial infections which can lead to more serious illness and pneumonia. 

If you notice any signs of infection in your dog, you should take them to the vet.

What virus is killing dogs?

Parvo is the most dangerous virus on dogs as 85% of dogs that get infected with parvo and do not receive proper care will die of dehydration within 48-72 hours. Dogs that are hospitalized early after infection have an 80% survival rate.

It causes diarrhea and vomiting that often contains blood and leaves them with a very sour smell. 

Can dogs get stomach viruses?

Gastrointestinal viruses can affect the stomach and intestines of dogs. They are contagious and it can spread from dog to dog contact.

The symptoms:

  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Fatigue 

The symptoms are similar to “stomach flu bugs” that belong to humans.

Can dogs get sick from rain?

Yes, Dogs can get sick from the rain but how sick and what kind of illness they come down with will depends on many factors including the breed, age, and health.

If they are with a thick coat it will keep them warm and will protect from getting soaked.

However, even if they are with a thick coat if they are a puppy their hair will be short and it will not protect them from getting wet, and if the weather is cold they should not be wet even if they have the thickest coat in the world. 

Related Questions 

Can puppies get sick from cold weather?

If the water is too cold then yes, they can. They could develop hypothermia; it is a condition when their body temperature falls below normal, if their temperature continues to fall their muscles will stiffen, their breathing and heart rate will slow and they could potentially die.

How to get rid of a puppy’s cold?

  • Warm fluids ( boil a small piece of chicken and add the broth and wait for it to cool down and add it to their water gradually and help them drink it)
  • Run the shower or the bath till the bathroom is filled with steam then take your dog and sit for up to 15 minutes in the closed room.

Or just take them to the vet.

Can a dog tell if you are sick?

Yes, dogs can tell when their humans are sick as they can smell the changes in our bodies’ chemistry when we get sick. Sometimes, dogs can know you’re sick from these changes before you even know you’re sick and come down with the symptoms.


Can Dogs Get Sick from Humans?


Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting and being part of our vibrant community.

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