Do Dogs Get Sick Like Humans?

Yes, dogs can get sick like humans. The common symptoms are sneezing, runny nose, cough, fatigue, loss of appetite, and even weight loss etc. However, dogs cannot have the common human cold virus, but they can have their own versions of colds, such as dog flu, kennel cough, etc.

Why Can’t Dogs Get Sick from Humans?

The viruses that make humans sick, like the common cold or flu, are species-specific. They are unable to travel through different species. So, dogs rarely get sick from humans. However, research suggests that dogs can catch human flu viruses like – SARS-COV-2. Still, often, they don’t get sick due to these infections. 

Do Dogs Get Sick like Humans?
Why Do Dogs Rarely Get Sick?

Why Don’t Dogs Get Sick?

Dogs rarely get sick, which is a common misconception. They get ill, but we mostly fail to recognize it. They can host several dangerous diseases like – Distemper, Rabies, and Cancer. However, it’s true that the frequency of dogs getting sick is lesser than that of humans.

The reason that dogs rarely get sick is in their saliva. Dog saliva contains higher pH and many helpful bacteria. All these substances help them to knock back the bacteria that can make them sick. Also, they have a sturdy selection against diseases. It helps them to survive in the wild.

The Benefits of Pet Saliva

Pet saliva has many beneficial elements, like antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Dog saliva has several benefits – 

  • The presence of histatins (specific proteins ) in dogs’ saliva protects them from infections.
  • They use their saliva to clean the wounds and cuts on their body. 

There are several myths about dog saliva. People believe it has healing properties that are scientifically not proven. 

A Sick dog
A Sick dog

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Why Do Dogs Lick the Floor When Sick?

Dogs licking the floor is a sign that their stomach is upset. Certain tongue and mouth movements while licking increase saliva production. This fights against the acid in their stomach. Sometimes, while feeling nauseous, they lick floors. Another probable reason is separation anxiety, which is very common in dogs. 

Lick Guard for Dogs

Dogs’ natural tendency to lick their injured parts can get harmful sometimes. There are several products available in the market that discourage them from licking. Products like – Lick guard ointments and protective dog collars are popular. Lick sleeves are also beneficial, covering areas like legs, ankles, or hips. 

Why Don’t Dogs Get the Common Cold?

Dogs can’t catch a common cold, which is a misconception. They do get cold, but it’s different from a human cold. The chances that a dog will contract a cold from a human are meager. The bacteria causing the common cold are different for humans and dogs. Bordetella and bronchiseptica are responsible for cold among dogs. Rhinoviruses are commonly responsible for the human cold. 

Can Dogs Get Aids?

Fortunately, dogs can not get infected by AIDS. HIV is a dainty virus that can not stay in a dog’s mouth. So, it’s unable to develop any infection. 

Although ehrlichiosis is the dog version of AIDS, it can infect dogs through biting or blood transmission from an infected dog. 


The moral of the story is that dogs do get sick. We tend to go unnoticed because they are unable to complain. Street and wild dogs often die from wounds or cuts that turn poisonous. Diseases like cancer and distemper take their lives. Dogs rarely get sick because they can cure easy illnesses on their own. Like they eat grass to vomit if feeling nauseous.

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