Can dogs catch the human flu virus?

Last Sunday I went to dinner with my daddies at a friend’s house. All seemed to be going fine. I didn’t get to eat any of the good food at the table. Just my usual dog food. But I did get to meet lots of new people and it was fun.

Until daddy Charlie got suddenly ill. He struggled to reach the bathroom and somehow collapsed in the hallway. Turns out he caught a bad case of the stomach flu. At least that was his diagnosis. It could have been bad food but no one else got sick.

So the important question is, can a dog catch the flu from his human friends and family. A little online research shows that no, dogs can’t catch the human influenza virus. This is specifically adapted to attack human bodies with no known cases of it being passed to a dog.

But beware. There is a relatively new strain of the influenza virus that infects dogs. This canine influenza is thought to be a mutation of the human virus. It is airborne, so watch out for those dog parks. Dog flu symptoms are similar to Bordetella or Kennel Cough. Look for coughing, fever and nasal discharge. I’d see your vet if your dog catches this. Better safe than sorry, even though I really hate visiting the vet.

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