Colds in Dogs - What To Do When Your Dog Has a Cold? - AniForte UK

Colds in Dogs - What To Do When Your Dog Has a Cold?

The colder seasons bring one wave of colds after another. They don't just affect humans, but can also be present in our pets. Does your dog have a cold or cough and you don't know what to do? Read our article to find out how a cold manifests itself in dogs and how you can treat the infection naturally!

Is your dog coughing and sniffling? 

Recognising a cold in dogs

Infections of the upper respiratory tract occur in dogs just as they do in humans. Kennel cough in dogs is one of the best-known bacterial diseases in dogs. But our pets can also become infected with a dog cold, a common cold or even canine influenza. In contrast to kennel cough, which is caused by a combination of viruses and bacteria, flu-like infections are only triggered by viruses.

However, not every sneeze is a direct sign that your dog has a cold. The typical symptoms when your dog has a cold are similar to those in humans:

Symptoms of a cold in dogs

  • Coughing
  • Watery eyes
  • Nasal discharge
  • Possibly increased temperature/fever
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Loss of appetite and tiredness

These symptoms do not all have to occur at the same time; they can also be isolated signs of a cold or canine flu.

What to do if your dog has a cold? Correct treatment and care

If you suspect that your dog has a cold or even a flu-like infection, you should first take their temperature and clarify whether your dog has a fever. But remember that the normal temperature for dogs is between 37.5 and 39 degrees. If your dog has a fever, you should definitely call the vet and introduce him to your pet.

Otherwise, make sure you take it easy on your dog and give him plenty of rest. Walks in the fresh air are beneficial for recovery, but don't overdo it. It's better to keep walks a little shorter and avoid long jogs until your four-legged friend is completely healthy. Otherwise, overexertion can have a detrimental effect on the dog's cold and your dog will take longer to recover. In addition, always make sure that he drinks enough fluids, especially if the dog is coughing or is very lazy to drink. You can give him home-brewed sage or peppermint tea to drink; sweetened with honey, the tea has a strong antibacterial effect. Sage, on the other hand, loosens mucus in the airways and has a gentle effect on the dog's irritated throat. Peppermint is also known for its effect on the respiratory tract and also relaxes the gastrointestinal tract.

Other natural remedies such as rockrose, propolis for dogs or colostrum  strenghen your dog's defences and can also be given all year round as a preventative measure against colds. While propolis, the popular natural bee product, is regarded as nature's antibiotic and counteracts immunodeficiency in dogs, rockrose powder promotes natural metabolic processes and is a tried and tested remedy from natural medicine.

Colostrum, on the other hand, is obtained from the surplus first milk of suckling cows and contains the all-important immunoglobulin G (antibodies), which also strengthen the immune system of newborns.

You can also support your pet's health with a light diet. Fresh chicken broth with chicken, boiled potatoes and carrots work wonders, and not just for us humans. However, avoid spices, as these can irritate the stomach lining.

Prevent colds and dog sniffles naturally

To prevent your dog from catching a cold, you should always rub him dry after a walk in the rain or snow and ideally, if they allow it, blow dry him with a hairdryer on a low setting. It is best to bathe your dog as rarely as necessary during the cold season. After all, even dogs can quickly catch a cold.

Also try to prevent your friend from jumping into the cool water in winter. Your dog can easily get hypothermia and the change between warm indoor and cold outdoor air is an additional challenge for the dog's immune system. Another source of danger that promotes colds in dogs and is practised by many dog owners without realising: The dog bed is placed directly next to a constantly running heater. This heats up your dog and dries out his mucous membranes. This means that the pathogens have fewer obstacles and enter the dog's organism more easily and quickly. The result: the dog coughs and catches a cold. You should therefore not place your pet's bed directly next to the heating and also avoid draughts.

To strengthen your dog's immune system and prevent colds, we recommend supplementing your pet's diet with important food supplements. Rosehip powder , spirulina or barley grass are rarely found in conventional dog food, but can have a huge impact on your dog's health and defences. They contain important vitamins, minerals and trace elements that are usually only available in synthetic form in conventional dog food. 

However, we now know that vitamins from fruit and vegetables have a significantly higher bioavailability and the body can process them better. Furthermore, natural food supplements are generally free of side effects, unlike many synthetic preparations.

Risk groups in dogs for a cold

There are also groups of dogs that are more susceptible to catching a cold. These include senior dogs, chronically ill dogs, dogs with pre-existing conditions, puppies and, of course, dogs with a weak immune system.

While the immune system of older dogs is running on low heat and many other metabolic processes in the body are slowed down, the defences of young dogs, especially puppies, first have to be built up. As a result, these two groups are much more susceptible to infection with viruses or bacteria.

But special attention should also be paid to chronically ill dogs, dogs with pre-existing conditions or immunocompromised dogs. Their immune system is under constant attack and is unable to fight viruses and bacteria on its own.

These risk groups are also very susceptible to parasites such as worms, mites and giardia and need an additional boost to their defences.


A cold in dogs is not as rare as you might think. After all, our dogs immune systems are also regularly plagued by viruses and bacteria. With a weak immune system, these pathogens usually have an easy time and can also trigger cold symptoms in our pets. You should boost your dog's defences before it has a cough or a cold. After all, they are the best way to avoid getting sick in the first place. Dogs' defences can be naturally strengthened in the same way as humans: With food supplements that add an extra portion of vitamins and minerals to the daily menu, regular walks, even on cold and rainy days, and the appropriate preventative care. After all, dogs can also naturally prevent colds.

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