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Sneezing, coughing, runny nose: the cold and flue season hits dogs too

FOUR PAWS offers tips for a quick recovery 


The symptoms of colds in dogs are mostly sneezing, a runny nose, streaming eyes, frequent nose-licking, and also tiredness. Animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS advises that at the first signs of a cold, dogs should only be taken on shorter walks. If your dog gets wet, thoroughly rub it dry, and give it peace and quiet. If it also starts to suffer from coughing, wheezing, choking, pus in the eyes or fever, then it should be seen by a vet.


“When a dog starts to fall ill, it’s vital to keep it warm. Make sure it’s nice and snug at home”, counsels Irina Fronescu from FOUR PAWS. If you want to invest more time looking after your dog, inhaling can relieve cold symptoms in four-legged patients, too. The fluid used should be very warm, but never boiling. Essential oils should be avoided, as they may be poisonous. As with inhalation treatment for humans, salt or various types of tea may also be added to the water.


“Dog owners should try to prevent their dogs catching colds in the first place”, says Fronescu. “In the colds and flu season, dogs need more vitamins and fatty acids in their food. To strengthen the immune system in general, supplements such as echinacea, vitamin C and aloe vera can also be added to food.” To improve breathing, humidifiers can be useful. However, air fresheners, sprays and incense sticks should definitely be avoided.