Can Dogs Get the Swine Flu?

Author: Gabrielle Marks


Yes, dogs can get the swine flu.

More Info: According to the CDC, dogs have contracted the 2009 H1N1 virus.  Data suggests that dogs have contracted the virus through direct contact with a sick person.  There is no evidence that humans have contracted the illness from a dog.  In clinical settings, symptoms of the virus in animals were similar to that in humans and included inactivity and weight loss.  In most cases, the pets fully recovered.

Can Other Pets Get the Swine Flu?

Other animals have contracted the swine flu including dogs, cats, a small number of ferrets, turkeys, and pigs.  There was also a case in 2009 of a cheetah contracting the virus.

How to Protect Your Pets

In order to prevent the spread of swine flu to your pets, take the same precautions you would to prevent the spread of the disease to other humans.  These include:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Washing your hands vigilantly, especially after you cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid contact with your pet five to seven days after your fever subsides. (Below 100 degrees Fahrenheit without medication)

As flu strains change yearly, so do vaccines.  There have been vaccines created for dogs in the past.  Ask your veterinarian if there is an available vaccine for this year's current strain. 


Works Cited

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
H1N1 Flu and You

Humane Society
Can Pets Catch Swine Flu?

Expert Opinion 

Quote: "Veterinarians in White Plains, N.Y., have identified the first known case of pandemic H1N1 influenza in a dog -- a 13-year-old mixed-breed male who is now recovering. "

Source:  Los Angeles Times. December 23, 2009


Quote: "Animals can carry and spread flu viruses, but such cases are rare and people should not be afraid to enjoy their pets."

Source:   Dr. Anne Schuchat, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

purple arrowCite this Article

"Can Dogs Get the Swine Flu?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <>.  

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to treat or diagnose any health problems or illnesses without consulting a physician. It is not meant to take the place of health care or services you may need. Please consult a physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.

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