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Can Dogs and Humans Make Each Other Sick?

You might have joked about your dog catching a cold from you, but it turns out, some diseases can actually be passed from human to dog and dog to human. While these cases are rare, it's still something to watch out for! Here are some diseases that can pass between you and your furry best friend. 


Yep, you can give your dog mumps! While mumps can be prevented by getting vaccinations, it can infect those who aren't vaccinated, and typically affects children. Mumps can cause swelling in the salivary glands, headache, fever, and muscle pain. These symptoms can get more serious and, though rare, can travel to a dog. Your dog will experience the same symptoms and usually will recover in five to ten days. 


Ringworm is an infection that can affect both humans and dogs. It's not actually a worm, but a fungus, that presents itself as rounds spots on the skin. In your dog, it can cause rough patches of fur or hair loss. It can be transmitted from human to dog and dog to human, so be cautious to address ringworm when it's caught and to take sanitary measures to prevent it from spreading. 


While salmonella is typically thought of as a food-borne illness, it's also a disease that can be passed through contact, from both human to dog, and dog to human. Both dogs and humans can suffer from nausea, vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, fever, and headaches. To stay safe and healthy, be sure to properly wash hands and minimize contact with others when you have salmonella. 


This is a waterborne disease that affects dogs, cats, and other animals. It causes diarrhea and critical weight loss in dogs. While a human typically won't get Giardia from drinking water, they can get it from contact with an infected dog's feces, and this can also be passed to another dog through contact. 

Roundworms & Hookworms

Unfortunately, if your dog has worms, you pose a risk of getting infected as well. Roundworms can affect your dog's intestines and can cause serious damage if not treated. Contact with an infected dog's feces or contact with the soil surrounding a dog's feces can cause an infection in humans, as well, which can cause problems in the eyes, lung, heart, and brain. 

Hookworms are more serious than roundworms, even if caught at an early stage. Hookworms survive off of blood and therefore cause your dog internal bleeding. These worms can either infect your dog by being ingested or by burrowing into their skin. If your dog is infected, you run the risk of becoming infected if you are in contact with their feces or the soil surrounding it. 

While you share a lot with your dog, you shouldn't have to share an illness! Keep your dog up to date on vet visits and always keep an eye on them to be sure that you're both happy and healthy.


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Jenna Gomes

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Jenna Gomes