Got the Flu? Disease Expert Says It’s Safe to Cuddle With Your Dog

Amy Tokic
by Amy Tokic
Nothing makes you feel better when you’re home sick with a cold or the flu than chicken noodle soup and puppy cuddles. Don’t worry – they can’t catch your bug, says an infectious disease expert.

You can’t catch a cold or flu from your dog – and vice versa – so if snuggling with your dog makes you feel better when you’re sick, feel free. William Schaffner, M.D., professor of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, gives his thumbs up on this natural cure, and we couldn’t be happier!

Related: Highly Contagious Dog Flu Strain On the Move

You know how good your dog makes you feel when you’re feeling icky, and as long as your pooch makes you feel better, snuggle away. Pets won’t catch or spread human viruses, but you should still cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze – that’s just common courtesy!

Related: Chicago Pooches Caught Up In “Dog Flu” Epidemic

“The pet is a comfort, not a hazard,” said Schaffner. “You can’t get a cold or the flu from your dog or cat.” Even if you have a friend dropping off a fresh supply of tissues and they pet your dog or cat before wishing you a speedy recovery, it’s still unlikely they’ll catch your virus that way.

The pesky strain of a cold or flu you’re suffering can only be transmitted by humans. That means you can catch them through close personal contact, like breathing in the air near a contaminated person, or by touching a surface that’s come in contact with the bug (like a door knob).

Go back to bed with a hot water bottle and tuck in with your dog. He’ll make you feel better in no time!

[Source: Science Daily]

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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