8 Human Diseases That Can Spread to Dogs, Including Ringworm

8 Human Diseases That Can Spread to Dogs, Including Ringworm

It’s actually pretty rare that you can make your dog sick. But, researchers have shown that dogs can pick up diseases from humans. To reduce this risk, you have to practice good hygiene. If you are sick, you should keep your hands clean, reduce contact with your dogs and use toilet seat covers. Here are several human diseases that can spread to dogs, including ringworm.

8 common diseases that you can spread to your dog

1. Flu

Flu is a common illness caused by the virus Canine influenza. It can attack the respiratory tract of humans and dogs. Flu is highly contagious. You can spread the virus to your dog through the coughs and sneezes. The symptoms will be similar, including sneezing, coughing, and increased body temperature. But, your dog may also have some other symptoms as below:

  • Lethargy
  • Trembling or shivering
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nasal discharge
  • Glassy eyes

In humans, flu is not serious and can be treated with painkillers and home remedies. For example: stay at home, drink plenty of waters, add vitamins and eat if possible. If you think your dog might have a flu, talk to your vet.

Dog with flu

2. Ringworm

Ringworm is a common human diseases that can spread to dogs and vice versa. Despite its name, ringworm is not caused by a worm or parasite, but a fungus. In humans, ringworm can cause lots of itching and irritating symptoms. For example: red, raised, scaly skin patches, itching, burning and tingling. In dogs, ringworm appears as a circular “bald spot” that look red on a dog’s skin. In some cases, the infection leads to broken hairs. And more severely, it spreads all over the body of your dog.

Ringworm can spread from humans to dogs via direct and indirect contact. For example:

  • You come into contact with your dog while you are having ringworm.
  • You use contaminated items for your dogs, such as towels, clothing, and beds.

Ringworm is not dangerous and can be treated with antifungal creams. Fugacil is one of the best treatments for ringworm in both humans and pets. It can help eliminate the fungus and prevent recurrent infections. If you suspect your dog has ringworm, talk to your vet. Besides, avoid close contact to prevent the spread of infections.

Read more: 7 Skin Conditions That Can Be Mistaken for Ringworm

Ringworm in dogs

3. MRSA (staph)

It is possible for dogs to contract MRSA from humans. But, the chances of that happening are quite rare. MRSA is caused by bacteria and includes two different types. These are: HA-MRSA and CA-MRSA. In humans, MRSA can cause a lot of symptoms, such as:

  • Skin infections
  • Swollen, painful bumps on the skin
  • Skin rashes
  • Fever, cough, headache, fatigue
  • Muscle aches
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath

Your dog can pick up the disease by licking your affected skin areas. Then if he licks his own wound, the bacteria can enter his body. The symptoms can be similar in both humans and dogs. If you think your dog has MRSA, seek treatment from your veterinarian.  

MRSA or staph in dogs

4. Mumps

Mumps is a viral disease that can be passed from humans to dogs. In humans, it causes a fever, headache and swelling of the salivary glands. In dogs, the symptoms can be similar to humans, and accompanied by lack of appetite.

Because the illness is viral, antibiotics and other medication do not work. To treat the symptoms, you need to take the few tips below:

  • Avoid acidic foods
  • Eat a soft diet of foods that are easy to chew, such as soup and yogurt
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Apply ice packs to soothe swollen glands
  • Take OTC pain relievers
  • Get a lot of rest

If you are having mumps, avoid contact with your dog.

Read more: Everything You Need to Know about Mumps

Mumps in dogs

5. Giardia

You can get giardia from drinking contaminated water in streams, lakes or wells. The infection can affect humans and pets, and can spread from one to the other. Your dog may get giardia by licking your unclear hands. Symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach upset
  • Excessive gas
  • Loss of appetite

If you have giardia, practice good hygiene, clean the toilet well and wash your hands after using the toilet. Plus, avoid contact with your dog until your condition is completely treated.

Giardia in dogs

6. Salmonella

This is a bacterial infection that attacks the intestinal tract. Salmonella can be transmitted through contaminated water or food. For example: fruits and vegetables that contain salmonella, or undercooked, raw food. In both humans and dogs, the symptoms can be similar, including:

  • Fever and chills
  • Vomiting
  • Low energy
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool

Your dog may get the disease via a fecal-oral route. So if you are having salmonella, avoid eating raw eggs, and wash your hands after using the bathroom. Usually, the infection can clear up on its own. For severe cases, you may need to use antibiotics.

Salmonella in dogs

7. Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is a chronic, bacterial disease that affects both humans and pets. Your dog can contract the disease from an infected dead animal or infected cow’s milk. He may also get it from you via cough or by licking your hands which carry the bacteria. But, the chances of that happening are pretty rare. Symptoms of illness in your dog include:

  • Bite-wound abscesses that fail to heal
  • Lumps
  • Weight loss
  • Coughing

If you suspect your dog has tuberculosis, talk to your vet.

Read more: What You Should Know about Tuberculosis (TB)

Turberculois in dogs

8. Lung cancer

Similar to humans, dogs can also get lung cancer from second-hand smoke. Studies have shown that this kind of pets is more sensitive to smoke than humans. Thus, your dog can be more at risk of lung cancer if he comes into contact with the pollutant. Symptoms include:

  • Lethargy
  • Low energy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Difficult breathing
  • Rapid breathing

So, avoid smoking to protect yourself and your dog from getting lung cancer.

Lung cancer in dogs

There are a lot of human diseases that can spread to dogs easily, including ringworm. To minimize the risk of your dog, it’s vital for you to follow some tips below:

  • Practice good hygiene
  • Take good care of yourself and your dog
  • Wash your hands well after using the bathroom
  • Prevent your dog from drinking the toilet bowl
  • Don’t share your bed with your dog
  • Don’t let your dog lick your face
  • Take your dog to the vet regularly


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