Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.

Can My Dog Give Me the Flu?

Tuesday, 12 Nov 2013 10:58 AM

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Question: A friend of mine says that people can catch some strains of flu from their dogs. Is this true?
 
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
The influenza strains that affect us are generally species specific, but bird flu and swine flu have managed to jump from those animals to humans.
 
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Even so, canine influenza is typically not transmissible to us. But we do seem to be able to transmit our flu to dogs on occasion, and cats may also carry influenza viruses without getting noticeably sick.

While it would be wise to keep Fido from being exposed to people with the flu, I would not count your dog as a likely, significant source of influenza virus for you.
 

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Dr. Hibberd's advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital work in emergency medicine and surgery.
 
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