Dog resting at home possibly unwell Dog resting at home possibly unwell

Can Dogs Catch Stomach Viruses from Humans?

Can dogs catch stomach viruses from humans? It might sound surprising but the truth is that dogs can catch viruses from humans.

Although the symptoms of various diseases in dogs can also be due to other reasons like food allergies or reactions to some medicines.

So, you can not safely conclude that human contact is the causal agent and you should visit a veterinarian for a better understanding.

Now let us understand how dogs get diseases from humans.

1. Norovirus in Humans and Dogs

Initially, it was believed that the type of Norovirus that affects humans is not the same as dogs, as this form can not be transmitted.

However, after many studies, it actually showed otherwise.

Studies were conducted in Finland and Thailand which showed conclusive results.

Can Dogs Catch Stomach Viruses from Humans?
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In one case dogs were kept in homes with people who were infected with Norovirus, and in the second case, a pregnant dog was exposed to a household with infected humans.

Turned out that in both cases the Norovirus had been transmitted to the dogs, although not a 100% transmission.

Norovirus basically spreads through oral contact with the virus particles, so if you’re consuming contaminated food or drinks that have the virus, or unknowingly touching surfaces that are contaminated and placing your hand in your mouth.

2. Can People Get Sick from Dogs?

Illnesses that can pass between humans and animals are called zoonotic diseases and these can spread from pet animals like cats and dogs but also from wild animals or farm animals.

Household pets can be responsible for infecting humans with stomach bugs, diarrhea, minor skin infections, bacterial infections, and sometimes serious health issues.

This is because of the close contact that pet owners maintain with their pets. Norovirus is among the top that can transmit across the species.

Humans can get illnesses from dogs in the following ways –

Can Dogs Catch Stomach Viruses from Humans?
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  • Contaminated food, treats, water bowls, or other surfaces.
  • Your eyes or mouth come in contact with your dog’s poop.
  • If the dog’s tongue is carrying some infection and it licks you.
  • If your dog and you share the same bed.
  • If your dog bites or scratches you, such that it breaks the skin.

3. How do I Know if my Dog has a Stomach Virus?

  • If your dog is experiencing intermittent periods of vomiting and diarrhea, or very frequent diarrhea.
  • If your dog starts gagging heavily after water or food consumption.
Can Dogs Catch Stomach Viruses from Humans?
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  • If its activity reduces, it feels fatigued and has a reduced appetite.
  • Your dog may be experiencing low-grade fever, bloating, and some abdominal tenderness.

4. How do I Treat It?

If your dog is experiencing symptoms of a stomach virus, do not try to be the doctor yourself instead visit the veterinarian; the primary treatment will be rehydration and restoration of the lost electrolytes from the body and other support treatments like –

  • Oral, intravenous, or subcutaneous fluid administration and if the causal agent is a bacterial infection, antibiotics come to the rescue.
  • After the intestinal obstruction has been cleared, they are given drugs to ease the intestinal activity.
Can Dogs Catch Stomach Viruses from Humans?
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  • Food and water are also withheld during initial treatment processing, and then slowly reintroduced into the diet when the body stabilizes.
  • Bland food and lesser portions are suggested so that digestion is easy and quick.

5. How to Prevent Zoonotic Disease Infection from Your Dog?

You can reduce the risk of getting infected with zoonotic diseases from your dog by following some easy measures of good hygiene and cleanliness.

5.1. Clean the Dog Waste

Once your dog has pooped make sure you clear after it in a reasonable time.

Dispose of it in a sealed bag, make sure you are not coming in too much contact and your clothes or hands are not getting directly exposed.

Can Dogs Catch Stomach Viruses from Humans?
Image by Andrzej Rembowski from Pixabay

5.2. Wash Hands Regularly

Always wash your hands with soap and warm water after handling your dog’s food, water, and excreta.

Even the dog’s toys or other things where his saliva might have reached.

5.3. Doggo Kisses

Don’t let your dog kiss you on your face specifically near your mouth, eyes, and nose.

However, if the dog becomes insistent and comes into close contact then wash yourself very nicely and disinfect yourself.

Can Dogs Catch Stomach Viruses from Humans?
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5.4. Vaccination

Make sure that all the necessary vaccinations are actively applied to both you and your dog.

For the dog especially take care of the following – rabies, kennel cough, canine parvovirus, and distemper.

5.5. Visit the Vet

Visit your pet’s veterinarian regularly.

Regular checkups will keep you updated on your dog’s health and diseases if any, both chronic and infectious.

It will also prevent you from catching it with timely treatment.

Can Dogs Catch Stomach Viruses from Humans?
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5.6. Scratches and Bites

Before you pet any dog other than your own, make sure they’re not scared or angry. Try not to approach unfamiliar dogs a lot.

Dogs on the streets and parks can be stray with no vaccination or are already infected.

If in case you get a scratch or a bite; wash that area and immediately disinfect it and seek medical help if you see any more symptoms.

6. Is the Virus the Same in Dogs, Humans, and Other Pets?

As we have seen above Norovirus can be transmitted between humans and dogs, cats are not really susceptible to these.

Other viruses like rotavirus however are transferable between species.

One big difference however is that when a dog or a cat gets an infection they can get blood in the feces.

Can Dogs Catch Stomach Viruses from Humans?
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However, if you find blood in human feces it is a lot more difficult and a serious situation that requires immediate attention and medical help.

The symptoms of the stomach flu in humans/animals are very similar, and some of them are vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, appetite loss, dehydration, abdominal pain, and fever.

7. Final Thoughts

It can be safely said that dogs can increase your risk of catching some diseases that are related to ticks, as they carry them on their bodies and we come in contact with our dogs all the time.

It is therefore advised that we maintain appropriate hygiene practices for better safety.

Last Updated on June 19, 2023 by suchi


Anushree Khandelwal
  1. Your work really inspires me. You have given a very chief information.
    Most of the people does not pay attention on the infection spread by pets.
    As most of the people have dog as their pet so they should maintain their hygiene to avoid the diseases.

  2. This article delves into the intriguing question of whether dogs can catch stomach viruses from humans. The exploration of symptoms and the caution against hastily attributing them to human contact adds depth. The mention of studies from Finland and Thailand provides concrete evidence, emphasizing the importance of veterinary consultation for a comprehensive understanding.

  3. I read about dogs getting sick from humans. It’s interesting how germs can go between us and our pets. I wonder about how to keep our dogs safe. As someone who loves their pet, I want to know more about what the article says we should do to make sure our furry friends stay healthy.

  4. Being a pet owner I always kept no distance with my pet dog. But after reading this article I was surprised to heard that we can as well as my pet can get virus from each other. I want to suggest all my friends who has a friendly pet like me to be careful and take care of our pets very well.

  5. Ensuring the health of our canine companions is paramount, and this insightful read clarified a concerning aspect—dogs can indeed catch viruses from humans. I was particularly fascinated by the revelation about the potential transmission of norovirus from humans to dogs, supported by studies in Finland and Thailand. Despite not being a 100% transmission, the findings show the need for caution in maintaining hygiene to safeguard both human and canine health.

  6. Research from Finland and Thailand are cited, providing empirical evidence and demonstrating the critical importance of veterinarian guidance for a comprehensive understanding. I have never removed myself from my dog as a pet owner. But after reading this article, I was surprised to see that infections may transmit from me to my cat.

  7. This is something strange that dogs catch stomach viruses from human , before reading this article I havent believed it but after reading this article I really feel proud and guilty simultaneously I feel proud about my pets but I feel guilty about the humans that is us because we are viruses to the dog .

  8. I found this article really helpful because it explained in simple terms how dogs can catch stomach viruses from humans. The practical tips, like cleaning up after my dog and regular handwashing, were easy to understand and something I can easily follow. It made me more aware of the risks and gave me clear steps to prevent infections.

  9. One of the reason I don’t keep a dog as a pet is fear of getting diseases from it. It turns out that it is a two-way traffic. According to this blog, I can also contaminate it with diseases such a norovirus. I think that means we can co-exist and I am now debating on owning one.

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