Can my dog “catch a cold” when soaking wet ?

Besides ensuring your pets have a working microchip with up2date details implanted within them during storms….  The next step is to provide adequate shelter.  Part of the duty of care for a Pet Parent and/or professional pet sitter is to ensure pets have adequate shelter as stated by the RSPCA: Domestic animals must be effectively protected from adverse weather conditions, predators and disease.

None the less, the latest storms happening more north of the Gold Coast (we were lucky.. we only received the ‘light’ end of the storm cell drama) got me thinking…  it may seem like a silly question however what if your pooch was stuck out in the elements and became soaked…

 Can a dog get sick from being exposed to rain (aka being wet) ?


Dr Justin from Reedy Creek Vet replied:

I’m not sure that there is a scientifically proven answer to that question, so we have to rely on experience and rational though!!  I think the risk of a “cold” as we know it is possible but probably not as much of an issue as with humans.  Constant wetness does provide a breakdown in the body’s external defences though, so things like hotspots and other skin infections, fungal infections, and indeed some upper respiratory tract infections are possible. Then of course the influence of stress on the animal’s immune system if it is uncomfortable and depressed, let alone its basic welfare.  I think a lot would have to do with the breed and coat type. Our dogs’ ancestors (wolves) are well equipment to handle exposure to rain and snow, so perhaps a GSD would tolerate this better than say a toy poodle or chihuahua!  All in all, I think it is possible but unlikely the GSD will develop a cold, however I would insist it is provided with waterproof shelter at all times!

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