Second Chance: Canine Colds

Second Chance: Canine Colds

Without a doubt, winter is the worst time of the year to be homeless. Fortunately I am safe and warm here at the Second Chance shelter as I patiently wait for my first real home ever. While I have been snug in the Shelter it is getting cold outside so I thought I’d take this opportunity to throw down some important factoids about…colds.


Colds can impact dogs and cats just as they can humans. And we usually contract them in similar ways – under stress when our immune systems are lowered and we cannot fight off contagious “bugs” that are typically in the environment.

Family or household stress or change makes pets more susceptible to getting sick. The heightened pace of the holiday season and pets being left behind as the family goes to visit Grandma for a week would be examples of stress- inducing times for pets.

Feline upper respiratory infection (feline “URI”) and canine “kennel cough” are the animal equivalents of a human cold or flu infection. In cats and kittens with URI, symptoms may include sneezing; fever runny nose; red or water eyes; nasal congestion (often seen as drooling or open-mouthed breathing); ulcers on tongue, lips nose, or roof of mouth; lack of appetite or thirst; and lack of energy.

Dogs and puppies affected with canine kennel cough often exhibit a hacking or honking cough, sometimes followed by gagging. Some dogs and pups may have only a runny nose. Without veterinary care, they may become lethargic, run a fever, and lose their appetite.

If you are concerned about your pet exhibiting these symptoms, seek veterinary care as soon as possible (immediately particularly for young pups and kittens or for adult pets who stop eating). Follow the veterinarian’s instructions closely.

Encourage your pet to rest as much as possible by providing a quiet, warm spot (like your lap!) and avoid new situations or stimuli until your pet is feeling better. Provide lots of love and concern and be patient; your loyal companion will be ready to join in your normal family activities soon.

The transition from being homeless to having a new family can also be stressful despite how awesome it is to be adopted. So new pet parents will simply want to transition us gently into our new family and give us some quiet time every day for the first week or so.

My name is Blythe. I am a very handsome Australian Shepherd. I have spent my short life (I am only 11 months young) living in very unpleasant environment, but despite it all I am quite healthy. I am also sweet, calm and quiet, but very shy and in need of further socialization. I am good with all other dogs and don’t mind cats one bit.

I am learning to walk on a leash and becoming more curious and confident about my environment every day. I just need to take my time. Thus, I am seeking a patient person or family who will help me learn that the world is a good place and that I want to be part of it.

Although you should never give pets as presents I would recommend gifting yourself with a lifetime of loving companionship while giving me a home for the holidays.

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