Cold and Flu
Veterinary Medicine
Viruses (biological)

Why do dogs not catch your cold?


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The common cold in humans is caused by rhinovirus, which is pretty specific to humans. There are other strains of rhinovirus that infect dogs, but those strains don't infect humans.

The barrier for this is the type of protein on the surface of the cells of the upper respiratory tract - there are different proteins on human cells than there are on canine cells. The virus is very well adapted to only one species, so a human-adapted rhinovirus can only infect humans while a canine-adapted rhinovirus can only infect dogs.