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Can Dogs Catch the Flu from Humans?

William Schaffner, MD, explains why dogs cannot catch flu from humans.

William Schaffner, MD, medical director of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, explains why dogs cannot catch flu from humans.

Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):

“Basically, influenza is a human pathogen; it’s spread from person-to-person via the respiratory route. There are the odd reports of influenza in pets, in coming back and forth, but that’s not very important; it’s really an oddity. You know, we do have a lot of interaction between flu strains in animals, bird flu strains in humans; they can mutate and create new influenza strains that then circle the globe and create periodic influenza pandemics. But dogs and cats, we don’t have to worry about. We need to vaccinate ourselves, not our pets.”