Many pet parents are starting to wonder if they can pass on viruses or illnesses they’ve caught and what they can do to prevent passing anything to their pets. Pet wellness protection plans can be essential in helping you keep your pet healthy—even if they’re staying healthy from you! You can take a quiz on Wagmo’s website to get a custom plan for your pets needs.

Can you give your pets human diseases?

Many pet owners worry about severe viral infections, including the flu and bronchitis. These viruses are airborne, and it would seem logical that you could pass on the sickness to your pet. But there are also bacterial and fungal infections to consider.


COVID-19 causes shortness of breath, coughing, and fever and can require hospitalization in humans, and can even cause death. There are cases of dogs contracting this virus, likely from close contact with their humans. The good news is dogs experience few, if any, symptoms. Also, there’s little evidence of dogs passing the virus back to humans.


In the case of the flu, your pet may contract certain strains, including H1N1 strains and H3N2 strains, but they don’t seem to get sick from the virus. Dogs have their own canine influenza, which will cause a runny nose, coughing, and lethargy, but they’ll not catch this from you. Colds and bronchitis don’t come from humans, either. Though your dog can get kennel cough, which is similar to bronchitis, it’s not caused by the same viral infections.


Tuberculosis is a bacterial respiratory illness that causes coughing, fever, and shortness of breath in humans. Humans can transmit the illness to dogs, usually via droplets in the air from coughing. Dogs typically experience no systems, but if their immune system fails to suppress tuberculosis, it causes symptoms that include cough, weight loss, and vomiting. The danger of infecting people and other animals means you should treat your infected dog immediately.


Salmonella bacteria can be a source of illness in both dogs and humans, causing fever, diarrhea, and vomiting in both species. Campylobacteriosis bacteria symptoms include watery diarrhea, decreased appetite, and fever. If a human hasn’t washed their hands properly after using the bathroom, they can pass the bacteria on to their pets by touching the pet’s mouth or face.

Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

MRSA is a bacteria that causes illness if it enters through a break in the skin and can cause infections in the respiratory and urinary tracts, and create problematic skin conditions.


Usually spread from animals to people, an infected person can pass on ringworm to dogs through the air, contaminated surfaces, or contact with the infected area. Dogs with ringworm suffer from scaly bald patches on their ears, face, or tail.


Mumps has infected dogs in the past, but, since the disease has declined by 99% due to vaccination, it rarely poses a threat to your pup.

Can different pets give each other diseases?

Pets living closely together can pass diseases to each other.


Roundworm, tapeworm, hookworm, or whipworm can pass from cat to dog through infected fleas (or sometimes from taking snacks from the cat’s litter box). These parasites can cause various illnesses that can be diagnosed by examining their stools.


Mange is a reaction to an infestation of mites on your cat’s skin which causes hair loss and itchy areas. The mites can be passed on to your dog through close contact.


Rabies is a severe viral infection that could kill your animals if untreated. Rabies in cats will cause behavior changes, drooling, and loss of muscle control. Your cat will pass the infection to your dog through bites or scratches.

Pet wellness protection and how to keep your pet healthy

Ongoing monitoring of your pet is key to keeping them healthy, but often you don’t even know if your pet is sick. Many infections and diseases need to be diagnosed through blood or fecal tests that are standard with your pet’s annual checkup. Keeping your dog (and you!) vaccinated will help your animal stay healthy.
A Wagmo pet wellness protection plan is designed to help with the standard expenses that keep your pet healthy. Routine vet visits, testing, and vaccinations are covered with all Wagmo pet wellness insurance. Find out how a Wagmo pet wellness plan can help keep your pet healthy regardless of who brings an illness into the house. Take the quiz to get your customized plan today.