My girlfriend and I recently rescued an 8-week old puppy (may be slightly younger).

She and her kids have all come down with a nasty virus of some sort -- they have fevers and other gross symptoms (I'll leave it to your imagination).

I'm concerned that the puppy could catch their virus from frequent and sharing the same house, especially since she's so young and is no longer getting antibodies from her mother's milk.

I have my own house and am well, so I suggested moving the puppy to my house for a few days so that she won't get sick. My girlfriend assures me that this is "insane" and that animals cannot catch human illnesses or visa versa, except rabies and extremely rare diseases.

Is the puppy at risk?


Well, yes, it's possible for a virus to transmit from a human to an animal, this is known as reverse zoonosis (anthroponotic) and influenza, for example, is one of them as this Oregon State article describes. This shouldn't really surprise us, because if something can go from animal to us then the reverse, for some, is almost inevitably true as well.

As to whether or not your girlfriend or her kids are specifically carrying something that can be transmitted to the puppy, I don't know. That's probably a combination of a diagnosis from a medical doctor and check with a veterinarian to confirm risk.

So, tl;dr: if you can get a doctor's diagnosis, then check with a vet after. If you're really worried, and can't get a diagnosis but think it's the flu (not unreasonable given it's flu season), then keeping them apart is probably a wise precaution for now.


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