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Can Dogs Get Salmonella? Facts & Treatment Options


Jun 13, 2023



Dogs are wonderful companions and are often regarded as a part of the family. As pet owners, we all want to ensure that our furry friends are healthy and happy.

One question that often comes up is whether dogs can get salmonella, a bacterial infection commonly associated with food poisoning. The answer is yes, dogs can get salmonella, and it can be a serious health issue.

Still curious about salmonella in dogs? Read on as we discuss what salmonella is, what causes it in dogs, signs, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and how it differs from salmonella in humans!


What is Salmonella in Dogs?

Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can cause the foodborne illness salmonellosis which is commonly associated with food poisoning in both humans and animals. It is commonly found in raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, and other animal products. Salmonella can also be found in soil, water, and the environment. Salmonella can survive for extended periods on surfaces, making it easy to spread.

What Causes Salmonella in Dogs?

Dogs can get salmonella from contaminated food, water, or surfaces. They can also get it from consuming raw or undercooked meat or eggs. Salmonella can also be transmitted from other animals, including birds, rodents, and reptiles. Dogs that have weakened immune systems or pre-existing medical conditions are at a higher risk of contracting salmonella. Because of their weaker immune system, puppies have a higher risk of contracting salmonellosis and experience more severe signs than adult dogs.

Pitbull bully dog brown next to the dead mouse
Image Credit: uno2thodox, Shutterstock

Signs of Salmonella in Dogs

The signs of salmonella in dogs can vary, and some dogs may not show any signs at all.

Some of the most common signs include:

  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Presence of blood and mucus in stool
  • Fatigue, weakness, lethargy
  • Fever
  • Shock
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Abnormally elevated heart rate
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodes

If your dog shows any of these signs, it is important to take them to the vet immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment. Remember, the earlier salmonellosis is treated, the better the prognosis for recovery!

Diagnosing Salmonella in Dogs

Diagnosing salmonella in dogs can be challenging, as the signs can be similar to other illnesses. Your veterinarian may perform a physical examination, blood tests, and stool samples to diagnose salmonella. Stool samples are typically used to confirm the presence of salmonella in dogs.

vet performing blood test on dog
Image Credit: thirawatana phaisalratana, Shutterstock

Treatment of Salmonella in Dogs

The treatment of salmonella in dogs typically involves supportive care and medication. Your veterinarian may recommend IV fluids to keep your dog hydrated and to replace any fluids lost through vomiting and diarrhea.

Antibiotics may also be prescribed to help fight the infection. It is important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully and to complete the entire course of antibiotics to ensure that the infection is completely eradicated.

Treatment of salmonella may vary depending on the severity. Some presentations may require confinement in a veterinary hospital, while less severe presentations may allow for home management. This highlights the importance of collaborating and following your veterinarian’s recommendation for the best prognosis of recovery!

divider-pawHow to Prevent Your Dog from Getting Salmonella

Preventing salmonella in dogs is essential to their health and wellbeing. As dogs are curious creatures who love to explore, preventing salmonella can be a challenging task. As responsible pet owners, however, there are a few steps to take to reduce the risk of your dog falling ill to salmonella. Here are some tips to help prevent salmonella in dogs include:

1. Avoid Raw Diets, Cook Food Thoroughly!

Avoid feeding your dog a raw diet as it increases the risk of salmonella and other bacterial infections. Be sure to cook all meat, poultry, and eggs thoroughly to kill any bacteria that may be present.

raw beef meat
Image Credit: Zichrini, Pixabay

2. Observe Proper Handwashing

Bacteria can be found on your hands every day. These different bacteria can unknowingly be transmitted to your dog because of your hands. To prevent the contamination and transmission of salmonella and other bacteria, remember to always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling your dog’s food or water bowls, toys, and other items.

3. Keep Your Dog Away from Wildlife

Dogs, especially breeds with a strong prey drive, may constantly be compelled to chase animals outdoors. As dogs are curious creatures, they will likely take off and explore on their own if they see something that catches their eye.

Many wild animals may have salmonella or other illnesses which can be transmitted to your dog if they get close enough. Try your best to keep your dog away from wildlife, particularly birds, rodents, and reptiles to reduce the risk of transmitting salmonella to your dog.

cockatoo kissing a dog
Image Credit: HDmedien, Shutterstock

4. Regular Veterinarian Visits

Routine vet check-ups and visits are recommended to monitor your dog’s overall health. This is recommended not just for salmonella, but for other potential illnesses as well. Regular vet visits can help identify any underlying health issues and reduce the risk of infections.


Salmonella in Dogs vs. Salmonella in Humans

Salmonella can affect both dogs and humans. However, the signs, signs, and severity of the infection may vary between the two species. Humans are more likely to experience severe signs, including fever, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. In contrast, dogs may not show any signs or may experience mild signs.

It is important to take precautions to prevent the spread of salmonella from dogs to humans, particularly young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems.


Final Thoughts

Like humans and other animals, dogs can also get salmonella. Salmonellosis can be a serious health issue and it is important to take precautions to prevent the spread of salmonella and to seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect your dog has contracted the infection.

Feeding your dog a balanced and nutritious diet, cooking food thoroughly, washing hands, and cleaning surfaces can help prevent salmonella in dogs. Remember, taking good care of your furry friend is essential to their health and wellbeing!

Featured Image Credit: WikiImages, Pixabay

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