Can Dogs Get Herpes From Humans? (Symptoms of Herpes)

Can Dogs Get Herpes?

No Smart Dog Owner wants to see their dog in pain. For every doggo parent out there, what matters the most is their dog’s health and happiness. Unfortunately, dog owners can’t protect their dogs all the time, and their cute furry friends can get sick.

As a dog parent, you must try your best to prevent your dog from getting sick. Dogs don’t get sick too often, but when they do, they’re in a lot of discomfort and pain.

Can Dogs Get Herpes?

Dogs can get sick from many things, but sometimes some diseases or illnesses are much more concerning than the rest. Herpes is one of them.

Can dogs get herpes? Unfortunately, yes, a dog can get herpes.

Herpes isn’t an easy thing to discuss since it has a lot of stigmas attached to it. Unfortunately, there’s barely any talk about herpes in dogs. But we’re here to discuss the matter in detail so any concerned pawrent can kick their worries aside.

What is Herpes?

Before discussing herpes in dogs, let’s learn about the medical condition.

Herpes, or the Herpes Simplex, is a viral disease that can spread from person to person through contact. Many believe that herpes spreads through sexual transmission, but that’s not the case; there are two main types of the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), and the two differ according to the mode of transmission.

Herpes in Humans

There are two types of herpes viruses in humans: HSV 1 and 2. Herpes simplex virus 1 is responsible for 80 percent of herpes outbreaks, and people get lesions on their mouth or face.

Herpes simplex virus 2 (genital herpes) is responsible for the other 20 percent of herpes outbreaks. It’s estimated that 80 to 90 percent of people in the United States have been exposed to HSV 1.

With such high rates of transmission, is there any cause for concern in transmitting HSV 1 to your dogs?

HSV1 transmits orally, which is why it’s also called oral herpes. The HSV2, known as genital herpes, spreads through sexual contact. However, HSV1 could lead to HSV2.

HSV1 and HSV2 are treatable, but HSV1 is easier to treat than HSV2.

How Does Herpes Spread in Humans?

Herpes Simplex Virus can spread orally or through sexual contact. You can contract HSV1 if you come in contact with sores or lesions of someone who has HSV1. Similarly, if you come in contact with someone who has HSV2, you can get HSV2 too.

HSV doesn’t always present its symptoms, and sometimes one can’t tell if they have the virus, which is why herpes prevention is your best route.

Symptoms of Herpes in People

Can Dogs Get Herpes?

HSV1 and HSV2 may not present with symptoms, but in case they do, here are some of them:

Symptoms of HSV1

HSV1 is often called Cold Sore Virus because people with HSV1 get cold sores on their lips and inside their mouths. Blisters or sores developed around and in the mouth are painful and often accompany burning or tingling.

Symptoms of HSV2

HSV2 or genital herpes may or may not have symptoms. In HSV2, blisters form, and the infected person may also get fever or body aches.

Is Herpes Dangerous?

Herpes can go away in just a few days if treated quickly, but it can also be dangerous. HSV2 is far more dangerous than HSV1 because it can increase an infected person’s risk of getting HIV (the virus responsible for AIDS).

However, herpes simplex is fairly treatable if diagnosed early. If you manage herpes properly, you can continue snuggling your pets.

Bacteria, Germs and Viruses: Can Dogs Get Herpes?

Dogs are loving animals; they love to cuddle and snuggle up with their owners. Dogs are also frequent lickers, which though cute, can be concerning because it’s an easy way to spread germs.

Naturally, you’ll wonder if snuggling close to your dog puts them in danger, especially if you’re sick or suffering from a virus like HSV.

So, can dogs get herpes? Unfortunately, your dog can get herpes. But there’s a catch; dogs don’t get the human herpes simplex virus, but a type of herpes virus is specific to dogs.

Let’s talk about it in detail.

Types of Herpes in Dogs – Fading Puppy Syndrome!

Can Dogs Get Herpes?

Dogs can get the Canine Herpes Virus, CHV, or CaHV, a severe condition. If untreated, CHV can lead to serious health issues and even death. Canine Herpes Virus does not have different types; it’s a signal strain virus that affects adult dogs and puppies.

Canine herpes virus (CHV) is also known as “fading puppy syndrome” because its mortality rate is the highest in puppies.

CHV resides in the reproductive organs and respiratory tracts in adult dogs; fully grown dogs can carry the virus without showing any symptoms. It’s spread among adult dogs through coughing/sneezing and sexual contact.

It is essential to know that Canine Herpes Virus is not the same thing as Herpes Simplex Virus; though related, CHV and HSV are very different. Dogs can get CHV separately, but they cannot get the human herpes virus HSV.

Chasing Tails: How Do Dogs Get Herpes?

Canine herpes virus can spread from one dog to another, just like the human herpes simplex virus can spread from one human to another.

How do Adult dogs get Canine Herpes Virus?

If your dog comes in oral or sexual contact with a dog infected with CHV, then your dog can get CHV. Direct contact with the nose, mouth or other infected areas is one of the most common ways a dog can get the Canine Herpes Virus from another dog.

Your dog can also get Canine Herpes Virus if it breeds with a dog with CHV. Any contact with genital fluids of a dog with CHV can lead to your dog getting CHV.

One Sick Puppy: How do Puppies Get CHV?

Puppies contract it via the birth canal when they’re born (if their mother has the virus in their reproductive organs) or through nasal secretions. The puppies can then transmit the virus to each other.

Can Dogs Get Herpes from Humans?

The biggest concern a dog owner will have about the herpes virus is if a dog can get the virus from humans and vice versa. While the human herpes virus and the canine herpes virus are contagious, they do not spread across species.

This means that if a dog owner has Herpes Simplex Virus, they cannot transmit the virus to their dog. Similarly, a dog cannot transmit CHV to humans.

However, since CHV and HSV are contagious, they can spread from dog to dog or human to human and must be treated quickly.

Can Dogs Get Cold Sores from Humans?

No, humans cannot transmit the herpes simplex virus 1 (the cold sore virus) to dogs. It’s specific to humans and can only be passed from human to human. However, there are multiple strains of the herpes virus, and there are strains that are specific to dogs.

Dogs can’t get cold sores from humans, but Canine Herpes Virus is another story. CHV can produce genital sores in a dog, but it is unlikely that a dog with CHV will get cold sores in and around the mouth, as HSV produces in humans.

If your dog has blisters or sores in and around its mouth, it isn’t from herpes, but you should visit the vet.

Melancollie and Worries: What Happens to My Dog if I Have HSV?

While a dog can’t get the Herpes Simplex Virus from a human, a dog owner must treat/maintain their HSV. One of the complications of HSV in humans is the increased risk of getting HIV. If a human has HIV, they can put their dog’s life in danger.

Dogs can’t get HIV, but any contact with the virus can trigger health problems affecting a dog’s immunity. Dogs will experience fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, and cough

Herpes Symptoms in Dogs

How do you tell if your dog has canine herpes virus? Like all herpes viruses, Canine Herpes Virus may not show symptoms immediately, but there are some for which you need to keep an eye out.

Symptoms of Herpes in Adult Dogs

Adult dogs may experience these symptoms if they have CHV:

●    Eye Problems

Adult dogs may experience discharge from the eye or eye inflammation if they have CHV.

●    Respiratory Discomfort

Adult dogs may cough, sneeze or experience nasal discharge if they have CHV.

●    Genital Problems

CHV can cause genital sores, inflammation, or discharge in adult dogs.

●    Complications in Pregnancy

Female dogs with CHV can experience stillbirths or miscarriages.

Symptoms of Herpes in Puppies

Can Dogs Get Herpes?

CHV is the leading cause of sudden death in newborn puppies. Symptoms include weakness, persistent crying, yellow/green feces, low body temperature, difficulty breathing, nasal discharge, and bloody noses.

They may also present with a painful abdomen (bruising or bloating), lack of a suckle reflex, no appetite, and sudden death.

There are more severe symptoms that may arise as complications of CHV:

●    Pneumonia

Puppies with CHV are more likely to get pneumonia and respiratory problems.

●    Seizures

Puppies with CHV may experience seizures. These puppies may develop neurological problems later on.

●    Eye Problems

Puppies with CHV may have swollen eyes or experience discharge from the eyes. While this is a common symptom, it is necessary to treat it because it could lead to permanent vision loss in puppies.

How to Diagnose Canine Herpesvirus?

If you spot any herpes symptoms in dogs, you should visit the vet immediately. Even if the symptoms aren’t of herpes, they might be indicating other health problems.

Canine herpes virus is a severe condition, and you should treat it as soon as possible. Not treating CHV on time may lead to the death of your dog.

Mostly, a vet can tell if your dog has Canine Herpes Virus or not by a physical checkup. If there are no physical symptoms, a blood test will tell you whether or not your dog has Canine Herpes Virus.

Call the Dogtor! Treatment of Herpes Virus in Dogs

Canine Herpes Virus is quite severe, so you must treat it as soon as possible. Treatment of CHV differs according to your dog’s health and age; adult dogs are likelier to survive the virus on their own compared to puppies and old dogs.

Treating Canine Herpes Virus in Adult Dogs

Although CHV is quite serious, adult dogs have a much better chance of fighting it independently than puppies. Adult dogs have a strong immunity which is why your vet may not recommend any treatment unless your dog is old, suffering from a chronic illness, or not getting better on its own.

Adult dogs also don’t experience severe symptoms, so a vet may prescribe mild antibiotics for secondary infections and give eye drops for irritation. Sometimes, vets will also prescribe painkillers to help your dog.

Treating Canine Herpes Virus in Puppies

If your newborn puppy is unwell, your doctor will want to test for CHV. Treatment is mostly supportive: keeping them nourished, hydrated, and warm. They’ll also get an anti-viral medication to battle the virus. However, the mortality rate is high, so many puppies pass away despite being well cared for.

If a puppy has CHV, the vet may inject the puppy with natural antibodies from a herpes-recovered dog mother.

How Can Canine Herpes Virus be Prevented?

Can dogs get herpes? Yes, your dog can get CHV which is very serious, and you need to treat it as soon as possible. CHV isn’t as serious in adult dogs as in puppies, but it can put a dog at a high risk of getting other infections and health problems.

Treatment for herpes in adult dogs is easy, but many puppies die before or during treatment. Since the treatment of CHV is not always practical, you should protect your dog from CHV.

Canine Herpes Vaccine

European countries offer CHV vaccines that you can give dogs at a young age to prevent viral infection in the future. However, most countries outside of Europe don’t have the vaccine.

Isolation of Pregnant Dogs

Puppies can get CHV from their mothers during birth. You should isolate pregnant dogs at least three to four weeks before and after they give birth to prevent contraction.


Viruses like CHV spread faster in dirty and unkempt environments. Keep the birthing kennels neat and sterilize them frequently.

Are HSV and CHV the Same Thing?

Many people believe that HSV and CHV are the same things. While both are forms of Herpes virus and share some similarities, there are also some minor differences.

Relationship Between CHV and HSV

HSV and CHV are forms of Herpesviridae, a family of DNA viruses attacking humans and animals. Technically, both CHV and HSV are variations of the same virus, but because of how they replicate and who they attack, they are mildly different.

The DNA virus Herpesviridae is classified into Alphaherpesvirinae (aHV). HSV and CHV are types of this classification, which is why CHV is also called CaHV. However, HSV is a simplex alphaherpesvirus, whereas CHV is a varicella virus.

I know it’s a lot of technical and medical terms, but here’s a more straightforward way to understand it. Alphaherpesvirinae is a grandparent with two children, the Simplex virus and the varicella virus. Since HSV is the simplex virus and CHV is the varicella virus, they are cousins in the same family group.

You don’t have to memorize all this, but it helps people understand the herpes virus better regarding their pets.

Similarities between CHV and HSV


Since CHV and HSV come from the same virus family, they do have some similarities between them:

●    Transmission

You can get HSV1 if you contact someone who has HSV1. Typically, HSV1 spreads through contact with sores and blisters.

The CHV also spreads through similar means; dogs can get Canine Herpes Virus from other dogs through contact with saliva or sores.

●    Effect of Infection

CHV and HSV2 have similar effects on the affected area; dogs and humans can get sores or blisters near their private areas.

Differences between CHV and HSV

The differences between CHV and HSV are:

●    Relationship

Yes, both CHV and HSV are forms of herpes virus, but they’re not identical in structure or shape. Both CHV and HSV have distinct characteristics which differentiate one from the other.

●    Types

The HSV virus in humans has two types; HSV1 and HSV2. CHV in dogs does not have other types and is a single strain.

●    Symptoms

CHV does not produce cold sores that you see in humans with HSV. There are also minor differences between the symptoms of HSV and CHV.

Final Woofs | Can Dogs Get Herpes From Humans?

Dog herpes and human herpes are pretty different, but they may trigger health issues in anyone who contacts the carrier.

Humans can’t get CHV, and dogs can’t get HSV, so if you get cold sore outbreaks, there isn’t any way your dog could contract them. If you suspect your dog has been exposed to CHV, contact your vet immediately, especially if it was while your dog was being bred.

Is Herpes The Same In Dogs And Humans?

No, herpes is not the same in dogs and humans. Humans get the HSV, while dogs get the CHV.

Can You Get Herpes From A Dog Licking You?

Luckily, your dog can’t pass its herpes to you. However, you should try your best to reduce close contact with your dog since it could trigger allergic reactions or minor health problems in you.

Can Dogs Get Herpes From Cats?

No. Dogs cannot get herpes from cats. Although cats get herpes, it is specific to cats and does not pass on to humans or dogs.

How Do I Know If My Dog Has Herpes?

If you spot any herpes symptoms in your dog, you should visit the vet. These symptoms may not always indicate herpes, but you should consult the vet.

The vet will give a physical exam or run blood tests to confirm.

Can Dogs Get Herpes On Their Lips?

No. Unlike humans, dogs do not get cold sores or blisters around or in their mouths from herpes. If your dog has blisters or bumps on or around its lips, it can be a different health problem, but it is not herpes.

Can I Kiss My Dog If I Have Herpes?

Yes and no. Kissing a dog while you have herpes is technically safe because you can’t pass the virus, but depending on your dog’s health, you may trigger minor health issues in your dog.

It is best to avoid kissing your dog until you maintain/treat your herpes. However, if you’re suddenly filled with a rush of loving emotions for your dog, you may give it a kiss or two.

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Jackob Evans

Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over six years, and in that time, I’ve written countless blogs that have helped millions of people worldwide. A DVM by profession, I have treated and cured thousands of dogs, if not millions.

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