Yes, you can infect your pet with the flu. Here's what to do about it.

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You can infect your pet with the flu simply by being near them when you're sick and petting them.

The flu virus mainly infects warm-blooded mammals and birds, which means dogs and cats are susceptible but lizards and turtles are not.

Symptoms include mild cough, difficulty breathing, sneezing, and reduced appetite.

Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet shows signs of the flu.

This article was reviewed by Andrew Bowman, MD, DVM, who is an associate professor with the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine at Ohio State.

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Hugs, pats, hanging out. These are all things you do on the regular with your pet. But they're also exactly what can get your pet sick if you're fighting off the flu.

Since the flu is mostly spread through the air, your pet can get infected just by being close to you while you're sick. And it can be especially bad when the flu virus jumps between species because the receiving species generally hasn't built an immunity to that particular viral strain. Like when the H1N1 flu virus jumped from swine to humans in 2009, sparking the influenza pandemic that killed an estimated 150,000 to 600,000 people from 2009 to 2010 and a few cats, as well.See the rest of the story at Business InsiderNOW WATCH: 5 things about the NFL that football fans may not knowSee Also:How to use a neti pot and whether it's safe, according to doctorsNo, you cannot get sick from being cold. But it may increase your risk.What causes a stuffy nose and how to clear it out fast