Can Dogs be Zombies?

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Introduction

Has your dog been seeming more… sluggish lately? Maybe thirsting after your blood, walking slowly, and not appearing to hear anything you’re saying? Could they be a zombie? 

With shows like "The Walking Dead" making the rounds, many dog owners have wondered if the zombie apocalypse came, could my pup become a zombie? If you go to Google, you’ll see that there are many people speculating about whether dogs or animals in general would become zombies or just pass away. It seems that everyone has a different opinion as to why or why not their furry friend would be a bloodthirsty zombie.


Signs Your Dog Might be a Zombie

While in reality, zombies in the sci-fi sense don’t appear to be realistic, if the zombie apocalypse were to happen, there are a few things you’d need to watch for when it comes to your dog. If you noticed them smelling really bad (like worse than them-haven’t-having-a-bath-in-two-weeks bad), being inclined to bite, appearing to be panting but really their tongue is just hanging out of their mouth, and maybe walking with their head tilted, but not because they are listening to you, your dog might be a zombie.

Some other signs you might notice include their limbs falling apart, foaming at the mouth, and trying to eat any living thing. As for the speed of a zombie dog, one dog-lover recently asked if dog zombies would be slow and sluggish like the ones in The Walking Dead or fast like ones in Night of the Living Dead. No one can be sure, but if they were to be fast, we’d all be in trouble.

Body Language

Here are a few signs you might notice if your dog becomes a zombie:
  • Head tilting
  • Biting
  • Tongue hanging
  • Sleepiness

Other Signs

Here are some other signs you might notice if your dog has become a zombie:
  • Wanting to eat anything living
  • Limbs falling apart
  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Not listening
  • Change in speed

History of Dogs Being Zombies

Historically, the idea of zombies has been around for quite a while. According to britannica.com, the word zombie has been around since the 18th or 19th century. Though, Britannica does note that the idea of walking undead people has been a part of many cultures for centuries.

One of the biggest influences on our idea of zombies comes from George Romero’s 1968 movie "Night of the Living Dead" as well as books and movies like "I am Legend". So, humankind’s idea and obsession with the idea of the living dead has been around for a very, very long time.

While there aren’t really any reputable reports of dogs becoming zombies, there are some interesting articles about other animals exhibiting zombie-like qualities. The BBC reported in March 2017 that there is evidence of bugs being zombies. Zombie ants, zombie parasites, zombie frogs, and even zombie plants all exist in the real world. However, they aren’t zombies because they are undead necessarily, most of these instances of “zombies” are animals affected by a fungi or parasites.

Science Behind Dogs Being Zombies

While the zombie apocalypse is probably not happening tomorrow, there is a reason your dog might start acting erratically and dangerous - rabies! According to pets.webmd.com, “Rabies is a virus that may affect the brain and spinal cord of all mammals, including dogs, cats, and humans.” 

Dogs, cats, and humans can become infected with rabies, generally because they have been bitten by an animal that already has the virus. If you or one of your pets gets bitten by a wild or unfamiliar animal, it’s important to see your doctor or get your pet to the vet ASAP. There are treatments to prevent rabies, but it’s a very deadly disease when left untreated.

Training Your Zombie Dog

When it comes to training your dog, if your dog is a zombie already, there probably isn’t much you can do. However, keeping your pup safe from animals with rabies is something that you should do. Make sure that your dog is up-to-date on all of their vaccines, including their rabies vaccine. 

If you are taking your dog out to a dog park or out for a walk, make sure he or she is on a leash if they tend to run away. If your dog isn’t on a leash, make sure that he or she listens to your commands to come and stay immediately. If you encounter a dog or animal you don’t know, and it bites your dog, it’s important to get checked out at the vet ASAP. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

So, can dogs be actual undead sci-fi zombies? We’ll just have to wait for the zombie apocalypse and see what happens.

Safety Tips for Preventing Rabies:

  • Make sure your dog has their rabies vaccination.
  • Keep your dog on a leash when walking.
  • Don't let your dog go near animals you don't know.
  • If your dog gets bitten by an unfamiliar or wild animal, take your dog to the vet immediately.