Dogs can get the flu just like people. Dog influenza has been on the rise in several states in the USA. And with the Holidays swiftly approaching, some may be traveling with our pets, and others may be boarding them.
Now is the time to get the information and tips to protect your pet no matter your Holiday plans!
1. What are the signs/symptoms of dog influenza?
Coughing, runny nose, eye goop, fatigue, fever, lack of appetite
2. How is the virus transmitted to your dog?
It is contracted via direct contact, the respiratory tract, and sneezing from primarily other dogs. Also, contaminated objects from infected dogs like floors at kennels, doggie daycare, grooming, pet centers, dog park turf or mulch, community dog water bowls, and shared dog toys.
Additional objects may include human clothing, dog leash, collar, and bedding.
3. How to protect your pet
There is no cure for dog influenza. Get your pet vaccinated and keep your pet vaccinated. Download the vaccination record on your phone and share it with the hotel if traveling, doggie daycare, groomer, or place you may be boarding your pet.
Clean your dog's water and food bowl frequently with soap and hot water.
Invest in a dog water bottle and take it out with your pet when exercising, eating at a dog-friendly restaurant, or traveling. Ask what the protocol is for disinfecting if dropping your dog off at boarding, daycare, groomers, or dog parks with turf.
Some veterinarians may send you an email to share if dog influenza cases are a risk in your area. One resource to check out if traveling with your dog is dogflu.com. This site will give you an outbreak map and other information regarding keeping your pet safe and healthy.
Humans can pass this virus onto their pets if they have come in contact with an infected one. Pet parents must make sure they wash their hands and clothing too! I know I pet most dogs I see when walking Gibbs. Did you know this virus can live on human skin for 12 hours? It can live on our clothing for 24 hours and objects for 48 hours!
Knowledge is power. It may take a little preparation before the Holiday season, yet, you have everything you need to do to keep your dog safe, happy, and healthy.