Dogs across the country are coming down with flu-like symptoms due to widespread canine influenza. While it's a flu strain that's different than the one affecting humans (and there are no known cases of transmission), it's just as dangerous and even more contagious among dogs. It also affects cats!
The viral infection is spread through barking, coughing, and sneezing when pets are in close contact with infected animals. It often spreads through kennels, dog shelters, groomers, and doggy day care centers.
80% of dogs exposed to the canine flu show symptoms like coughing, lethargy, fever, decrease appetite, and a running nose. In some of the worse cases, they can even develop pneumonia. If your furry friend shows any of these symptoms, they should be taken to the vet immediately to be given medical treatment.
You can protect your pup by disinfecting leashes, toys, water bowls, any other items that come in contact with other dogs, and by washing your hands as soon as you arrive home. And you should talk to your vet about the flu vaccine designed for canines but it's not recommended for every dog.