Rise in dog flu cases has pet owners worried. Here’s what you need to know to protect your pet

Think it’s bad when the kids or your spouse comes down with the flu? They aren’t the only members of the family that you need to worry about.

Veterinarians are warning pet owners about an outbreak of canine influenza, or dog flu, as it quickly spreads through most of the country, according to CBS Philly.

This year’s flu outbreak isn’t just infecting humans. Turns out your furry best friend can get the flu too. Canine influenza has already spread to Washington, California, Arizona, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Canada and reports say it isn’t letting up anytime soon.

The dog flu is extremely contagious amongst the doggy community. Since your dog can’t articulate how he or she is feeling, it’s up to you as your pet’s “health advocate” to be aware of the signs and symptoms. Dogs experience similar symptoms to humans like coughing, sneezing, fever, a decrease in appetite, runny nose, lethargy, or just a general feeling of ick 🙁

While dogs cannot spread the flu to humans, it is still extremely important to stay on top of any signs that your dog has the flu. Why? Because 10% of dog flu cases can lead to death. If your dog is exhibiting signs and symptoms, he should go to the vet immediately.

“Dog flu and people flu are not related, it’s not zoonotic, meaning dogs can’t pass the flu to their owners and people can’t pass the flu to their dogs,” Dr. Malone explains in the video below.

So, how serious is the 2018 dog flu outbreak? Some say that it has reached epidemic proportions while others say there hasn’t been much change from prior years. However, an animal hospital in San Francisco Bay reported over 50 cases in just two weeks!

It’s obvious that no matter what you consider serious, we dog owners can never be too careful.

Canine influenza is spread through sneezing, coughing and barking. So please use extra care when visiting with friends who have pups as well or going to dog parks for playtime. Putting your dog in a kennel, groomer or doggy daycare facility can also hold higher risks. Also, dogs should not share water or food dishes with other dogs if they are exhibiting dog flu symptoms.

Like humans, dogs do have a flu vaccine but it doesn’t provide 100% protection. You should speak with your vet to get more information and see if your dog would benefit from the vaccine.

When our fur kids aren’t feeling well, it is heartbreaking but there’s a lot you can do to keep them safe from further complications. And when they do get sick, you can certainly keep them nice and comfy. Remember, it can’t be passed from human to dog, and vice-versa, so extra cuddles can go a long way!

Watch the video below! …and SHARE this with your friends and family to pass on this story!

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