Dog Flu: Typical Symptoms, Risks And 5 Tips To Prevent The Infection

Lifestyle & Health

January 23, 2019 11:24 By Fabiosa

It’s well known that animals can get sick with the flu. But did you know that dogs are one of the species that can be affected by the virus? The recent canine flu outbreak in California has many dog owners across the country worrying about their pets’ health, and they want to know how to prevent their pet from becoming infected.

If you share your home with a dog, learn how the flu manifests in canines and how you can protect your beloved friend.

Dog flu symptoms

Dog flu symptoms are much the same as those in humans. And just like in us people, dogs don’t show symptoms right after becoming infected – they become sick after a few days of catching the virus. Symptoms will last one to three weeks and may include the following:

  • poor appetite;
  • lethargy;
  • fever;
  • coughing;
  • greenish mucus in the nose and eyes.

If the infection is more serious and the dog has developed pneumonia, symptoms will also include higher body temperature and difficulty breathing.

Much like in humans, dogs that are more vulnerable to the virus include puppies, old dogs, and dogs who have existing health issues.

If you notice that your dog is unwell, call the vet, tell him or her about the symptoms, and ask whether you should take your pet to the clinic.

It’s important to stress that humans can’t catch the virus from dogs. But cats can be affected by H3N2, which is one of the two known strains of dog flu. So, if your dog has symptoms, and you also have a cat, keep the two animals apart until the dog recovers.

How to prevent dog flu?

To prevent your dog from becoming sick or prevent your dog from spreading the virus to others if they are the ones who are infected, the following measures can help:

1. Isolate your dog from other canines if they have symptoms.

If your dog is obviously sick, keep the animal away from other dogs and cats until he or she recovers, since the virus is highly contagious.

2. Don’t let your dog near other dogs who appear sick.

If there’s an outbreak of canine flu in your area, refrain from taking your dog to dog parks and other places where he or she can come into contact with infected animals.

3. Wash your hands and change your clothes after coming into contact with other dogs.

If you work with dogs or have been in a place where there are dogs who might be infected, wash your hands and change your clothes as soon as you come home before touching your own pet.

4. Thoroughly clean hard surfaces.

The virus can survive on hard surfaces for about 48 hours. Don’t let your dog use items (such as toys and food or water bowls) that another dog who is possibly infected also uses.

5. Have your dog vaccinated.

Since dog flu doesn’t have as many varieties as the human virus does, dog flu vaccine can be much more effective than the vaccine against human flu is for people. Ask the vet whether your dog should get a flu shot and don’t wait to do it if that’s what the vet recommends.

READ ALSO: Owning A Dog May Lower The Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease And Be Beneficial For Overall Health, Study Finds


This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.

Flu Tips