Does Your Dog Need A Flu Shot? What You Need To Know Before Going To The Vet

You probably consider whether or not to get a flu shot for yourself and your family members every year, but what about your dog? Canine influenza affects dogs similarly to the ways other flus affect humans. Your vet may offer your dog a flu vaccine to help prevent against this type of infection. Here are a few things you need to know.

The Dog Flu Is Contagious

The dog flu is highly contagious. If you take your dog to the dog park or other social activities with other animals, you may want to consider having your dog vaccinated. While the vaccine doesn’t prevent all strains of dog flu, it can offer an added layer of protection for your pooch. It’s important to remember that the dog flu can’t be spread to humans, so you don’t need to have your dog vaccinated to protect yourself. If your dog has a cough or shows other symptoms of being sick, you should keep it away from other dogs to prevent the spread of the disease. Because this is a relatively new disease in dogs, nearly all dogs are susceptible to contracting the infection. Having your dog vaccinated can help prevent the spread of disease to your pet and to others in your neighborhood.

The Dog Flu Is Not Typically Dangerous

For healthy dogs, the having flu can be a miserable experience, but it is not often deadly. Dogs with previous respiratory issues or dogs with weakened immune systems may have a more difficult time recovering from the dog flu. Pneumonia is a complication that sometimes arises with dog flu, and in rare cases, death can occur. It’s a good idea to talk about your dog’s overall health and whether or not the pet is a good candidate for the flu vaccine.

The Dog Flu Is Not Seasonal

While humans typically tend to catch the flu in the fall or winter months, the dog flu can strike at any time during the year. It’s important to take precautions to protect your dog year-round. This means keeping pet toys, especially those that go to the dog park with your pet, clean. Be sure to wash your hands before feeding and watering your pets, and keep pet beds and kennels clean as well.

Vaccines On The Market

There are currently two types of known dog flu strands; the H3N8 and H3N2. There are two vaccines available for H3N8, and one vaccine has been granted conditional approval for preventing H3N2. This new vaccine has not been approved for use in every state, so check with your vet clinic about its availability for your dog.

Caring for your pet means trying to keep it as healthy as possible all year round. Understanding the different illnesses that can affect your dog and how to prevent them will make it easier for you to give your furry friend the gifts of good health and happiness. Contact a local vet, like Pet Medical Center – Full Service Veterinary Care, for more information.