Does your dog seem down or not itself lately? It might be suffering from the canine flu that is sweeping parts of the country.  

Defining Canine Flu 

Canine/dog flu is a contagious infection spread through respiratory secretions such as sneezing and coughing.  

How Does Dog Flu Spread? 

Apart from a pup sneezing or coughing, there are other ways of transmitting the flu. They include sharing bowls, leashes, collars, and bedding, and nose contact. A dog is likely to contract the infection if it stays around other dogs for extended periods of time such as at the dog park or doggy day care.  

A virus causes canine flu. It takes up to 48 hours for the virus to die if it is on a surface, 12 hours on skin, and 24 hours on clothing.  

Symptoms of Canine Flu 

It is essential that you take your loyal friend to a vet if you suspect it has a flu. This way, you will be able to know for sure what is ailing them. 

The symptoms to look out for include: 

  • Low appetite  
  • Persistent cough 
  • Fever 
  • Decreased activity 
  • Abnormal nasal discharge 
  • Eye discharge 

Identifying such symptoms early and providing necessary care will save your dog a lot of discomfort. 


When you detect canine flu on time, it will take around 15-30 days to treat it. This is for mild cases. Your pet will need medicine, fluids, and rest. If you do it right, their condition will improve soon.  

How to Prevent Dog Flu 

Whenever there is an outbreak, it is always wise to take preventive measures. Do not wait until your dog is sick to do something. This article includes a few things to do to curb the spread of the virus. 

If your dog already has the flu, leave it at home. This will prevent it from infecting others. If your pet is not yet sick, it would be safe to let it stay home. This way, it will avoid contact with other dogs that may have the flu. As tempting as it may be to take it out to the park or daycare, save it the risk of contracting the condition.  

Sometimes you may not want to leave your dog at home. Therefore, before you take your fur baby to daycare or other public facilities, make sure you ask about cases of the flu at each location. They should have measures in place to curb the flu.  

Remember, as stated, dog flu spreads through nose contact, on surfaces, and by hand. Therefore, if you are the type that likes to pet other dogs, be sure you wash your hands before handling your dog again. It would be awful for your dog to get the flu because you pet an infected dog! 

Things to Note About Dog Flu 

  • Dog flu does not have to be fatal. In fact, less than 10 % of flu cases lead to death.  
  • There is a vaccine for canine flu. Depending on the strain is in your area, your vet should be in a position to offer your pup preventative treatment. 
  • Your dog cannot infect you. The CDC confirms that you are not at a risk to get canine flu if your pet has it. 
  • H1N1 dog strain was identified in June 2018 in china. There was a H1N1 (swine flu) that affected human beings in 2009.  Research shows that H1N1 in dogs can be transferred to cats but not humans. 
  • In 2015, a strain of the dog flu (H3N2) was transmitted from birds to dogs.  

Pet Insurance 

Pet diseases and infections are unpredictable risks. Therefore, it is a great idea to get pet insurance. Why? The unexpected costs of treating your pet may not fit into your budget. With insurance, there is less to worry about financially as it will cover the vet expenses.  

Canine flu is not a death sentence for your beloved pet. As long as you give the care it needs, it has a high chance of making a full recovery. Be sure to pay close attention to your furry companion to notice symptoms of the flu early enough to start treatment immediately. Do not forget that less than 10 of the dogs infected with the flu virus die. With proper care, your dog should make a full recovery. Consider pet insurance as well to cover any unexpected vet costs which can easily rack up!