Does My Dog Have the Flu?

Dogs get sick, just like people do. Sometimes, they can get a case of the canine sniffles. Other times, it can get more serious. You may have heard of the H3N2 virus, or dog flu virus. Should you be concerned about your dog's health in relation to the canine flu? Here's what you should know about the disease and your pet.

How is it spread?

The virus is spread through saliva droplets from infected dogs and even infected cats. This means it can be transmitted on chew toys and in the air from sneezes and contaminated bedding. If your dog has been in contact with infected animals, he could become infected with the flu.

What are the symptoms?

How can you tell if your dog has the flu? Look for a poor appetite, persistent cough, runny nose, dehydration, loss of appetite, fever, difficulty breathing, and lethargy. Of course, any of these symptoms could be a sign of a many different types of illness, so if you suspect that your pet has come into contact with the flu, you should isolate him and take him to your vet for testing.

Frighteningly, though some of these symptoms seem mild, a secondary illness can become life threatening to your dog. If your dog develops pneumonia as a result of the flu, it can become deadly, so make sure you see your vet for testing and treatment as soon as possible.


If you suspect that H3N8 is in your area, keep your dog away from kennels and dog parks. You should keep your pet away from other animals for at least 10-14 after the onset of symptoms to prevent spreading the illness. Wash your hands frequently when you handle or feed your pet, and keep an eye on your pet for changes in behaviour or eating and drinking patterns.

Dog flu is usually not a threat to your dog's life if it is caught early and treated properly, so don't panic. Just remember to be vigilant about hygiene and keep your pet away from areas where infection could occur as much as you can.

For the latest information on dog health and care, visit the friendly staff at Bark Busters today.

Tags Dog health

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