Dog trainers work with many different pets each week, both individually and in a group class or boot camp setting. They understand the importance of keeping your pet healthy, for his benefit as well as other animals he may come into contact with.
With at least two confirmed cases of canine influenza in Salt Lake City, the professional dog trainers of Innovative K9 Academy want to ensure that our clients and members of the community understand this illness and what you need to do to protect your pet.
2018 Canine Influenza Outbreak Strikes Northern Utah
With reports coming in from around the country, it may appear that this illness has reached epidemic proportions in the canine community. Fortunately, the headlines you may have seen are likely a bit of hype and hyperbole.
Although dog flu has been reported in 46 states thus far this year, those cases are limited to a handful in each location.
The symptoms resemble those of the human influenza strains, including an intense cough, fever, upper respiratory symptoms (sneezing, nasal discharge), lethargy and a reduced appetite. If your dog’s cough is particularly harsh or persistent, you may notice that he spits up blood.
How Does the Dog Flu Spread? Are Humans Susceptible?
The worst aspect of canine influenza, at least in the opinion of our dog trainers, is that it is highly contagious between dogs. The virus spreads the same way human flu does – through aerosolized virus projected by coughing, sneezing or barking and by direct contact with an affected dog, contaminated surface or even a human hand.
Dogs that go to boarding facilities, daycare, dog shows and dog parks face a much greater risk of contracting the flu. Although most dogs make a full recovery, complications can set in. The AVMA estimates that approximately 10 percent of dogs who contract the canine influenza virus will experience serious complications.
The good news is that humans are not at risk of catching the flu from their dogs, although cats can contract this strain of canine influenza.
How Dog Trainers Recommend Protecting Your Pet
Just like you probably do to guard against the human flu, you can have your canine companion inoculated against the virus. You can talk to your veterinarian or contact the Utah Humane Society, who offers $30 dog flu vaccination for your furry friends.
Until you can get your pet(s) vaccinated, our dog trainers recommend that you monitor them closely for any symptoms. If they begin to sneeze or cough, get in to see your vet as quickly as possible for diagnosis and treatment. And, until your pets get their flu shots, avoid hotbeds of contagion such as pet hotels and dog parks.
The experienced team of pet trainers at Innovative K9 Academy wants to ensure that your pets live a happy, healthy and well-adjusted life. Contact us today to learn more about our puppy school, boot camp programs and dog training courses. If you have any questions regarding our services, contact us today to speak to one of our professional dog trainers.