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Canine Flu – What You Need to Know

Posted in Blog

Flu Season is just around the corner and while people will be lining up to get their Flu shot, they might not have realized that their pet should get a flu shot too.  Now that isn’t to say you should strap your pooch in the car and speed off to your local drug store to get them a flu shot, but vaccinating your dog against Canine Influenza is something to consider.  As of May 2018, 46 states have had confirmed cases of Canine Influenza. Out of the 48 Continental United States, only North Dakota and Nebraska have not been hit.  No pet owner wants think about their precious pup getting sick, but with more and more cases of Canine Influenza being documented in states as close as New York and New Jersey, now is the perfect time for pet owners to learn more about this virus.

What Is Canine Influenza?

Canine Influenza, also known as Dog Flu, is a highly contagious virus that affects dogs and cats.  Currently in the United States, there are two different strains that have been documented: H3N8 and H3N2. The virus is thought to have adapted from the H3N8 equine virus, and is fairly new to the United States with the first case of H3N8 being recorded in Florida in 2004, and the first case of H3N2 being recorded in Illinois in 2015.

What Are The Symptoms?

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Runny Nose/Discharge from Eyes

How Is It Spread?

  • Dog to Dog: Barking, Coughing, Licking, Etc.
  • Human Contact: If a human comes into contact with an affected dog and do not properly sanitize, they can transfer the virus to another dog
  • Air: Canine Flu can be transmitted through particles in the air
  • Surfaces: Shared bowls, Toys, Bedding, Etc.

Where Is It Spread?

  • Common Areas where there is a lot of traffic or multiple dogs
  • Training Classes
  • Dog Parks
  • Dog Grooming, Boarding, and Daycare Facilities

What Is The Best Way To Protect Your Pup?

The best way to protect your pup is to vaccinate, as the vaccine is highly effective and gives your pup the maximum amount of protection that he/she can have.  There is a bivalent vaccine that will cover both strains of the Canine Flu.  If you choose not to vaccinate your pup, you should avoid areas with a large number of dogs, or do so at your own risk. Additionally, the Canine Influenza virus can survive on clothing, hands, and surfaces for about 24 hours, so regular disinfection of food bowls, crates/bedding, and any toys is recommended. It is important to call your vet immediately if you think your pup has come into contact with the virus.

How Does Hope Lock Work To Prevent An Outbreak of Canine Flu?

Here at Hope Lock Kennels we actively work to make sure our facility is as clean as possible. Our crates and floors are cleaned daily with an antimicrobial cleaner that is certified by veterinarians. Additionally, we wash all food dishes after each use, we keep belongings (toys, bedding, etc.) with the dog who owns them, and we do not  allow dogs to share dishes or water buckets unless the dogs are housemates.  Since no dogs have any natural immunity against Canine Flu, we strongly recommend vaccinating your dog against the Canine Flu virus.



Burke, Anna. “What You Should Know About Dog Flu: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention.” American Kennel Club, 27 July 2018,


Wolfe, Jonathan. “New York Today: An Outbreak of Dog Flu.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 30 May 2018,

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