How to protect your dog from the flu

Local News

Just like humans, dogs can get the flu.

Right now there are no confirmed cases in our region, but veterinarians explain the importance to be prepared.

“We recommend the flu vaccine for any of our patients that have high frequency contact with other dogs,” Dr. Kayla Whitfield, from the Lakemont Veterinary Clinic, said. “This would be dogs that are going to boarding facilities, daycare, grooming, training centers, or any dog that is traveling extensively.”

With the flu going around, some people are now worried about their pets getting sick.

While the dog flu symptoms are similar to what happens to humans, it’s important to remember it’s not the same virus. This means you can’t pass the flu to your four-legged friend and they can’t pass it to you.

“The different components of the virus are different than in people,” Dr. Whitfield told us. “We just have a similar name that we use for them.”

So how do you keep your dog healthy?

Vets recommend the best way to prevent the virus is to vaccinate.

Michael Mastalski, the owner of Just Jak’s Pet Market, suggests some other things that might help fight the infection.

“Get the vaccination, but also have a healthy diet, exercise them well, and avoid those things that could make them susceptible,” Mastalski explained.

Mastalski said prebiotics, probiotics and vitamins can all help boost your pet’s health.

“You are what you eat,” he said. “Dogs are what they eat as well so when they eat healthy they’re a healthier pet.”

These are all tips to consider because once your dog comes in contact with the virus, it can spread quickly.

“So “If your dog does have exposure to other dogs it is highly contagious and they are at higher risk,” Dr. Whitfield said.

Veterinarians said symptoms to look for can be anything from a mild fever to feeling kind of quiet and down. It can then progress to coughing and sneezing. There can even be discharge from the nose and eyes.

If you do think your dog might be infected, doctors can do a test to confirm.

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