URGENT – Dog Influenza Outbreak in the Midwest

Just this morning the news was filled with talk of a dog influenza outbreak in Chicago. Dog influenza is extremely dangerous to your pet, especially if left untreated. In order to better protect your dog from catching this illness, it’s important to know where it comes from, what it looks like, and what to do next if you believe your dog has caught it.


What is Dog Influenza?

Dog influenza, also known as canine influenza virus (CIV) or kennel cough, is a respiratory disease that has affected thousands of dogs in the United States in the past due to similar outbreaks even though it is still a relatively new virus. It’s so new that most dogs have never been exposed to it before which puts them at a much higher risk of infection. With that said, dogs of any age, breed, and vaccine status are susceptible to the disease.


How Do Dogs Contract Canine Influenza?

Canine influenza is transmitted between dogs through a combination of aerosols, droplets, and direct contact with respiratory secretions. The virus does not have a long air life, so for your dog to become infected, he would have to be in close proximity with another dog. This could be through play in the house or dog park or through cuddling with other dogs who have already been infected. On that note, dogs who interact with large groups of dogs are at a much higher risk than those who do not frequent dog parks, daycares, or dog beaches.


What Are the Symptoms for Dog Influenza?

Because canine influenza affects the respiratory system, you can expect the following symptoms in any combination if your dog has been infected:


  • Clear Nasal Discharge that Becomes Thick, Yellow-Green Mucus Overtime
  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Rapid/Difficult Breathing
  • Sneezing
  • Variable Fever


Most dogs will show typical symptoms of kennel cough if they catch it, however some may develop a more severe illness that could ultimately include death if the illness is not caught and treated early on.


What is the Cure for Canine Influenza?

If your dog is showing any of the above symptoms, you should call your vet immediately. Kennel cough is very similar to the human flu, so there are no antiviral medications, but treating the sickness correctly is imperative to your dog’s recovering health. One of the best things you can do during this time of illness is to provide attentive and appropriate care for your dog. Some treatments include:


  • Building to the Treatment for Pneumonia
  • Making Sure Your Dog is Staying Hydrated
  • Medication to Treat Secondary Bacterial Infections
  • Providing a Quiet, Warm Place for Rest
  • Providing Good Nutrients and Immune-System Raising supplements


Depending on the severity of your dog’s case of dog influenza, you will need to take different steps. For a standard sickness, your dog will fight it off themselves within 10-30 days. If it progresses to secondary infections, your pet will require antibiotics, and if the illness turns into pneumonia, hospitalization will be required immediately.


Minimizing the Spread of Canine Influenza

Humans don’t have to worry about catching the dog virus, so you are freely able to take care of your dog without fear of falling ill. If you believe your dog has been infected, it’s best to isolate your dog for 10-14 days after diagnosis. Do not think that because your dog isn’t showing heavy symptoms, they are not contagious as your dog will be the most contagious before symptoms become apparent. If you have multiple dogs and one appears to have caught kennel cough, isolate him or her from the rest for the time being in order to minimize the spread of infection.


If you believe your dog has caught canine influenza, don’t panic as it’s generally curable. Just make sure to take the right care and you will be just fine.

5 Best Pet Cities in America

Your dog will always love where she lives so long as she’s with you. However, pet parents have voted and we have done some research to bring you the best pet cities in America based on not only the pet population, but the pet amenities throughout the city such as dog parks, pet stores, dog grooming, daycare, and training, and overall dog friendliness. If you’re looking to vacation in or move to one of the best pet cities in America, here are the top five and why they’re rated that way:


1. Portland, OR

dog servicesThere are many reasons why Portland is one of the best dog cities in America. To start off, there are 33 dog parks within the city limits which earns it the title of most dog parks per capita of any big city in America. Portland hasn’t forgotten about the weather and with that said, many of its dog parks are indoors. It’s also infamous for its annual dog events such as the Pug Crawl which has been going for fifteen years now and the Pit Bull Parade which was formed in order to combat the negative reputation Pit Bulls have associated with them that is entirely inaccurate.


2. San Diego, CA

Dog parks, dog beaches, restaurants that love dogs as patrons, and so much more. What more could you and your dog want than a day at the beach? How about an annual Surf Dog Competition? This warm city opens its arms to you and your dog with countless dog boutiques and dog-friendly breweries to shut the day down with. Visitors shouldn’t have a hard time finding hotels that allow pets and pet parents shouldn’t have a hard time settling in with a favorite pet park.


3.    Seattle, WA

Seattle is known for a lot of things and its dog friendliness is one of them. In fact, one of Seattle’s nicknames is the King of Dog-Friendly Cities. There are not only dog parks and dog-friendly restaurants in abundance, but there are an incredible amount of dog-friendly workplaces and living places, human-dog fitness classes, and a dog-inclusive ice cream cruise. If your dog isn’t a fan of the rain, don’t worry, many of their dog parks are indoors.


4.    Austin, TX

With gorgeous weather almost year around, Austin offers many dog-friendly restaurants and even a mobile food truck for dogs called Bow-Wow Bones with a number of treats that may or may not already be your dog’s favorite. They have dogs-only swimming spots, one of which is called Red Bud Isle which is a great place for you and your dog to take a break from the Texas heat. It also currently boasts 35 professional pet photographers within city limits.


5.    San Francisco, CAfull_service_small_pet_groomers

Ranked second in the nation for walkability, San Francisco is a great place for pet parents to live and visit. They have a well-known reputation as a dog-friendly city with dog parks abound and an incredible shopping district for human and dog patrons. They also have an annual DogFest which has been going on for 8 years. There are a number of dog beaches around the city, vacation rentals, and so much more. The entire Bay Area is known as one of the most dog-friendly parts of the country.