Does your dog need a flu shot?

Does your dog need a flu shot?

The H3N8 influenza virus, or canine flu, affects dogs of all ages and can cause serious flu-like symptoms for a couple weeks. While the U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a flu vaccine for canines, not every dog may need it.

Angie’s List, the nation's premier provider of consumer reviews, surveyed highly rated veterinarians nationwide to get the details on what dog owners need to know about canine influenza.

Dogs most at risk of canine influenza

  • Young and older dogs are more susceptible to the more serious form of the disease.
  • If you’ve recently adopted a dog from an animal shelter, rescue group or pet store, it has a higher risk of coming in contact with the canine flu virus.
  • Other high risk areas for dogs include dog parks, kennels and doggie daycare.
  • If you live in (or your dog has recently visited) Colorado, Florida, New York, New Jersey or Pennsylvania, your dog has a higher risk of getting the virus. More cases have been reported in these areas.

What to do if your dog exhibits flu symptoms

  • Symptoms in dogs include a persistent cough and runny nose along with a fever and could last at least 10 days.
  • Call your veterinarian immediately if your dog is coughing. Inform the office staff so they can avoid spreading the disease in the waiting room.
  • Local veterinarians know how high the influenza risk is for their practice areas. Discuss whether your dog needs the vaccine.
  • Dogs that already have the flu may need the vaccine because it can reduce the duration and severity of illness.
  • Use dog groomers and boarding facilities that are reputable and where you feel comfortable. Ask the facilities what steps they will take if dogs appear ill.

More Like This

What shots does my dog need?

The question isn’t as simple as it may seem when it comes to shots for dogs. As we learn more about canine diseases and vaccines, more choices are available.

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