A Dog Owner’s Guide to Canine Influenza

Canine influenza is a serious risk to pet healthThe arrival of cooler weather also brings the arrival of another less enticing time of year – flu season. While you’re gearing up for sleet and snow, we want to remind dog owners about the dangers of canine influenza (also known as dog flu). Keep reading to learn more about how to protect your pet.

What is Canine Influenza?


Canine influenza is a highly contagious upper respiratory infection caused by two influenza strains: H3N2 and H3N8. The H3N2 virus caused a national uproar when it emerged on the scene in 2015. In fact, hundreds of dogs were affected in the Chicagoland area. Both strains were present in birds before mutating and infecting dogs.

Much like human flu, canine influenza is spread through coughing and sneezing and through contact with contaminated surfaces, such as food and water bowls or chew toys. The disease spreads rapidly in areas where dogs tend to congregate, such as dog parks, doggie daycares, grooming salons, and boarding kennels. Continue…

Dog Flu: Canine Influenza and Its Latest Strains

Mixed breed dogCanine influenza, or dog flu, is a subject of great concern for many dog owners after last year’s initial outbreak and the more recent 2016 outbreak within the Chicago area. And rightly so, as both incidents have resulted in several cases of flu throughout the Midwest. Because the virus is so contagious, there is substantial cause for worry about how quickly the illness would be spread and its impact on canine health, but there’s no reason to panic, either.

An Overview of Dog Flu

Since the strains of Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) continue to imperil our four-legged pals, an understanding of this illness and tactics to reduce exposure are paramount to keeping the flu from continuing to spread.

The CIV strain H3N8 was initially thought to be a strain that was equine endogenous, or affecting only horses. However, the virus mutated and spread to canines sometime around 2004 when an outbreak occurred in Florida among a group of greyhounds. Continue…