Canine Influenza otherwise known as dog flu is a new disease threatening dogs.

Here are some things you should know about:

1. Dogs of all breeds and ages can get it.

2. Dog flu is highly contagious and social dogs are most at risk.

If your dog goes to a dog run, park, or doggie daycare regularly, your dog is at higher risk for contracting the flu. The virus spreads rapidly through sneezing, coughing, and through contaminated clothing and objects such as food bowls or toys.

3. Some signs of dog flu are:

- Bad coughing
- Runny nose
- Sneezing
- Watery eyes
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy

4. Dog flu must be treated quickly or it can be fatal.

While canine influenza is usually mild, severe respiratory infections and pneumonia are serious complications that can arise if the flu is not treated promptly. There’s no way to predict which dogs will have mild disease and which dogs will have severe disease.

5. Vaccinate your dog.

Prevention is always better than cure; so vaccinate your dogs as soon as you can. However, like human flu shots, the vaccine for dog flu cannot completely prevent the illness but it will help in lowering the chances of it occuring. Other benefits include making the cough and other symptoms milder should your dog become infected. By vaccinating your dog, you can help protect it from the disease as well as prevent the spread of the disease to other dogs in your community.