The “Dog Flu” can be a very upsetting illness for you and your dog. Knowing the facts can help avoid your dog from contracting this disease. The disease is called Influenza Type A or H3N8.

The dog flu originated from horses and has mutated and migrated to dogs. Symptoms of the dog flu disease are a cough, runny nose, fever, trouble breathing in a more serious case. If your dog suffers from any of these symptoms, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

For those of you who are new to the dog world, a dogs normal temperature ranges from 100 to 101.5. Anything above that will be considered a fever. Unless you know how to take a dogs temperature, do not try it yourself unless instructed and taught by your vet. Typically, a temperature is take rectally and the thermometer is to be inserted just until the medal tip is covered. You must use Vaseline on the thermometer before insertion. Do not use glass thermometer! Use a digital one. Even if your dogs temperature comes out normal, do not hesitate to take your dog to the vet if they have a cough or runny nose.

The following list will help you prevent your dog from contracting the Dog Flu H3N8:

1. Sanitize

It should be a regular practice if you are a pet owner to clean their bowls, kennels and bedding everyday. Bowls should be washed with soap and hot water, never bleach. Depending on the type of bowl you use, the bleach could settle into the pores of the bowl. Bedding should be machine washed regularly and kennels and crates washed with a anti-viral cleanser.

2. Floors

What ever you have on your shoes, you bring into your home. If possible, take your shoes off at the front door and have a pair of shoes waiting for you inside that you know are clean and where they have been. If this is not possible, you must clean your floors every time you come in your home from a place (other than your backyard),outside. If you have carpet, Lysol products work well. On tile and marble floors use bleach. This may seem overprotective, but it will help you keep your dog from getting ill.

3. Dog Parks

Dog parks are a breeding area for all types of illnesses. It is not recommended to bring your dogs to a dog park. You have no idea if other people have immunized their dogs, taken precautions against Rabies or have ever even been to a vet. The Dog Flu is very active in dog parks.

4. Teeth

Brushing your dogs teeth and keeping them clean will help with the prevention of growing bacteria, which could be a secondary complication in the H3N8. If your dog will not let your brush, use a small warm towel with approved dog paste and wipe them clean as best your can.

5. Diet

If your dog has a strong immune system, it will protect them from getting sick and if they do, it will be a milder case. Never feed your dog food with BHA or BHT in it. It causes cancer and weakens your dogs immune system. Make sure your dog is on a good, well balanced diet and not some junk dog food filled with corn and fillers. Give healthy snacks such as carrots.