As temperatures drop and the seasons change, it’s inevitable that a few folks in the office or a couple of family members will come down with flu. However, it’s not just humans who are affected – our canine friends are susceptible to catching the flu too…
What is Dog Flu?
This disease is relatively common in dogs and is similar to the human cold – although you can’t catch a cold from your dog and vice versa. Dog flu is often known as ‘canine influenza’, which is a virus that mainly affects the respiratory system.
What are the symptoms of dog flu?
- A cough
- A runny nose
- A fever
- A lack of energy or enthusiasm
- Eye discharge
- A reduced appetite
- Signs of dehydration
- The dog might be frequently soiling themselves (usually due to tiredness and inactivity)
- An increased temperature (a normal temperature is between 37.7 and 39.4°C)
Treating dog flu
Your vet may give your dog antibiotics to help, but there’s a few easy ways to help keep your friend comfortable while they recover. Your dog’s immune system is ultimately the best tool to fight the infection, so you need to do everything you can to help strengthen it:
- Keep your dog’s eyes and nose clean by wiping down these areas with a damp piece of cotton wool.
- Make sure your dog’s bed has plenty of padding so they stay comfortable and don’t develop bed sores.
- Keep your dog indoors and make sure it’s not too hot or cold inside
- Ensure that your dog stays hydrated by constantly drinking fluids.
- Encourage your dog to eat- A sick dog might not have an appetite but it’s important to keep their strength up. If your dog won’t eat then try warming up some wet canned food and offering it to them. Your canine friend may allow you to hand feed them or might be interested in eating their favourite treats but f nothing seems to be working then give your vet a call. Talk to your vet about pet friendly medication which can help to minimise any unpleasant symptoms for your dog.
How can dog flu be prevented?
- Keeping your dog indoors will maximise their comfort as well as minimising the risk of spreading the flu.
- Monitor your dog’s recovery. After a few days they should start to return to their normal self but if their health gets worse then give your vet a call.