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Healthy Dogs

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Dog Flu: Keep Your Pet Safe

Can people catch dog flu?

“So far, there have been no reported human cases,” says Amesh Adalja, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and School of Medicine.

But flu viruses are great at adapting themselves to infect other animals, so there’s always a risk people could get it, Adalja says.

How is dog flu treated?

Just like humans, dogs need rest and fluids, Kellogg says. Make sure your pet has a quiet, comfortable place to recover and plenty of water to drink. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics if your dog gets a bacterial infection along with the flu.

If your pet shows any signs that he’s sick, it’s important to keep him away from other dogs. Avoid dog parks, kennels, or any other place where he’ll be around a lot of other dogs, Amesh says. Most dogs get better in 2-3 weeks.

Is there a vaccine?

Yes. If you live in an area where there has been an outbreak of dog flu, or your pet often comes into close contact with other dogs, it might be a good idea for him to get the shot.

“The vaccine doesn’t necessarily prevent the flu, but will decrease its severity,” Kellogg says. “Talk to your veterinarian and see if he or she recommends it.”

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Reviewed on April 10, 2015

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