DAYTON — Cases of dog flu are now being reported to Miami Valley veterinarians as the virus starts to spread more nationwide, officials said Wednesday.
As a result local doctors are taking steps to educate pet owners about how they can protect their furry friends.
At Dayton South Veterinary Clinic, the first thing pet owners see when they enter the facility is a sign that lists the symptoms of dog flu.
It then asks owners not to go any further if their pets have any of the symptoms to avoid infecting other animals with the virus.
In addition, Dr. Daniel Brauer at the clinic insists that his patients make sure their dogs get their annual flu shots.
“There's even been some concerned cases from a doggy daycare center here in Dayton, in the Dayton area,” he said. “People are coming in now that were associated with that daycare center to have their pets vaccinated, because they're worried.”
Unlike human flu, dog flu is year round, but recently a strand of avian flu spreads to dogs in the U.S., and there’s an uptick in cases nationwide.
“If the pets are unvaccinated, you definitely don't want to take them to daycare centers, kennels,” Brauer said.
That’s because the virus can live in an environment for up to 48 hours, he said.
“Your pet just needs to sniff it, and they will get it if they’re not vaccinated, Brauer said.