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Does Your Dog Need a Flu Shot?

It's that time of year when dog parents are inundated with seasonal warnings for the influenza vaccine. But will it really protect your dog?

canine influenza vaccines

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Many dog parents are concerned, especially during the colder months of the year, about canine viruses like the flu, and whether their own pet might acquire an infection; while dog flu is highly contagious, most dogs make a complete recovery without medical intervention
  • Unlike many veterinarians who recommend canine influenza vaccines, instead, I recommend keeping your pet’s immune system healthy and reducing opportunities for exposure
  • The canine influenza virus (CIV) is typically transmitted by close contact with an infected dog, often in a restricted space — because infected dogs shed a relatively low amount of the virus, casual contact isn't a huge concern
  • Symptoms include coughing, hacking, or gagging, and laryngitis; treatment is primarily supportive, and there are many natural remedies that can provide symptom relief; in addition, you can take commonsense steps to reduce your dog’s exposure risk

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