It’s being called the “Dog Flu” but is officially known as Infectious Tracheobronchitis. A version of kennel cough, it causes dogs to violently hack and wheeze as if they are choking on something and is easily spread from dog to dog.
Because of this, many local animal shelters and stores have postponed or canceled events, not wanting to expose more dogs to the flu.
This year, A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter decided to turn their annual 5k walk-a-thon into a virtual walk-a-thon so the flu would not be spread to participating pooches, a decision that involved much thought and consideration, “Being a humane organization, we were really concerned about the dogs in our community and the people at the event. And we absolutely did not want to put any dogs at risk, knowing that the virus is out there, that it’s highly contagious,” explained Chris Stirn, Executive Director of A.D.O.P.T. Pet Shelter.
Though treatable, vets are recommending all dogs be vaccinated for the flu to stop the virus from spreading more.
Now that temperatures are on the rise, many dogs are going for longer walks, making the next health concern fleas and ticks.
Excessive itching is the easiest way to tell if your dog, or cat, has fleas. Just one of these little critters can cause a great deal of discomfort for your animal, so it’s important to go through their hair with a fine toothed comb, checking for any movement or bumps.
Adreanne Tesene, owner of Two Boston’s explains, “just make sure you’re grooming your dog on a regular basis, making sure that you know their body and knowing what is normal for them, so as soon as anything is abnormal it’s a red flag and you can take care of it right away,”
To help stop the problem before it starts, you can use traditional methods like flea collars and topical ointments or natural products like shampoos, sprays, and edible powders.
You can also take action around your home, spraying down your yard with special flea and tick repellent, regularly washing bedding in very warm soapy water and thoroughly vacuuming, especially around baseboards where bugs tend to hide.
If you suspect your dog might have fleas or ticks, don’t hesitate to contact your vet.
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