What Is Dog Flu and Can People Get It

Published: February 10, 2023

Canine influenza or “dog flu” is a certain type of Influenza A virus known to infect dogs. This virus causes respiratory infections in dogs. 

What Is Dog Flu And Can People Get It

It should be noted that no human infections with dog flu have ever been reported in humans. 

There are two different canine influenza A viruses- H3N8 and H3N2. You may have questions on how to protect your pets from illness. Your local veterinarian will be the best resource for your specific pet’s needs, and CheckPoint Urgent care can answer any questions you may have. 

Can Humans Be Infected with Dog Flu?

Canine influenza poses a very low threat to humans. There have been no reported cases of dog flu in humans in the United States or worldwide. The 2016 CDC Influenza Risk Assessment Tool found a low potential risk of a canine flu epidemic. However, viruses do constantly change and mutate. It is possible that one day, the canine influenza strain can mutate to be able to pass from animal to human. Because this would mean that humans would have little immunity, it is concerning because it could lead to a potential pandemic. The World Health Organization keeps a close eye on worldwide influenza A infections. While other animal-origin flu outbreaks have happened, no human-canine influenza infections have been reported.

Signs and Symptoms of Dog Flu

The symptoms of canine influenza are similar to what you may experience with a flu infection: 

  • Runny Nose
  • Fever (temperature over 103F)
  • Lethargy 
  • Eye discharge 
  • Reduced appetite 

Not all dogs will show symptoms. Some can be completely asymptomatic, and some may be severely ill and develop pneumonia. Most dogs infected will recover within 2- 3 weeks. If you are concerned that your pet has canine influenza, contact your veterinarian, who can properly test them. 

How is Canine Influenza Spread?

Almost all dogs are susceptible to infection. Dog flu tends to spread rapidly at kennels and shelters. It’s believed that dogs are infected through respiratory droplets from when a sick dog coughs or sneezes or through contact with contaminated surfaces. If you believe your dog may be ill, you should keep it separate from other pets. Clothing, surfaces, linens, and equipment should be cleaned and disinfected regularly. 

The best protection for your pet is a canine influenza vaccine. Your vet can supply you with all of the necessary information about vaccinations. 

CheckPoint Urgent Care: Your Flu Headquarters

If you think someone in your home may have influenza, the experts at CheckPoint Urgent care are here to help you feel better fast. We’re always close by, with three locations open seven days a week. To find the location nearest you, visit our website or contact us today.

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