Find out how to be a proactive pet parent during illness outbreaks.
A recent canine flu outbreak in Chicago has infected 1,500 dogs with influenza, killing six dogs and leading to the closure of two shelters and one daycare. The outbreak reminds us to stay proactive at dog daycare. These tips for pet parents will help avoid the spread of dog colds.
Dogs get sick just like people and the best way to avoid the spread of illnesses is to recognize symptoms early and keep your dog at home. In a setting like doggy daycare, this is extremely important because dogs play in large groups where airborne illnesses like kennel cough and the canine flu can spread quickly.
- Dogs get runny noses, fevers and watery eyes when they get sick. If you notice general cold-like symptoms, your dog might be fighting off a cold.
- Often, dog vomiting comes from simply an upset stomach or from eating something not dog-friendly. Take vomiting seriously if it comes with other symptoms like lethargy, weight loss, diarrhea and change of appetite.
- Puppies are more prone to getting sick. Like with kids, puppies’ immune systems are underdeveloped, which makes them more likely to catch illnesses.
- Always tell your daycare provider if you notice anything unusual with your dog. We see hundreds of dogs within a week and might observe a trend.
- Don’t convince yourself your dog’s sickness is nothing and get everyone sick. We know it’s frustrating to have a sick dog at home, but when you bring him or her into daycare, you could expose hundreds of dogs to your dog’s condition – especially puppies.
- For most illnesses, we recommend that your dog stay home for at least two weeks or longer depending on the recommendation for your veterinarian.
What about preventing the spread of illness at dog daycare? At Fitdog, we:
- Recycle the air 12 times an hour or every 5 minutes,
- Disinfect sleeping and eating areas in between use (like a hotel),
- Use veterinarian-quality chemicals that specifically kill canine bacteria and parasites,
- Disinfect the entire facility nightly,
- Watch for signs and symptoms of illnesses and parasites,
- Notify owners immediately if we notice anything unusual, and
- Maintain strict policies about attendance while sick.