Tag Archives: Pet Health

Canine Influenza

What Is a Canine Influenza or Dog Flu? Do You Have to Worry about It When Your Dog Is Traveling with You?

Canine influenza, or in simple words, dog flu is a respiratory and highly contagious disease found in dogs. This new disease was first seen in the United States in 2004. The virus caused the death of Greyhound dogs at the race track in New Jersey and since then it has become infamous in the canine world. The responsible virus behind canine influenza is H3N8. However, another strain of the virus, H3N2 emerged afterward. Both the virus can make canines sick badly and cause the deaths if not provided with proper medical attention.

Even though canine influenza makes frequent appearances in news, fortunately, the virus is not that widespread and does not affect each and every dog and kill. Most importantly, it can be prevented by the precautions. If you’re traveling to another state or country, you will have to look at how prevalent the canine flu is in that place. Moreover, it is crucial to know how the disease spreads, where your dog is prone to get infected, and how to keep your dog safe from the virus.

How Canine Influenza Spreads

Just like mammalian influenza spreads among humans through a respiratory medium, dog flu spreads by the droplets that contain nasal secretion when a dog sniffs, barks, licks, or shares their things with other dogs. It also spreads if you caress your pooch after touching an influenza-infected doggie.

That said, dog flu can spread through water and food bowls, collars, harnesses, or clothes of infected canines, public dog water drinking, kennels, shelters, pet boarding, walking, and sitting services where many dogs gather and likely to contract influenza virus.

Canine flu virus can live up to 48 hours on any surface, 24 hours on clothing, and 12 hours on hands. Only 80% of infected pooches show symptoms of the disease while the rest still can spread the virus so you can never say the dog is infected or not by his general well-being. Laboratory tests are the only way to diagnose the disease. Moreover, dogs are most contagious during the virus incubation period which is 2-8 days and still, there will be no symptoms at all in the infected dog and might be shedding the virus everywhere he goes.

What Are the Signs You Should Care For

When it’s time for your most awaited holidays you never want to think your pooch has already contracted the virus and you will be immersed in taking care of your sick doggie and taking him to vet in a foreign place.

So before you fly, if your dog is showing symptoms similar to a kennel cough it warrants a vet visit. Dog flu has similar symptoms that a kennel cough would induce- soft, dry cough or a moist cough. Moreover, these symptoms won’t disappear till 10 to 21 days despite being on cough suppressants and other antibiotics. There are few other symptoms which may accompany a dog such as sneezing, nasal and/or oculus discharge.  Mostly, nasal discharge happens due to secondary bacterial infection.

The severe cases are those when canines start exhibiting the clinical signs of pneumonia. A high-grade fever (104°F to 106°F) and increased respiratory rate are the symptoms you will see. Although most canines recover without incidents, there are cases of deaths reported due to H3N2.

If even a single sign appears in your pooch, you should pay a visit to the vet office. Your vet might instruct you to keep him in your car as he can shed influenza virus to other dogs in the office if at all he is infected. Moreover, there’s no season of canine influenza, it can produce acute infections at any time of the year.

A Little Bit about Preventive Measures

Before you take off, don’t miss to read these preventive measures to keep your pooch safe from canine influenza. We have discussed earlier that your dog is prone to the virus where dogs congregate. Go to your vet and ask him about how prevalent the disease is in the place you’re visiting.

Make sure you are using a soundproof crate for your dog if you are traveling by airway. This will help your dog to relax and calm while jet engines rev.

It might be inconvenient to take all of your dog’s things, for example, his/her favorite plush dog bed, leash, harness, toys, and each and everything he uses at home but you will thank yourself for bringing his own things, especially, food bowls and water bowls. In a nutshell, don’t let your pooch use other doggies’ things and share his own things with them. Your pooch is likely to catch flu at places like dog parks, beaches, and every place where dogs gather in large number. So try to avoid visiting those places with your dog. If your pooch is not going to accompany you then give your pet sitter strict instructions about the preventive measures. Bookmark Pet Jets and visit us again for pet health articles related to flying.

oral health tips for dogs

Oral Health Tips for Your Pet Dog

When it comes to taking care of a dog, there are so many things to keep in mind–from nutrition to exercise to affection and love. If you want to ensure your pet dog’s health stays in optimal condition, it’s important to not only focus on his body, but also his mouth. A dog’s oral health can have a huge impact on his overall well-being, and by taking care of his teeth, you can ensure that his body stays healthy, too. Here are some oral health tips for your dog to make sure that an unhealthy mouth doesn’t cause any unnecessary problems or strife.

Brush Your Dog’s Teeth

Buy your dog a pet toothbrush and some dog toothpaste. Then, daily, brush your dog’s teeth with the brush. Dog toothpaste comes in a variety of flavors–from peanut butter to mint to chicken. Find a toothpaste that smells good to you and one that is in a flavor that your dog loves having in his mouth. If he likes the way that the toothpaste tastes when you brush it onto his teeth, he won’t mind letting you do it daily.

Get Regular Teeth Cleanings

You can work on keeping your dog’s teeth clean at home, but you’ll need to have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned regularly in order to ensure that they’re adequately germ free. When you take your dog to the vet for a regular visit or to buy Heartgard, ask if you can also get your dog’s teeth cleaned. They’ll give your dog anesthesia so they can comfortably work in his mouth, and when he wakes up, he’ll have teeth that are plaque-free and healthy. You should get your dog’s teeth cleaned by your vet once a year.

Give Your Dog Tooth-Friendly Treats

There are treats that are made for dogs that are specifically meant to improve dental health. Buy your dog these treats and give them as rewards daily or every few days. When your dog chews on tooth-friendly treats, he’ll enjoy the flavor and texture of what he’s eating, and he’ll also enjoy the added benefits of cleaner teeth and better dental health.

Consider Dental Wipes

If your dog will let you, you can use dental wipes in order to clean your dog’s gums and teeth. At the end of the day, take a wipe and use it to wipe across the teeth and gum lines. Dental wipes for dogs are specially made to both remove plaque, food and dirt from your dog’s teeth, and to help kill any germs that are on his gums that could cause infections. It’s essential to keep any mouth infections at bay in your dog because they can spread from his gums into his blood, ultimately causing problems in other organs and systemically.

If you want to make sure your dog is as healthy as can be, make sure you pay attention to his oral health, too. By taking care of your dog’s teeth, gums, and tongue, you can ensure that his mouth will smell, look and feel good (for you and him!) for years to come. If you have any questions about the best way to care for your dog’s mouth and teeth, be sure to ask your vet, who’ll have tips and tricks for dogs who make it particularly hard.

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Dogs Health

Is Your AC Paws-itively Impacting Your Dogs Health?

AC has become a staple in most households today, and with good reason. The effects of climate change, for one, has brought about hotter summers which can get extremely uncomfortable without an AC.

Aside from comfort, a good AC can remove indoor pollutants ensuring good health for both you and your pet.

Your dog’s role in air quality

Pets and indoor air quality go hand in hand. Your dog sheds hair and skin cells around the clock. Having these particles as well as dust, smoke, gas fumes, and carpet fluff among others, floating in the air you breathe lowers overall air quality and impacts your health.

Some effects of indoor pollutants may show immediately while some will build up and become symptomatic over time. Irritation of the nose, eyes and throat, fatigue, dizziness, and headaches are some of the short-term effects. Taking away these pollutants can ease the symptoms immediately.

It is the long-term effects that you should be more concerned about as they can lead to respiratory diseases, heart disease, and even cancer.

Scientists agree that when air quality is bad for humans, it’s equally bad for dogs too. Pet health is also affected by poor air quality. However, some dogs are affected more than others. Dogs with asthma or bronchitis; brachycephalic dogs like bulldogs, Boston terriers, and Pugs; as well as puppies and senior dogs tend to feel the effects more.

How can you tell if you have poor air quality?

The easiest way to determine indoor air quality would be to call in a professional to do an assessment, but you could also choose to conduct an evaluation on your own. Here are a few pointers if DIY is more your speed:

  1. Is any member of your household or your dog experiencing allergic reactions or an aggravation of existing allergies? If you answer in the affirmative, then this is an indication that your air quality is compromised.
  2. Are there any sources of pollution inside your home? These could be dust and fumes from living on a busy street or even indoor smoke. While having a source of pollution does not out rightly mean you have bad air quality, it can be a cause of it in future.
  3. Is the ventilation in your home sufficient? To answer this question consider the following:
  • Is there condensed moisture on windows and walls?
  • Is the air smelly or stuffy?
  • Is your cooling equipment dirty?
  • Is there mold on shoes, handbags and books?

In the event that you are able to spot these, then you should start thinking about how to improve your ventilation.

What can you do to protect your family and your dog?

Once you know what to look out for, the next step is to figure out how to get around it and ensure that your family, including your pawed member is well taken care of. Here are a few things to implement in your home for better air quality:

  • Ventilation

The simplest way to improve ventilation is by opening doors and windows. This will allow cross flows that improves circulation around the house.

  • Wash your furry friend regularly

Washing your dog often will help reduce shedding and cut down on dander. This will reduce the amount of dander circulating in the air you breathe.

  • Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter

HEPA filters are designed to trap a large array of allergens as you clean. These include pollen, mold, spores, pet dander, fur, dust. This gives your entire family better air and keeps allergies at bay, or under control.

  • Good Air Conditioning system

This is the ultimate go-to for clean indoor air. It takes little effort on your part, and can be used year round. Also for houses where opening windows is not an option, the AC system is still a viable alternative. For dog owners, you may notice that your filter clogs faster than usual. With dog fur and dander in the air, your system is working overtime to maintain good indoor air quality, to ensure both you and your pet’s health is taken care of. To maintain efficiency, ensure that you change the filters regularly. During the summer months, when you use your system more, check your filters for clogging every month without fail. If your air is “smelly” or “stuffy” you might also consider purchasing an air purifier for pets.

Another way of ensuring your HVAC systems works optimally is by regular maintenance service.

With these tips, you know what to look out for, as well as what to do to ensure your dog stays happy and healthy throughout the year. Aside from enjoying a better quality of life, you should note good pet health and as a result fewer trips to the veterinarian. We hope you enjoyed this article and it helps with your dogs health.