Can Dogs Get the Flu?

Yes, dogs can get the flu. Canine influenza, also known as dog flu, is a contagious respiratory disease that affects dogs. It is caused by specific influenza viruses that primarily infect dogs. There are two main strains of the dog flu virus: H3N8 and H3N2.

Symptoms of Dog Flu

Just like humans, dogs can experience flu-like symptoms when they are infected with the virus. The symptoms of dog flu may include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing

Caring for a Dog with the Flu

If you suspect that your dog has the flu, it is important to take proper care of them to help them recover. Here are some tips to care for your dog with the flu:

1. Isolate your dog:

Keep your dog away from other dogs to prevent the spread of the virus. Dog flu is highly contagious, and other dogs can easily catch it from an infected dog.

2. Provide rest:

Make sure your dog gets plenty of rest. Just like humans, dogs need time to recover from an illness. Create a comfortable and quiet space for your dog to rest and sleep.

3. Keep your dog hydrated:

Encourage your dog to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration. You can also offer them chicken or beef broth to entice them to drink more.

4. Monitor their appetite:

Keep an eye on your dog’s appetite. If they are not eating, try offering them small, frequent meals of easily digestible food such as boiled chicken and rice.

5. Administer prescribed medication:

If your dog’s symptoms are severe or if they are having difficulty breathing, it is important to seek veterinary care. Your vet may prescribe medication to help manage the symptoms and speed up the recovery process.

6. Practice good hygiene:

To prevent the spread of the virus, it is important to practice good hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling your sick dog or any items they have come into contact with. Clean and disinfect their bedding, toys, and food bowls regularly.

7. Follow your vet’s advice:

Always follow the advice and instructions given by your veterinarian. They will be able to provide you with the best guidance and treatment plan for your dog’s specific situation.

Preventing Dog Flu

Prevention is key when it comes to dog flu. Here are some measures you can take to reduce the risk of your dog getting the flu:

1. Vaccination:

Speak to your veterinarian about vaccinating your dog against the flu. Vaccination can help protect your dog from the virus and reduce the severity of the symptoms if they do get infected.

2. Avoid contact with infected dogs:

Avoid taking your dog to places where there may be infected dogs, such as dog parks or boarding facilities. If you suspect a dog in your area has the flu, keep your dog away from them.

3. Practice good hygiene:

Wash your hands regularly, especially after coming into contact with other dogs or their belongings. This will help prevent the spread of the virus.

4. Boost your dog’s immune system:

A healthy immune system can help your dog fight off infections more effectively. Ensure your dog is getting a balanced diet, regular exercise, and any necessary supplements as recommended by your vet.


While dogs can get the flu, with proper care and treatment, most dogs recover fully. If you suspect your dog has the flu, it is important to consult your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. By following the tips mentioned above, you can help your dog recover and reduce the risk of spreading the virus to other dogs.