With the flu spreading at epidemic levels, you might think only people are at risk but turns out so are your furry friends. 

The flu is speading at alarming rates this year, and even taking the lives of children and otherwise healthy adults. And much like humans, canine influenza is just as contagious for dogs and worse this year than it has been in decades before.

So far, there have been cases of canine flu all across the country and even up into Canada. Kind of like humans, dogs can spread this to each other through barking, sneezing, or coughing when they are in close quarters like doggie-day cares or groomers.

It is so contagious that almost 80% of dogs who come in contact with the virus will become infected. In some cases, it turns into pneumonia and can be deadly.

Here's what to look for if you suspect your pup may be sick: coughing, lethargy, fever, decrease appetite, and a running nose.

You can protect your fur-kid just like you would your human one - wash their toys, disinfect their leashes and water bowls and don't have playdates with other dogs that may be unvaccinated. There is a dog flu shot, but unforunately, it's not recommeded for every dog so talk to your vet if you have any concerns.

Don't worry - canine influenza is an entirely different strain than the human flu. If your doggo gets sick, you don't have to stress about catching it yourself.

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