Canine influenza virus, or dog flu, is described in this video. A new strain first appeared in Chicago in 2015, and now in Kentucky there’s an outbreak of major proportions going on. In all, nearly every state has been affected.
Once infected, a single dog can create a bigger problem, because sometimes infected dogs that spread the disease don’t get sick, so the owners don’t keep the dog away from other dogs. If the dog is vaccinated, this doesn’t happen. Also, the virus can actually live on things in the environment—from your shoes to dog toys—for up to an entire day. Another dog (who isn’t protected by the vaccine) comes along and sniffs at your shoes or a toy, and now that dog is infected, even if that dog didn’t actually meet the sick dog nose to nose.
While dog flu isn’t seasonal per se, it may occur more often when dogs intermingle, like at boarding facilities. And this is the time of year people most often board their dogs.
Boarding facilities should mandate the dog flu vaccine, but most do not.