Traveling for Thanksgiving: Vaccinate for Dog Flu NOW
If you happen to be traveling with your pet for Thanksgiving, you should do it now. And I do mean now. I’m talking about the flu vaccine – not the human flu vaccine, but instead the vaccine for the dog flu or canine influenza virus.
Here’s why you likely need it. And here’s why there’s a rush for those traveling at Thanksgiving with their dog(s).
Last year, according to AAA Travel over 46 million Americans traveled 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday in 2015, the most since 2007. If this trend continues, more will be traveling with their pets than likely ever before in 2016.
So, here’s the part about the dog flu. There are two (known) strains of dog flu in the U.S. Even if one or both strains aren’t occurring where you are, it doesn’t mean the flu isn’t more active to wherever you are traveling. Also, as a public safety measure you don’t want your dog to bring the flu wherever you are headed. Around 20 to 25 percent of dogs carry the virus without symptoms. If that is your dog, you have no way to tell the dog is transmitting flu to others.
Also, who wants a sick dog? While the vast majority of dogs recover just fine from the flu, some need hospitalization and others actually pass away. And those that get sick with flu feel like we do with the flu, pretty awful for several days or even up to a few weeks.
Here’s why you do need to vaccinate asap if you are traveling with your pup over Thanksgiving, it’s because after the initial vaccine a booster shot is required about three weeks later.
In the world of human flu, there are many strains, so experts pick those for the vaccine that are mostly likely to occur in the U.S. in any given year. Among dogs, there are are only two strains in the U.S., and one bivalent vaccine covers both – no guess work involved.
The dog flu bug itself isn’t seasonal – but dog flu does seem to occur more around holidays, likely because that is when people board their dogs in kennels and travel with them. So, similarly before boarding, it’s in your best interest to consider vaccinating, who know who your dog will be exposed to. In fact, I believe all boarding kennels should require the bivalent dog flu vaccine.
Of course, ask your veterinarian.
Learn more HERE.