Get the Facts Before Your Pup Gets the Dog Flu

Canine influenza, or more commonly known as “dog flu,” is a contagious viral infection that, unfortunately for you and your pups, has been showing up in greater strength now in Texas.

The two most virulent strains, Virus H3N8 and H3N2, are not related in any way, so here at ZippiVet, we recommend that dogs at risk should be vaccinated against both strains. Sadly, you can’t just run down to Walgreens and grab Spot some Doggy Dayquil.

What can you do?

You can understand the risks!

Start with this map of outbreaks across the country.

Then, keep an eye for high-risk, high-dog-traffic areas.

Which Dogs are at Risk?
Dog flu is transmitted through a dog’s respiratory secretions. This can be from barking, coughing, or even sneezing. Transmission is especially more likely when a dog in close contact with any infected dog. These interactions are usually most often found at dog kennels, groomers, daycare facilities, and shelters.Dogs who regularly visit dog parks and other places where pups gather in numbers can also get sick.

The best solution? Get a vaccination that covers both the H3N2 strain and the older H3N8 strain.

ZippiVet recommends you vaccinate puppies in their eighth week of life, followed by yearly boosters. If you’re looking for an affordable solution, Book an Appointment With Us!

When Should I Seek Treatment?
If your dog starts to cough, it’s time to get it checked out, especially if they’ve been at a dog park, kennel, or groomer that week. Many dogs develop a thick and green nasal discharge. Affected dogs may seem unusually lethargic, or they may vomit. As is always the case, a fever of 104-105℉ is an important sign of illness.

To prevent transmission of the virus, dogs infected with canine flu, as well as other pets in the household, should be isolated for 4 weeks, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Come in to ZippiVet for a Pet Wellness Exam and the vaccine, or if you suspect dog flu. We make it easy to schedule an appointment in any of our three convenient locations. And if it’s your visit, you get $25 off! We’re pretty into the idea of providing affordable pet care to the Austin area.

Foods You Didn’t Know Dogs Can’t Eat

There are some surprising foods dogs can't eat.

There are some surprising foods dogs can’t eat.

Dogs are beggars. Their big, wet, innocent eyes and supernaturally sweet demeanors make them pretty much impossible to deny. They want to hop up in bed with us? Fine, come on up. They don’t want us to leave the house? Okay, okay we won’t go out. We don’t need friends anyway. We have you, doggo! Honestly if they wanted money we’d give them cash. Mostly though, our dogs want food. All the time. And if it weren’t for the budgetary constraints we’d probably be serving up a bowl of medium-rare filet mignon every night to an animal that would just as happily eat an old hot dog out of the trash. Because love. But we have to show self-control for the sake of the pups we love so irrationally, yet justifiably. Because no matter how much you and I want to treat them, it’s more important to keep your dog healthy. There are foods that, no matter how sadly your good boy is looking up at you, you shouldn’t reach under the table and feed him. These are some of those foods dogs can’t eat.

1. Avocados

At this point, who doesn’t love avocados? There’s a decent chance that even people who don’t love them lie and say they do just to fit in. Your dog loves them too. Because dogs love anything even remotely edible. Unfortunately, when you bring the pup to brunch they can’t be as cool as you are and have a piece of your avocado toast. For dogs, avocados can cause upset stomach, breathing trouble, and fluid buildup in the chest. They’re also a choking hazard. So can a dog eat avocados? No.

2. Almonds

Almonds are a heart healthy snack and a great source of protein — for you. For your dog, though, they’re hard to digest and thus a source of stomach pain. Almonds can also cause pancreatitis and, like avocados, can be a choking hazard. Keep the decorative bowl of nuts above the table. Can a dog eat almonds? No.

3. Alcohol

It probably seems like a funny party trick to give your dog a beer (or stronger) but DO NOT DO THAT. Alcohol has the same effect on a dog’s brain and liver that it does on a human’s. Except a dog’s brain is roughly equivalent to that of a two year old child’s, and chances are your dog weighs less than 100 pounds, which means it’s like you’re giving alcohol to a very large toddler. That’s super not okay. Can a dog drink alcohol? NO.

4. Grapes

“Fruit is healthy, so this is probably cool,” you think to yourself as you toss your dog a grape, somehow forgetting that you are a different species than your dog-shaped dog. While some fruits are fine for dogs to eat, grapes (and raisins) can lead to kidney failure, and cause vomiting and sluggishness. Can you feed your dog grapes? No.

5. Bacon

Yes, we know, this sounds like fake news. Bacon is meat. Dogs love meat. There’s even an extremely popular brand of dog snack whose premise and advertising is predicated around a canine’s inherent love of bacon. We must be liars. But yeah, crazy story, bacon isn’t good for a dog to eat. Bacon is a fatty cut of meat, and eating it can lead to pancreatitis, digestion problems, and trouble absorbing nutrients. If the pup wants some meat, go with something leaner. Can a dog eat bacon? No more than a teeny, tiny piece every now and then. (Even we can’t fully advocate against spoiling your pup a little — BUT ONLY A LITTLE!)

Keep your pet healthy and happy and book a checkup at ZippiVet today! We’re open seven days a week, and during evenings.