How Contagious Is Dog Flu to Owners?

Canine influenza or dog flu is not believed to be contagious to humans. There has been no evidence that dog flu has the ability to be transmitted across species. The current dog flu is a mutated version of the equine (horse) flu virus. Dog flu is highly contagious between dogs because they don't have a natural immunity towards it, as of yet. The virus is transmitted from one dog to the other by direct contact with respiratory secretions. Contact with contaminated bowls or other objects may spread the virus as well.

Symptoms of Dog Flu

Your dog may have the flu if he exhibits the following symptoms:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Fever over 103 degrees
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression

There currently is no vaccine for dog flu but most infected dogs recover with no treatment. A small percentage of dogs may develop pneumonia as a result of the flu and need treatment. Antibiotics, cough suppressants and intravenous fluids may be prescribed to help make the dog more comfortable during the duration of the virus.