Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe from Respiratory Illness in 2024

By Christina Brockway

by Celia Cooksey

One concern you may have heading into 2024 may come from visiting people, their pets, and the potential of your four-legged companion contracting the “mysterious virus,” which appears to be a respiratory illness in dogs, that can lead to pneumonia or death.  Is it really a new virus or not?  Dr. Deborah Silverstien with the University of Pennsylvania Ryan Veterinary Hospital states, “There is a continuous waxing and waning of respiratory diseases in dogs just as you might expect in a daycare full of children…”  Knowing the best practices to prevent any sort of illness in your pets is important.

Here are some helpful tips on what you can do to keep you and your pets safe in the new year. First, be aware of respiratory illness symptoms.  According to the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association and multiple other sources, dogs will exhibit coughing, sneezing, runny nose or eyes, and lethargy. These symptoms can be a sign of any  respiratory illness, but can also be the beginning to a more serious problem. In an interview with Mealanie Haid of the American Kennel Club, Dr. Jerry Klein stated this disease is contagious from dog to dog, so if your dog is experiencing these symptoms, keep them at home. If this is not an option, make sure to take time for a vet visit before leaving them anywhere.

Second, avoid sharing any communicable toys or vessels. Many bacteria and viruses can be spread through community water bowls or toys. In facilities that take care of animals, these are usually sanitized regularly. Make sure this is a habit where you take your pet to play or board. Having pets play or stay only with dogs you know is a good way to ease worries about sharing.

Third, vaccinate your pet. Most respiratory illnesses appear to be contracted at shelters and other boarding, grooming, or training facilities, so keeping your pet’s vaccinations up to date is important if you use any of these places or go to a dog park regularly. For the health of your pet and others, the right vaccination can mean the difference between lethal disease and mild illness. Vaccines to look for are canine influenza, parainfluenza, bordetella, and adenovirus.  These account for the majority of canine respiratory disease.

Socialization is so important to our dogs,  and avoiding the rest of the pet world isn’t a logical option. By making sure you’re aware of symptoms that cause illness, you vaccinate your pets properly, and avoid taking your pet anywhere while it is sick are simple ways to keep everyone’s pets healthy. In the words of Dr. Scott Weese of the Worms & Germs blog, “Being aware is good, being anxious is bad.”

By Christina Brockway, ELYSIAN Featured Expert

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy