photo of black dog, lab

How to Keep Your Fur-Friends Safe While You’re Away

According to CBS one case of dog flu, or H3N2, has been reported in Austin. There have been 2,000 dogs that have been infected in 40 states since last spring, and around 2% of all dogs die from this flu. It is incredibly important to understand the illness and how to protect your pet from it.
We’re no stranger to love for fur babies, among the McMinn fur-family there’s more pets than there are humans. We’ve blogged about them before (because who can resist posting a picture of their best fur-friend on the internet?) We don’t want anything compromising their immune systems so we’ve made a list what to do to keep our the fur-babies safe.

Spotting H3N2

Vets have stated that it is incredibly important to be able to detect the illness as soon as possible so that it can be properly treated. So, what are the symptoms? Keep an eye out for:

  • coughing
  • gagging
  • lack of appetite
  • fever
  • low energy

Veterinarian Dr. Val Hartwick of Bryan, Texas, explained that it often begins with a runny nose and sneezing, and leads into loud heavy coughing, which causes the dog to gag frequently. These symptoms often are mistaken for kennel cough.

How to Protect Your Pet from Accident

Scared for your pet’s safety and wellbeing? Here are tips to protect your pet from illness.

Get your dog vaccinated: There is an available vaccine, however many Vets do not carry it. Call your local Vet and ask if they provide the Vaccination.

Keep your dog away from others: This disease is very easily transferred, so keep your dog away from other dogs, especially strays. The symptoms of the virus do not show up right away so even another dog that seems fine could potentially have the virus.

Stay away from kennels: Places like kennels, shelters, and rescues are bad places when it comes to quickly spreading viruses. Since these animals are in close quarters, they are bad places to bring your pets during the flu season.

Dog shelters: If you want to adopt a second pet, you may need to introduce the pets before making a decision. Consider transporting your dog in a carrier instead of on leash. An accidental nose bump with an infected dog could lead to an infection at home for you and your family.

Keep yourself clean: Did you pet a cute dog at the park today? Well, make sure you clean your clothing and wash up after, because although you won’t get sick, you can pass the germs onto your pet, which could lead to your pet getting sick. This doesn’t just apply to dogs, but all pets.

Protect Your Pet from Injury When You’re Not Around

Going away on a trip? You may be scared now to leave your pet at a shelter, and that fear is understandable. Here are some suggestions for ways to keep your pet healthy and safe while you are away.

  • Ask a friend: Do you have a trusted friend or family member you could leave your pet with? Usually this is the best option, because leaving your pet with someone you know often leave you feeling at ease. If they have a pet of their own, ask that their pet get checked by a vet to make sure they wouldn’t infect your pet.
  • Find a house-sitter: Find an acquaintance that lives out of town that has had a yearning to visit Austin, and offer up your place in exchange for them taking care of your pet! Have no one coming to town? There are many online services that find a house-sitter for you, such as
  • Find a pet sitter: Don’t want a stranger staying in your home? With a pet sitter, you have the option of having someone stay with you, or your dog staying in the sitters home. Sites such as and help you find a pet sitter that is perfectly suited to your needs.
  • Ask a neighbor: If you have a more low maintenance pet, like a cat or rabbit, ask a neighbor or friend that lives close by to check on your pet at least once a day to make sure there is food and the house hasn’t fallen apart. If you feel comfortable leaving your dog home, have someone that can check on your dog around 3 times a day to take your dog for a walk and let it outside to go to the bathroom.

All of these scenarios involve another person interacting with you pet. Make sure whoever this is knows your concerns about the dog flu, and carefully outline how you would like your pet to be cared for.