In the spring, dogs spend more time socializing outdoors or at dog-friendly locales. Over the past few years, the number of dog parks in the U.S. has actually increased by about 20{5e0bea7df62a42e70f4e6662baa016b718b42e41c3f575af4c98dbb1e2d44a4e}, indicating their growing popularity among pet parents. But places like dog parks, kennels and doggie day cares can be risky due to increased contact with other dogs. Part of being a pet parent is caring about your pup’s health. This is especially important as cases of dog flu are being reported across the country. Since January, there have been nearly 500 confirmed cases of dog flu in several states. A newer strain of dog flu – H3N2 – is responsible for most of these cases. Dogs have no natural immunity to this strain and almost all dogs that come in contact with it will become sick. The best thing pet parents can do is vaccinate their dogs against both strains of dog flu. They can also help stop the spread by talking with kennel staff, doggie day care centers, grooming facilities, pet sitter companies and others responsible for the care of their pooch about dog flu. Pet parents can also learn the signs and symptoms of dog flu, including coughing, lethargy, loss of appetite and runny eyes/nose.  Join Dr. Kathryn Primm, owner and chief veterinarian at Applebrook Animal Hospital and co-author of “Pet Parents Guide to Infectious Disease,” to discuss this spreading canine influenza problem, get the facts about the virus strains and hear important recommendations about how people can protect their pups.

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