Can Dogs Get The Flu?

Almost All Dogs Are at Risk

Can dogs get the flu? Yes. Canine Influenza, or Dog Flu, hasn't been around long. But as a serious respiratory illness, it can be a real threat to your dog. There are two different types, or strains, of dog flu virus. The first, H3N8, was reported in 2003, while H3N2 was first reported in 2015.

Both types are highly contagious and spread easily from dog to dog. The H3N2 strain can even be transmitted to and from cats. However, neither type can be spread to or from humans. Your dog can't catch the flu from you. And you can't give the flu to your dog.

Many dogs that visit dog parks and doggie day cares are vaccinated for canine (kennel) cough, also known as Bordetella. It's an important vaccine. But if your dog does catch Bordetella, the disease can be easily treated with antibiotics.

Dog Flu is Different

The only treatment is supportive, which means making your dog as comfortable as possible while the virus runs its course. There is no "cure" for dog flu, and in some cases, it can lead to pneumonia or secondary bacterial infections. That can be very serious — even deadly.

of dogs exposed to
Dog Flu will become
of dogs will contract
Dog Flu but won't
show symptoms1
1 in 5

dogs with Dog Flu will
develop severe symptoms1

up to 8%

of infected dogs
may die from
Dog Flu-related

dogs exposed to dog flu will become infected

Protection against Dog Flu

As a pet owner, you want to keep your dog safe against all contagious diseases, especially Dog Flu. Help prevent the disease from spreading by following a few simple steps.


Protect against Dog Flu with the Nobivac® Canine Flu Bivalent vaccine. Ask your vet to give this vaccine during the same visit in which your dog gets the Bordetella vaccination. This can help your dog (and others) from contracting the disease.


Keep track of the spread with our Dog Flu outbreak map. When an outbreak hits your area, or if your dog has flu-like symptoms, keep them away from other dogs and cats and call your veterinarian. It's critical to report cases.


Follow therules of disinfection at home, and make sure your boarder, groomer, veterinarian, or anyone else who cares for your dog is following them as well.


If you're worried that your dog is showing signs of Dog Flu, visit your veterinarian to have your dog tested. Look for signs such as a cough, runny nose and lethargy.

1. Crawford C, Spindel M. Canine influenza. In: Miller L, Hurley K, eds. Infectious Disease Management in Animal Shelters. Ames, IA: Wiley-Blackwell; 2009:173-180.


Read common questions about Dog Flu strains, spread and vaccinations.

Are you a Professional?

We have tools and tips to help contain the spread of Dog Flu in your facilities.