Just like with us humans, dogs can definitely get sick too. This includes that good old influenza virus. Now, just like with us, the flu for dogs is generally not too bad, and usually never leads to anything serious like death. That being said, young, old, and weaker dogs may be more severely affected by the influenza virus. So, how do you know when your dog has the flu and how do you treat it when your dog does have the flu?

Recognizing Influenza Symptoms In Your Dog

There are several different symptoms your dog may display when it has the flu. These symptoms include:

  • Lethargy.
  • Malaise.
  • Fever.
  • Anorexia.
  • Sneezing.
  • Coughing.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.

Dogs usually have either a mild or heavy influenza infection. When your dog has a mild flu, they will usually have a moist cough with some nasal discharge. Sometimes it may be more of a dry cough. Either way, these symptoms can last from 10 to 30 days and will often go away all on their own.

A dog with a more severe case of the flu will often exhibit a fever over 104 degrees and develop all of the signs of a mild flu quickly. Dogs with a worse case of the flu will often show signs of pneumonia as well. In severe cases, dogs may have trouble breathing and even cough up blood on occasion.

Diagnosing The Flu

Generally speaking, if the symptoms are only mild, there is not much to be done. The virus will relieve itself and go away on its own. However, if you are really worried, you can go to the vet and have them use several techniques to diagnose it.

Treating Flu In Dogs

Treating the flu in dogs is more or less the same as with humans. In mild cases a vet may recommend some cough suppressants. Getting some good old fashioned rest is also very important. Also, you should not bring your dog near other dogs if you notice that it has flu like symptoms.

For more severe cases, vets may recommend a round of antibiotic treatments to kill the virus. If the flu is very severe, a vet will probably give your dog broad spectrum antibiotics, might isolate and hospitalize your dog, and will give it lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.


The flu dogs, just like in humans, is usually nothing severe or life threating, but in extreme circumstances it can be. Just be sure to recognize the signs and symptoms and go for treatment accordingly.