CHENANGO (WBNG) -- Dog flu outbreaks have been hitting some areas across the nation.
12 News caught up with an expert in the Southern Tier to learn about what you can do to keep your pets safe.
"Dog flu is a variant of the kind of flu's strains that do cause flu in people and other animals. Right now in the U.S. there are two strains that are circulating," Doctor Diane Wittner, co-owner ofFur and Feathers Veterinary Care, said.
Wittner explained the seasonality of dog flu is a bit different, but that prevention is key.
"More cases occur in the mid to late summer than in the winter," Wittner said. "Protection takes up to two to three months to develop, so vaccinating now is a very good thing."'
Vets say dog flu isn't something to mess around with and it can even lead to death.
"The more dogs that are actually vaccinated and unlikely to get sick, are gonna end up helping the vast majority of the population have time to end up getting care and not having as much serious disease," Wittner added.
She explained that the canine influenza is very contagious, which is why it is important to take the right precautions.
"Usually the biggest problem that arises, is that their immune system is so overwhelmed by this totally new organism that they've never been exposed to before, they develop a lot of times secondary infections," Wittner said.
While these dog flu strains aren't posing a serious threat to our area right now it is something to be mindful of as you head to the vet and take actions to protect your pets.
Vets say the dog flu is more likely to spread in areas with dense populations of dogs. Some of the symptoms include fever, lack of appetite, coughing, and sneezing.