Canine influenza is a virus that occurs in canines. The influenza virus can wreak havoc on a dog, and, quite frankly, cause a miserable feeling. There are several types of the influenza virus that tend to show up throughout the subsequent flu seasons, and some are worse than others. Only a veterinarian can assess a dog and tell the owner what type of canine influenza a dog may be suffering from. It is contagious, meaning it can spread from one dog to another. When a dog has this virus, it is important to keep them in and away from other dogs, which can be hard if there is more than one dog in the home. Even if your dog is feeling down, there are some things you can still do with your dog to stimulate their mind.
When dogs are down and out with the flu, they must rest. They shouldn't run, jump, and walk for long periods of time. You can, however, work on your dog’s skills such as sitting, staying, heeling, and shaking paw. These training skills do not take a lot of physical energy, but they do need mental energy which can also give your dog a welcomed workout, just in a different way. You may know of other commands you would like to teach your dog, and you may be able to take advantage of the down time to do it, if your dog is able.
Rotating toys can be something your dog may enjoy when they have been rested and seem to have a bit of cabin fever. Consider buying four new toys for them, and make them all unique. Each day, introduce a toy to them and then start again on day five. This may keep your dog stimulated a bit. Purchase types of toys that they have never had and be sure they are of unique textures and sizes. You may be surprised at how your dog, even with the flu, will respond to the new item.
When dogs are exposed to scents, the effects can stimulate their senses. Just like aromatherapy for humans, relaxing scents of different types can make a dog feel at ease. When your dog is resting, placing a few drops of orange or lemon extract nearby will help your dog feel a little energized. Try lavender or vanilla to relax them. Change the scent each day, and only put a few drops on the floor or in a diffuser. Do not put the drops directly on your dog or in their crate. And of course, do not put them anywhere where they can ingest them!
In the hallway, or in a room, roll a ball towards your dog. Your dog may pick it up and bring it back to you, and you can do it again and again for some stimulation. It is a gentle activity for dogs with the flu.
A cooling blanket or mat, which can be purchased online, can create a cool resting place for you dog. It is still cozy, and you can add a few blankets, and if your dog has a fever it may help your dog rest easier. Monitor your pet as they rest, and if they seem as if they have had enough, it's time to move to another bed.
Just because your dog is down with the flu doesn’t mean you cannot provide activities to make your dog think. When your pup has the flu they may not feel like doing much, but when a dog has had rest and becomes restless, these activities not only help pass the time, they teach your dog new skills as well!