JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Canine Flu is becoming a risk too great to ignore for a local pet hospital.
The Jonesboro Family Pet Hospital took on a mandatory approach to keep the "dog flu" out of its facility.
"We are requiring vaccination for dogs that are boarding, coming in for daycare or spending the day in our hospital," office manager Julie Hill said.
Although Arkansas has no confirmed H3N2 strain cases, Hill said the virus still has power and continues to spread across the country.
The Canine Flu is dangerous and highly contagious. It's spread between the interaction of pets, barking and other things.
Hill said this is the hospital's reasoning for taking a proactive approach to keeping all of their clients protected.
"We recommend the best that we believe your pet deserves," Hill said. "It's up to us to protect our pets, especially the ones that our clients trust us with that they bring to us."
The hospital uses a bivalent vaccine which protects dogs from the H3N8 and H3N2 strains.
She said dog owners need to keep a close eye on their pets.
Dogs can be contagious before they show any symptoms of the flu, which are coughing, sneezing and exhaustion, just to name a few.
Like in humans, the virus can cause death in some cases, mostly in dogs that have an underlining health issue, according to Hill.
Hill encourages dog owners, especially ones with pets involved in social activities like visiting parks, daycare, grooming and boarding, to get their pet vaccinated.
"The vaccination for Canine Influenza is a 2-injection series, two weeks apart and then once a year," she said.