Yep... it's snow!

We hope you're enjoying the winter wonderland as much as the dogs are. There's something about snow that really brings out the puppy in these dogs!

In this issue you'll find important information about canine influenza. It's a serious threat to dogs who spend time in doggy daycare and/or boarding facilities (that would be your dog). Although this disease hasn't yet been reported in Yakima, I'm very concerned about it and will vaccinate my own dogs against it.

From all of us at K9 Country Club, we wish you (and your dogs!) a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

December 2009

Reminder... holiday closures

Doggie Daycare will be closed December 24 and 25. We will be open for a half-day on December 31 (8 a.m. - 12 p.m.), and we will be closed January 1.

A flu shot for dogs?

You know about shots for seasonal flu, bird flu and swine flu, but what about dog flu? Now there's a vaccination available for canine influenza... but it's not for you, it's for your dog.

Canine influenza is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause mild to severe illness in dogs. Because canine influenza is caused by a newly emerging virus, all dogs, regardless of breed or age, are susceptible to infection and have no natural immunity to the disease. Virtually every dog exposed to canine influenza will become infected. Approximately 80 percent of those infected with the virus will develop mild to moderate symptoms (cough, runny nose and low fever) that go away within 10 - 21 days. Severe cases of canine influenza may develop into pneumonia and other potentially fatal conditions.

Just the same as human flu, canine influenza spreads through direct contact with an infected dog or a contaminated surface (licking, nuzzling, sharing toys, bowls, leashes, etc.); and through the air (from coughing or sneezing). Symptoms generally appear two to four days after exposure to the virus. Infected dogs are most contagious during this two- to four-day incubation period when they are not showing any signs of illness.

Although the recently-developed vaccine does not prevent canine influenza, it has proven effective in decreasing the severity of the disease and protecting against the most severe symptoms that can lead to lung scaring and other serious respiratory damage. Vaccinated dogs that become infected generally develop less severe illness and are less likely to spread the virus to other dogs.

Because canine influenza is highly contagious, dogs in daycare and boarding facilities are at a higher risk of contracting the disease. Generally, dogs who currently receive a Bordetella vaccination would benefit from the canine influenza vaccination, as the risk factors for both diseases are similar. The canine influenza vaccine is not recommended for every dog. Dogs who have very little contact with other dogs are at very little risk of contracting canine influenza.

No cases of canine influenza have been reported in Yakima, however the vaccination is available at some local veterinary clinics. K9 Country Club does not currently require the canine influenza vaccine, but we highly recommend it for our Doggy Daycare and boarding clients. We may require the vaccine in the future if the disease is reported in our area.

Vaccinations are one of several methods used to fight infectious diseases. To prevent the spread of germs at K9 Country Club, we use a product called Roccal-D Plus that is approved for use in veterinary facilities. We thoroughly disinfect our kennels, bowls, toys and bedding after each use.

To help keep your dog healthy at home, be sure to visit your veterinarian for regular check-ups and vaccinations, provide high-quality food, plenty of rest and daily exercise. A well-cared-for dog will have a stronger immune system to fight off infections. And if your dog is sick, don't bring him/her to doggy daycare.

If you are concerned about your dog's risk for canine influenza, talk to your veterinarian, or visit the American Veterinary Medical Association Website for more in-depth information about canine influenza.

Protect their paws

Looking for a way to protect your dog's sensitive feet? We recommend Pawz® natural rubber boots for dogs. Pawz are waterproof and provide great protection from rain and snow. They also protect your dog from picking up the salt and chemicals used on icy roads and sidewalks this winter. Pawz are easy to put on and take off (no straps or buckles) and can be reused many times. We have Pawz available for sale in all sizes. Ask for them the next time you're in.

And now... a Christmas song!

Fill the Bowls

(To the tune of Deck the Halls)

Fill our bowls with freeze-dried liver,
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!
Watch our noses start to quiver,
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!
Please add bits of cheese and bacon,
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la!
Happy wags our tails are makin'.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!

Sniff the gifts and shred the wrapping,
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!
'Neath the Christmas tree try napping,
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!
Swipe a slurp of grandma's eggnog,
Fa-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la!
Then relax and be a bed hog.
Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la!

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