Should you be concerned about the Zika virus and your dog?

by Sue on June 2, 2016

The Zika virus, transmitted through mosquitoes, has been in the news lately as a health concern for humans causing fever and joint pain and, of most concern for pregnant women, serious birth defects in infants.

Zika virus is transmitted to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. Currently only humans and primates can contract the Zika virus. There is no evidence that dogs can contract the disease however the research has not been done.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported the following regarding animals and the virus:

  • At this time, animals do not appear to be involved in the spread of Zika virus.
  • There is no evidence that Zika virus is spread to people from contact with animals.
  • There have not been any reports of dogs, or any other pets becoming sick with Zika virus. However, more research is needed to better understand Zika virus in animals.
  • Animals in the United States are not at risk of becoming sick with Zika virus.

The most concerning disease transmitted to dogs by mosquitoes is heartworm disease, which can be prevented by giving monthly preventative medications.

Taking precautions to prevent mosquitoes near your kennel and home is a good idea. Mosquitoes need standing water to produce so look on your property for any place that holds water for long periods and eliminate these sources. Change the water in bird baths, wading pools, etc. at least once a week.

Keep pets indoors during peak mosquito hours, which are dawn and dusk. Reduce light at night since light tends to attract mosquitoes. Bug Zappers help keep the mosquito population down as well.

Have a safe and happy summer.

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