The flu is hitting humans hard right now, and our dogs are not immune.  I think my dog, Libby, has come down with something so I've come up with some signs we can all watch for.  Canine Influenza is highly contagious!

If you notice your dog coughing, sneezing, and feeling lethargic, she could have CI, or Canine Influenza.  Dogs can also have fevers and display some of the other gross unmentionables that come along with having the flu.  It's no fun cleaning those up.

My Libby woke up coughing and hacking on Sunday morning, and she's been sneezing a lot.  She's always been a lap dog, but the past couple of days she's really been acting like she just wants to curl up with and rest and do nothing else.  The flu isn't confirmed, but something is causing her to act differently right now and she's needing some extra love.

The thing is, dogs can't verbalize what they're feeling so we just have to guess, much like it used to be when the kids were 6-months old.  It's a little freaky, right?  Without hearing, "Mama, my throat hurts and I feel like I'm going to throw up," we can't really be sure what's wrong.  I'm guessing Libby will rebound, and if she doesn't perk up a call to the vet will be next.

The Today Show confirms that the dog flu is real, and offered some tips on how to protect our pets during the peak of this sick season.  Since Canine Influenza is so contagious, it's best to keep the dogs away from dog parks this time of year.  That's an easy one because it's a little chilly to be spending much time there anyway.  And we can't tell a dog to keep its germy nose away from other dogs' noses and butts, so it's best to avoid the opportunity to spread flu germs all together.  There's also a doggie flu shot that we can ask the vet about, and it's my understanding that it's different from the kennel cough vaccine that's becoming a standard booster.

Libby is going to get a little extra couch time this week, and I'll set her up with some Pup-peroni treats and let her watch Secret Life of Pets if she wants.  And give her lots of water and love.

This flu season is rough!  Oh, and the doggie flu doesn't infect humans, so there's no need to put a mask on the dog or go crazy with the hand sanitizer.  This too shall pass.  Sooner rather than later hopefully.