Lyle Says: Be On The Lookout For Spring And Summer illnesses


Spring has finally sprung, and with it comes the potential for springtime illnesses that can be a concern for dogs and their owners. As the weather warms up, dogs spend more time outside, socializing with other pups, and exploring the great outdoors. This means that they are at an increased risk of picking up infections and illnesses, such as Bordetella, Giardia, and Canine Influenza. As pup people, it’s important to be aware of these illnesses and take steps to prevent their spread. 

What is Bordetella?

Bordetella, commonly known as Kennel Cough, is a highly contagious respiratory infection. It’s caused by a combination of bacteria and viruses, and is most commonly spread by airborne droplets through close contact with other dogs. Symptoms of Kennel Cough include a persistent dry cough, gagging, and retching. 

What is Canine Influenza (dog flu)?

Canine Influenza is a viral respiratory infection that is similar to the flu that humans get. It’s highly contagious and can be spread through contact with infected dogs, as well as through contaminated objects like food and water bowls. Symptoms of dog flu include coughing, sneezing, fever, and lethargy. In severe cases, dogs may develop pneumonia.

What is Giardia?

Giardia is a parasitic infection that can affect both humans and animals, including dogs. It’s caused by a microscopic parasite that lives in the intestines, and is spread through contact with contaminated feces or water. Dogs can become infected by drinking from contaminated water sources like puddles, lakes or rivers. Symptoms of Giardia include diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, and dehydration.

At Downtown Dogs, we help pups stay safe and avoid springtime infections by: 

Making sure that all dogs are up-to-date on their vaccinations and keeping all play and boarding areas clean.

Sanitizing our entire indoor and outdoor facilities multiple times each day with only the safest and most effective cleaning products.

Employing our state-of-the-art air scrubbing system that “turns over” all air in the building every 17 minutes.

Maximizing fresh air flow throughout our open floor plan by opening the large overhead doors to our playards. 

Utilizing our newly installed isolation suite! Our amazing staff is experienced in recognizing signs of canine illness. If we suspect a dog may have an airborne communicable illness, we can keep them separate from others until their parents can come and fetch them. The suite uses a negative pressure system to vent air out of the building, instead of into the facility. 

Pup parents can do their part in preventing the spread of germs by looking out for signs of springtime illness. If your furball shows any symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately and please do not bring them into puppy public – including daycare – until they have been cleared to return to play. By taking preventative measures and being vigilant for symptoms, we can all help to keep our furry friends healthy and happy. Remember, a healthy dog is a happy dog!

The advice provided is based on many years of experience as dog parents and operators of one of the largest and longest established dog daycare and boarding facilities in the Twin Cities. Always consult your veterinarian. When not sharing advice, our dog bloggers — Frannie, Lyle, and Helen — share a space with their people, Downtown Dogs owner Ralph Bernstein and his wife, Abbe.