Steve Stocker, of Centerville, said he makes sure to get his dog “Lucy” vaccinated with the flu shot every year at the Dayton South Vet Clinic in Kettering.
"They are just like a child. I mean, they become a part of the family and you love them and you care for them,” Stocker said.
Other dog owners in the Miami Valley know how easily the virus can spread.
"If a dog that has it is in a certain area and you take your dog there then they can catch it, it seems very contagious,” said Xenia resident Julie Ables.
The H3N2 strain of dog flu is rarely deadly for dogs, but it causes sneezing, coughing and nasal and eye discharge.
Skeptics say the concern over the virus is overstated. They think dogs are over medicated and say it’s a money grab for vaccine manufacturers.
"I think when it comes to vaccination, what you really need to think about is where are these reports coming from -- basically the vaccine manufacturers that are keeping track of these diseases,” said Dana Scott with Dogs Naturally Magazine.
At least some dog day care facilities in the Miami Valley won’t take your dog unless they’ve had their flu shots.
The vaccine is given two doses a couple weeks apart.
Dr. Daniel Brower at Dayton South Vet Clinic says he nearly insists upon the shots for his patients.
"If the pets are unvaccinated, you definitely don't want to take them to daycare centers, kennels,” Brower said.
The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends checking with your vet to see whether your dog is part of a high-risk group of dogs.
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