Disinfecting the Home for Dog Viruses

by Brian McCracken
    Disinfection prevents against the canine influenza virus.

    Disinfection prevents against the canine influenza virus.

    Image Source/Photodisc/Getty Images

    The canine influenza virus is a respiratory infection. Since canine influenza is relatively new -- in began affecting dogs in 2004 -- dogs have no natural immunity to the virus. No antibiotics have been developed to kill the virus, so the best thing you can do is prevent your dog from getting canine influenza in the first place. Disinfecting your home is part of that task.

    Dogs can get canine influenza when they come into contact with an infected surface or animal. This means they can get it from a shared drinking bowl or a toy that another infected dog used. The virus is also airborne, which means it can travel in the air. Dogs with the virus can spread it to other dogs and are most infectious before they actual exhibit any symptoms. Once symptoms show, infected dogs can continue to spread the virus for 10 days.

    The canine influenza virus can survive up to 48 hours on hard surfaces and for up to 12 on clothing. For this reason, it is important for anyone interacting with multiple dogs to wash their hands frequently and to make sure all surfaces are properly disinfected. Use hot water and dish-washing liquid to regularly clean out your dog's food and water dishes. Disinfect all surfaces they may come into contact with, including the floors, walls, pantries and so on.

    Use disinfectants in the right concentrations and give them the proper contact time recommended on the label. Wipe down surfaces before disinfecting them to make sure they're free of dirt or other particles. Don't mix different disinfectants, as they may cancel each other out. Every so often, though, switch up the disinfectant you use. This is important, because no disinfectant will destroy all pathogens. Cycling different ones will give you the most well-rounded cleaning.

    Since many viruses are airborne, the most effective way to prevent viral infections is by purifying the air. Consider getting an air-purifying unit designed to kill harmful microbes in the air. Air-purifying units that utilize ultraviolet germicidal irradiation light are especially effective in fighting pet pathogens. These units have served for years in many government buildings, laboratories and hospitals, and are now available for homes.

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    About the Author

    Brian McCracken lives in Portland, Ore., where he writes on pets and animal wildlife as well as a wide array of other topics, ranging from real estate to personal development.

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