The dog flu virus has infected more than 1,000 dogs in the last month and is responsible for six dog deaths in Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana, according to reports.
Although no incidents have been reported in the Milwaukee area so far, area pet sitting services are being impacted either through loss of business or by taking extra precautions.
Bay View-based While You Were Out Pet Sitting Services LLC, for instance, has had a couple day care dogs take the month off, according to owner/operator Tiffany Weber.
“Right now vets are asking people to not take their dogs to day care,” Weber said.
Meanwhile, Weber said staff is keeping a close eye on any symptoms like sneezing and coughing, and will not allow any dogs who may be infected.
Her pet sitters are also changing their clothing in between pet home visits and washing bed sheets more frequently. Dogs staying at While You Were Out’s facility do not stay in kennels, but rather sleep in bed with staff overnight.
Milwaukee-based Brew City Pet Services LLC has not temporarily lost any clients due to the dog flu, but it is also taking extra precautions, according to owner Stephanie Lefever.
For instance, employees are avoiding dog parks, sanitizing shared leashes, and washing their hands more regularly as they would with any other flu.
Delavan-based Lollipups Pet Resort said business is also operating as usual, but it is exercising more caution when accepting new dogs.
“So far we’ve been immune to any of that (cases of the dog flu) so far, and we will be very, very selective with our dogs coming and going and very sensitive to it to make sure it doesn’t ever happen in or around this facility,” said owner Dana Montana.