As most of you already know, the San Francisco Bay Area is currently going through a Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) or dog flu outbreak. Unlike the human flu which tends to be seasonal in nature, once the dog flu gets to an area there will be ongoing bursts of activity.
In fact, while we think of the human flu as mostly a winter problem, the most severe outbreak of dog flu occurred in Chicago during the summer month. Fortunately, there is also a vaccine for dog flu and as March 15th 2018, Pet Camp will be requiring all dogs to be vaccinated against dog flu just like we currently require all dogs to be vaccinated against Bordetella, DHLPP and Rabies. As with all vaccines, we require them BOTH to protect your pet and all other pets at Pet Camp as well as to create an overall level of protection for pets in the Bay Area (sometimes this is referred to as “herd protection.”)
We did not come to the decision to require the dog flu vaccine lightly. Prior to the current outbreak, we met with veterinarians (both those based here in San Francisco and those based across the country) to discuss best practices and we spoke with a number of pet care facilities in other areas who have already been exposed to dog flu to learn what steps they took in response to the outbreak and to avoid future problems. Lastly, we even had a meeting with several of our largest competitors to discuss options to protect your dog if and when dog flu should come to the Bay Area.
We are very pleased that that the majority of our Bay Area pet care provider competitors have likewise decided to require the dog flu vaccine. While we are disappointed that not every pet care provider reached this decision, we certainly understand why they did – IT’S EASIER! That’s right, NOT requiring you vaccinated your pet against a preventable disease is easier for a pet care facility (at least in the short run) because that don’t have to turn away your business if you don’t have your pet vaccinated! Yes, doing the right thing sometime means saying no to business (which of course means saying no to money). Of course Pet Camp is a business and we have no incentive to turn away you and your pet; but at the same time we think we have an obligation to do everything we possible can to keep the pets at Pet Camp safe even if it means that you’ll take your dog to another pet care facility that doesn’t require the dog flu vaccine.
If by chance you are reading this and you are not a Pet Camp camper, please encourage your pet care provider, dog walker, house sitter or whom ever else you use to provide pet care to start requiring the dog flu vaccine so that all our dogs may be better protected.