The owners of Woof! Orlando, a doggy day care that also offers boarding and grooming, have decided to voluntarily close for a few days in order to sanitize and disinfect every square inch of the facility after an outbreak of dog flu last Thursday. That day, co-owner Michelle Olds received confirmation that a dog that had visited the facility had the dog flu. It spread quickly through the facility, eventually spreading to more than two dozen dogs. She said:
“We describe it as feeling like we’ve been, like, in the apocalypse…It was almost like every hour. Another dog that was here started coughing and then another one.”
While there are currently no laws in place requiring facilities to shut down in order to sanitize everything after such an outbreak, Olds is hoping to set a standard.
“We’re pulling everything out of the building and just sanitizing it all…We could do nothing and reopen, or we could do this. We feel that morally and ethically, this is what needs to be done.”
Wednesday, robots with sanitizing UV lights will help ensure that every nook of the facility will be sterile when Woof! Orlando reopens.
“We will be hospital-grade clean when we open Thursday.”
All dogs will now be required to have proof that their dogs have had the flu immunization as well as the booster shot 2-4 weeks later. Many pet owners don’t realize that the original vaccine without the additional booster is ineffective. The flu vaccine does not prevent dog flu, but it does reduce the symptoms.
While the virus isn’t typically fatal, no one likes to see their dog sick! The flu has been spreading in other parts of the country, so no matter where you are, do your best to keep your pup away from others that may be contagious.