The flu has been bad this season, but sometimes we forget that it can hit our pets. Contagious dog flu has been confirmed in the Treasure Valley. Here's what you need to know to keep your four legged friend safe and well.

Dog flu presents symptoms that are very similar to the human version of the flu and the scary thing is it is highly contagious.

According to the Idaho Statesman, Broadway Veterinary Hospital has confirmed their first case of dog flu.

All it takes is one case and an outbreak can occur. Several states around the country have already seen problems with this including dog flu outbreaks in Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota and California.

What is particularly concerning about this case of dog flu is that the Doberman Pinscher with confirmed H3N2 spends time at a local doggy day care.

Signs of Dog Flu:

  • coughing
  • sneezing
  • nasal discharge
  • fever
  • loss of appetite
  • lethargy

There is a vaccine for the dog flu, but most pet owners don't get it.

Of course dogs are very social for the most part and the the flu virus can live on surfaces for up to 24 hours so your dog can pick it up at the groomer, dog park, doggy day care, or even just when going for a walk and encountering other dogs.

The only positive news with the doggy flu is that it is only fatal about 5% to 8% of the time, but no one wants to see there pet sick.

Also keep in mind that doggy flu can be passed to cats. It is not communicable to humans.

Your best bet to protect your pet is to get the dog flu vaccine which can usually be obtained through your local vet.