As canine influenza spreads across the Southeast, veterinarians in the DC area have provided some tips on how you can keep your pet safe.
In the last two weeks, the viral infection has been found in North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Florida.
If a dog shows symptoms of the illness, they can exhibit a high fever, depression, a loss of appetite and respiratory problems.
Oleg Khomutets works as a treatment manager at Town & Country Animal Hospital in Fairfax. He told WUSA9 the illness can be fatal and can also spread quickly.
"(The) virus lives on people's hands up to 12 hours and stays on clothes up to 24 hours," he said.
Dogs can also spread the canine influenza to cats, however Khomutets said the disease is typically not deadly in felines. There have been no cases of humans contracting the disease.
No recent cases have been reported in the DC area, but just eight years ago the illness was reported in some dogs in Fairfax County.