Canine Influenza is a highly contagious disease caused by a flu virus in dogs, which spreads by direct contact with infected dogs to other dogs and by coughing or sneezing. It has been reported here in the US since 2003 and is currently in 30 states including all the east coast states except Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island. Outbreaks have been reported in kennels, shelters, vet clinics and dog events. All dogs are susceptible to it and those that show no signs of the flu can easily be carriers.
Humans can also spread the disease to dogs by handling infected dogs, not only by their hands, but on their clothes. This is why all those who deal with dogs in any manner; groomers, vets, assistants, pet sitters, trainers, handlers, rescue groups, shelters, breeders, etc. should be aware of handling dogs and dogs with symptoms of the flu. Humans will not contract Canine Influenza.
There is a series of two vaccinations taken two to four weeks apart that will help in protecting your dog. Of course, there is nothing like keeping your dog healthy by providing good food, water, plenty of rest and exercise. A trip to your vet for more information is strongly suggested. If you must board your pet, make sure the facility is clean and well maintained. Also ask if they have an influenza outbreak management plan.