canine influenza

Guest Interview: Canine Influenza with David Pearsall

Recently, the Kinn Inc. team had the pleasure of chatting with David Pearsall. David’s passion for educating and insuring doggy day care and boarding centers is derived from a place of care and compassion. What David’s knowledge and services offer can save facilities tens of thousands of dollars in the event of an illness outbreak. Yet, most facilities are only familiar with kennel cough. When we spoke to David, we learned that canine influenza is just as rampant and even more dangerous and deadly than a traditional cold or kennel cough. Did you know there are very few providers that will cover lost revenue from a Kennel cough outbreak, and typically they only provide up to $50,000. Additionally, there is only one insurance company as of this date, that will cover lost revenue from Canine Flu/Infectious disease outbreak, and they typically will offer no more than $10,000-$25,000. Again, this coverage may not cover a fraction of lost revenue due to cleaning and closure of facilities.

Check out our interview with David and learn more about canine influenza. If you want to learn more about how David can help your doggy day care and boarding facility, contact David Pearsall, CIC, CWCA of Business Insurers of the Carolinas at 1-800-962-4611 x214.


What is Canine Influenza?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the canine influenza, or dog flu, is a highly contagious viral infection affecting dogs and also cats. Influenza in dogs, like humans, is a highly mutable strain of illness that can mutate and infect dogs and cats quickly. First identified in the US in March 2015, canine influenza has spread from Chicago to all over the United States with no instances of it transferring to humans. The virus can remain alive on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours, an on hands for 12 hours.


What inspired you to pursue learning and educating others on canine influenza?

I sat on a panel at a dog trainer conference with a former kennel owner that talked about her experiences with kennel cough and Canine Influenza and insurance companies not covering them. That is when I began reading up on the topic and brought it to the attention of some of the insurance companies we represent to see if we could get someone to cover it. There was already a insurer that was covering Kennel Cough, but at that time no insurance companies were offering coverage for canine flu.


Is canine influenza really that serious? 

Yes, it can be extremely contagious and can kill a dog if they become infected with a severe strain.


How do pets contract and carry the illness?

They contract when dogs kiss, lick or nuzzle each other, or through the air from a cough or sneeze, or contaminated objects such as food or water bowls, toys, doorknobs or clothing, and human touch including hands of pet owners, daycare/boarding employees, vet clinic staff or shelter workers.



How can facilities and care providers prevent the occurrence and spread of the illness?

By having a good daily maintenance routine including use of disinfectants, and by mandating vaccinations. Using a product like the Kinn Kleanbowl would also cut down on potential spread of disease.


Can humans get influenza from their pets having the flu?

From what I have read, there have not been any cases to date.


Can pets, like humans, die from influenza?

Yes, about 10% of dogs infected have died based on article I sent you from AVMA


What are the most typical, and worst case scenarios, for the financial impact canine influenza will have on a pet care services business? 

I think it will vary depending on the outbreak and the size of the facility. If a large facility, they may be forced to shut down for up to 2-4 weeks. So if they could potentially lose all their gross sales for their down time to be certain the canine flu is completely eliminated from their facility. So it could range from $10,000-$80,000 depending on size.

Since the Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science research showed that commercial dishwashers do not get hot enough to kill all viruses, what options are there to prevent canine influenza from spreading from water and food pet bowls within a pet care services business?

Using the Kinn Kleanbowl.

As a follow-on to a previous question , what options are there that not only guarantee to eliminate 100% of viruses in water and food pet bowls, but that also do not require chemicals which pets can smell which deter them from drinking and eating, and also have no negative impact on the environment by avoiding the disposal of chemicals.

Again the only option I am aware of it the Kinn Kleanbowl


How to Prevent The Spread of Canine Influenza

Stopping the spread of most illnesses, like canine influenza, is as simple as washing and thoroughly sanitizing surfaces, food bowls, and washing your hands. Yet, washing food bowls may not be enough to prevent the spread. According to Pascall of the Ohio State University Center for Clinical Translational Sciences, proper sanitation and handling remain the single biggest factor that can prevent contamination of food and dish ware at food service establishments.

Pascall found that Hepatitis A and influenza viruses are able to get past current washing and sanitation protocols. Which means, your pets are at risk for contracting their own influenza strains at pet boarding facilities– yes, even the cleanest, top of the line ones.

If you’re a pet parent or pet boarding facility and want to learn more about how Kinn Kleanbowl can help keep your pet healthy and safe check out ilovepetcare.com and kinninc.com.