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Dog service industry impacted by mysterious canine respiratory illness

Dog service industry impacted by mysterious canine respiratory illness
Dog service industry impacted by mysterious canine respiratory illness 02:17

SAN FRANCISCO -- A mysterious dog respiratory illness has now spread to 14 states, including California and many dog parks, daycare/boarding facilities are catering to fewer canines.

A pack of pampered pooches were hanging out Wednesday at Grateful Dog in San Francisco.

Owner Ernie Cervantes says he has seen the mystery dog illness impact his business.

"As far as numbers go, we're not seeing as many dogs. Especially our regulars who haven't been coming in as often as we would like them to," Cervantes said.

Cervantes estimates anywhere from a quarter to a third of his regular clients are now keeping their dogs home just to be safe. He did have a full house over the Thanksgiving break. He says not one dog came in or went home with the virus.

"So, if a dog comes to our facility and they're coughing and sneezing, they get turned away," Cervantes said.

Meanwhile Fetch! Pet Care is getting a lot of calls about its services. Owner Robyn Archie finds pet sitters that can also do in-home boarding.

"We've had a surge in requests for sitters to come to the clients' houses this season just so they're not with a lot of new dogs," Archie said.

Archie says some of her clients have brought up concerns about their pets being around other dogs since veterinarians say this illness is spread through close contact with other canines. 

"I've been around for 17 years so we're always busy at this time but it's been a shift in the service people are wanting," she said.

At Grateful Dog, Cervantes says workers heavily sanitize the facility and he educates the staff to look out for symptoms. With the holiday season here, he is making sure his dogs are happy and healthy when they go back home. 

"It's still a very serious virus and very contagious but we think that our readiness and the fact that we are so proactive, we'll be on top of it," Cervantes said.

Veterinarians recommend pet owners vaccinate their dogs, especially for kennel cough. While it might not specifically target the unknown illness, it will help with the overall health of your dog.

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