GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Vaccines for dogs are becoming harder to find across the nation and right here in West Michigan due to a supply chain shortage that began during the pandemic.
People who want to vaccinate their dog for the flu could see a wait time of almost a week.
“We have seen some instances where we don’t have enough of the flu vaccine to be able to give to our patients that are in or are due for a booster of the vaccine,” said Christina Cooper, a doctor of veterinary medicine at Family Friends Veterinary Hospital in Grand Rapids.
Cooper said the dog flu vaccine shortage can be a problem if your dog is social. Dogs going to dog day care, grooming, being boarded, or even participating in dog shows or friendly events are at a higher risk of infection.
“Just like people or at day cares with your kids, don’t send your dog to day care if they are coughing,” Cooper said.
Dog owners like Bethany Roobll told New 8 she makes sure Kiwi her 7-month-old Australian pomsky and her 14-week-old German shepherd Frankie don’t spread the flu to other dogs.
“Both dogs are definitely vaccinated. Kiwi we got vaccinated by choice with our vet and then Frankie was already vaccinated when we adopted him and we do it to stay safe. Because we want to protect our dogs and we don’t want them to get sick and we love taking them to parks like this,” Roobll said.
“We have run into a few times when it’s been on backorder or what not and we are trying to save the ones that we do have for the dogs that … (for) their lifestyle are going to need it the most,” Cooper said.
Veterinarians at Family Friends Veterinary Hospital in Grand Rapids are working to make sure dogs can have a normal life while they are waiting on the flu vaccine to be restocked.
“What we were doing is if they are going to a boarding facility, a day care, we’re writing a waiver that says, ‘Hey, we’re just out of vaccine right now, these people are just trying to keep their dog up to speed on everything, we should have them in again soon,’” Cooper said.
Charlie’s Canine Daycare requires standard vaccines, but can make an exception if your dog doesn’t have the flu vaccine just yet.
“We strongly encourage people, especially if you are going to be around dogs, the more protection the better for your dogs. It’s very important to us to … make sure the disease we contain and that is why we clean every night as well,” said Kelsey Lundstron, the owner and manager of Charlie’s Canine Care.
“If you are struggling with having to get the influenza (vaccine) I would definitely call your vet right away and you might have to be put on a waitlist if they are in short supply, maybe even they recommend someone else … they might know other people that have it in stock,” says Lundstrom.
Veterinarians say if your dog is coughing, sneezing, has eye secretions or discharge from the nose, keep your dog away from other pets and get in to see a vet as soon as possible.