How to Kill Parvovirus in Your Dog's Environment
Why Parvo Immunization Is Important
Parvovirus: this potentially fatal virus, affecting young dogs and especially puppies, is hard to deal with, so protecting puppies from this disease by vaccinating them is extremely important.
Puppies as small as six weeks old can be vaccinated against Parvo every 3-4 weeks until they have completed the series up to when they are 14-18 weeks old.
It is important that owners realize that puppies are not fully immunized until a few weeks after they have completed the entire series.
Is Your Home or Yard Infected With Parvovirus?
If Parvo has already struck an area and owners are concerned about adding a second puppy to a home, many precautionary measures will need to be taken. Often owners lose a puppy to Parvo and then make the mistake of adopting another and exposing that puppy to the Parvo virus that is still present in the environment.
Facts About Parvo
Parvo may live in the environment for up to 7 months.
- Parvovirus is a very hardy virus that thrives in homes and yards, even in freezing temperatures.
- Parvo indeed is very resistant to household chemicals, which do not work to kill the virus.
- The virus is shed in feces so all areas where feces were present are considered contaminated. The virus is shed in enormous amounts, just think that an ounce of stool from an infected dog may produce up 35 million viral particles!
- The virus can be easily transported by the dog's paws around the home, but also it may be found on the owner's shoes, clothes etc. Even a car's tires can transport the virus if they were in contact with contaminated stool. So attempting to remove the Parvovirus from a dog's environment is a tough battle and it is almost impossible to fight because it could be virtually everywhere.
- While there are products that can kill the virus it is a very difficult task to disinfect everything and everywhere.
How long does the Parvovirus live?
According to Marvistavet: ''Indoors, the virus loses its infectivity within one month" while outdoors,''freezing is completely protective to the virus. If the outdoors is contaminated and is frozen, one must wait for it to thaw out before safely introducing a new puppy. Shaded areas should be considered contaminated for seven months whereas areas with good sunlight exposure should be considered contaminated for five months.'' Of course, it never hurts to err on the side of caution and wait longer before adding a new puppy.
How to Clean Parvovirus From Your Home and Yard
So what should owners do if they have other puppies living in a Parvo-contaminated area? There is really not much more than can be done than picking up all the feces and disinfecting any possibly contaminated areas. The only product to seem to be effective in killing the virus is bleach.
- Disinfection is accomplished by using bleach diluted with water in an exact ratio of 1:30, one part bleach to 30 parts water.
- To work, the bleach mixture should be left in contact with contaminated surfaces for at least 10 minutes.
Of course, if bleach is used on grass, the grass will die. Ultimately, this may be better than the alternative (exposing a puppy).
Of course, bleach cannot be used on couches or carpets, as it will ruin fabric. For this reason, all bedding, bowls, blankets, and toys that may be contaminated by the virus are better off tossed.
How to Reduce Your Puppy's Exposure to Parvo
Puppies should not be introduced to homes where there is a history of Parvo until at least a month has passed or at least 7 months have passed for contaminated yards.
Avoiding the outdoors, where there may be feces contaminated with Parvo, is key. Disinfecting shoes, clothes, and anything coming from the outdoors is crucial. However, the virus can be found just about everywhere—at the dog park, at the vet's office waiting room, in yards, etc. Therefore, puppies should have limited exposure to other puppies and places frequented by puppies until they are fully vaccinated against Parvo.
The good news is that according to PetSide.com once a puppy is infected by Parvo, it is immune to the virus for at least 20 months and sometimes for life.
Other Ways to Prevent Parvovirus Exposure
While avoiding the Parvo virus may sound like an arduous task, being prepared for the worst would be savvy. Know how to recognize the symptoms of Parvo and report to your vet immediately should your puppy start exhibiting any of them. The faster the diagnosis, the better the prognosis.
It would be helpful to keep handy a special product produced by Amber Technology known as Parvaid. This product is a natural remedy with good reviews especially when given at the first signs of Parvo.
Parvo is a very scary disease. Protecting your puppy from it may appear like a very arduous task. Focus on disinfecting the puppy's living quarters carefully if the home has a history of other dogs affected by Parvo and learn more about this disease. Knowledge is power and it is like winning already half the battle. Please be responsible and vaccinate your puppy against infectious disease.
Disclaimer: this article is not to be used as a substitute for veterinary advice. Also, this article may not be up-to-date with the latest products and methods to eradicate parvo. If your puppy or dog has parvo consult with your vet and inquire about the latest products and techniques to kill the virus.
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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
If a puppy gets parvo and survives, will he forever carry the virus?
Puppies who have contracted parvo will typically shed the virus for about two weeks after they stop showing symptoms; but since there may be some variability in this, it's best to consider them contagious for 4-6 weeks just to play it safe.
However, consider that the virus once shed can survive quite for a long time (several months for even up to a year or slightly more) therefore, it is important that feces are removed, and infected areas are sprayed down with a bleach solution as mentioned in the article.
Puppies who have contracted parvo will not remain carriers for life, but yes, they can shed the virus in the environment during the "shedding" period" and therefore once out there (unless removed by a bleach solution) it can survive for many months and pose a danger to other susceptible puppies.Helpful 37
What cleaning products should I use to clean parvovirus?
Are you planning to add another dog to your home? The safest option is to get an older dog that is current on their vaccines. If you are planning to get another puppy, things may be risky if your home isn't properly disinfected. It's not worth the risk in my opinion.
Bleach is the standard product to kill parvo from hard surfaces like counters or floors. It's used in a ratio of 1 to 30 parts water. This solution may ruin carpets, couches, and upholstery. Steam cleaning may be needed for those surfaces.
The big problem though is that if you touched a sick pup there are risks that you may have had the virus on your hands and then you spread it to doorknobs, light switches, drawer handles, etc. Also if you stepped on stools with the virus, the virus could have been spread to other areas. It's close to impossible to clean every inch of the house that may be contaminated.Helpful 32
My neighbor's dog has parvo. What should we do to protect our puppy and dog?
If both of your dogs are current on their parvo vaccines (and the puppy has completed all his booster shots) and do not go to your neighbor's home/yard or play with any other dogs they might have, the chances of contracting the disease should be rather low. Parvo is not airborne and usually is transmitted from dog to dog when one dog ends up ingesting the virus through another dog's feces or the ground where the dog may have defecated in the past. Another risk is "fomites" things that can carry the virus around such as shoes that may have collected the sick dog's poop, mice walking from the neighbor's yard to yours, your dog licking their paws after walking in areas where the sick dog has defecated, etc. It is believed that parvo can live in yards for at least up to a year even once the feces of the sick dog are no longer visible. To be extra careful, you may wish to use a 10% dilute bleach solution to clean up any areas where your dogs are walked and where this sick dog may have walked. Also, I would avoid contact with the neighbor if your dogs aren't vaccinated though they are at risk for contagion especially the puppy. If any of your dogs are on steroids or undergoing chemotherapy, this can further lower their immunity, making them more at risk.Helpful 9
What can I use on my furniture and carpet to kill the parvo virus?
According to Veterinary Partner, bleach diluted as one part bleach to 30 parts water should be used to clean bowls, floors, surfaces, toys, bedding, and anything potentially contaminated that is colorfast or that you do not mind potential color changes. Allow at least 10 minutes of contact to kill the virus. Steam cleaning the carpets/furniture with the solution will kill the virus, but it may bleach them. Things get tricky though as the virus can hide between carpet fibers if not soaked well. You can try calling several brands of parvocide products and asking whether their products are safe to use on carpet. If you are getting another puppy, risks are lowered if you get an older puppy (over 16 weeks) who has completed the vaccination series and then wait at least one month before introducing to your home. Things can get risky though if you have a yard that also needs to be disinfected.Helpful 18
Can a child contract parvo from a dog?
Parvo fortunately cannot be transfered to humans-including children and even babies. The Parvo Virus found in dogs is strictly a disease that affects puppies and dogs. Now, children do get a form of parvo virus known as Parvo B19, that causes "Fifth disease" but it is a different condition from the dog parvo virus affecting dogs so they shouldn't be confused with one another.Helpful 17