Post-quarantine care for dogs

All dogs housed at Animal Humane Society between April 6 and May 12 completed a 30+ day quarantine for Canine Influenza Virus (CIV), which is similar to human Influenza (flu) and causes many of the same symptoms, including fever, lethargy, nasal discharge, and a lingering cough.

These dogs all showed signs consistent with the virus but have since recovered. Considering this virus and associated quarantine, there are a few things we would like adopters to be aware of.

Medical care

A mild and lingering cough is normal:

  • Coughs can linger for many weeks after the infection is cleared, especially when exercising.
  • As long as your dog is generally eating, drinking, and doing well, and the cough is rare and improving over time, do not worry about the occasional post-adoption cough.  

These dogs were all likely infected and have cleared Canine Influenza Virus. Because of this, these dogs should not be able to spread or catch CIV for at least several months:

  • The length of the quarantine was to be sure it was highly unlikely any of these dogs would be contagious. CIV is usually spread for about a week after first showing signs but rarely can spread for 20+ days. This 30-day quarantine more than covers this period and the dogs are all considered no longer contagious.
  • The CIV vaccine has not been available; however, these dogs have cleared a live infection, so they have a good level of immunity to this disease. This immunity will likely last a couple of months, and ongoing vaccination needs should be discussed with your veterinarian.
  • It is possible for other, more mild versions of respiratory diseases to still be passed between these dogs. It is still recommended that you quarantine this dog from others in the house for a few days or until your post-adoption vet visit to be sure they aren’t showing signs of infectious disease.  

Any further medical concerns are noted in each dog’s record. Please see your veterinarian for a post-adoption visit.

Behavioral care

Please allow your dog extra time to decompress when they first get home:

  • The average dog stays at AHS for 10-20 days, but these dogs stayed at least twice that long. Your dog will need rest when they first come home. Your dog may choose limited interaction with people for the first 3-7 days. Allow your dog to seek attention at their own pace and comfort level. Do not take your dog to new places or have new people or pets over to your home for the first 2 weeks. It often takes 2-3 months for a dog to fully settle into a home and show its true behavior.  Some tips to help through this transition include:
    • If your dog is staying at a distance from you initially, have them drag a leash from their collar for the first 3-7 days to allow for more easy and less stressful handling.  This should pass. 
    • Toss tasty treats periodically through the day to help form positive associations with their new environment. 

Pet and people Introductions are even more important with these dogs:

  • Please follow the instructions on our website for introductions to dogs, cats, kids, and others (
  • Do not start those introductions until your new dog starts to show they are settling into their new home.

Any further behavior needs are noted in each dog’s individual record. Please reach out to our Behavior Helpline if you have any specific concerns.

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline