While you’re out and about with your dog, it’s important to protect them from the hidden dangers of canine parvovirus.

Parvovirus, or parvo for short, is a highly contagious and potentially fatal illness. It is spread via the feet, hair, and faeces of infected dogs. It is also transmissible via contaminated objects, like shoes and clothes.

This means that you can expose your dog to parvovirus just by walking down a street were an infected dog has been – even if your dog isn’t with you. Because parvovirus can live for up to a year in the environment, your dog can also become infected by visiting, or moving into, a contaminated house, yard, or park.

Parvovirus Explained

Parvo invades your dog’s body and attacks its intestinal and cardiovascular systems. Even with treatment, this can lead to death in vulnerable dogs. The virus is resistant to heat, detergents, and alcohol which makes it difficult to eliminate on contaminated surfaces.

It remains active in the environment for up to a year, which can cause re-infection. For this reason, pet owners are advised not to house dogs, especially puppies, in a contaminated yard or house for several years.

Parvovirus Symptoms

It’s important to know that many dogs show only a few of these symptoms at once.

  • Bloody diarrhoea
  • Repeated episodes of vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite


The best and most cost-effective way to protect your dog against parvo is to have it vaccinated. Parvovirus is covered in your dog’s initial vaccine schedule and its annual booster shots.