A recent outbreak of avian influenza has many dog and cat owners worried that their pets may also be affected by this highly contagious illness. Although it mainly affects wild birds, including birds of prey and waterfowl, dogs have contracted bird flu strains in the past—though the risk is quite low. Exposure and contamination to canines and felines might occur if they ingest dead birds infected with the virus, so keeping your dog on a leash while out walking and limiting your cat’s outdoor excursions might prevent them from falling sick with bird flu. It will also help pet owners stay healthy, since humans have been known to get sick from infected pets.

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