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Five Myths Uncovered About Parvo

myth vs fact

Five Myths Uncovered About Parvo

Just like any medical disease, human or animal, there are many misconceptions and myths surrounding the illness Canine Parvovirus.  We are here to uncover the truth about these misconceptions and to provide you with the information you need to be well-informed.

Myth #1: Dogs have a very slim chance of surviving Canine Parvovirus.

Fact: This is not true at all!  In fact, with the proper care and treatment, your dog actually has an 85-90% chance of survival.  This does not mean that 15% of all puppies die from Parvo, but rather 15% of dogs that contract the disease after being exposed will die.  Take the proper steps of care to ensure that your dog receives the best treatment and has a comfortable place to recover.

Myth #2: Adult dogs do not get Parvo.

parvoFact: As dogs age, the likelihood that he or she will contract the virus greatly decreases, however it is not impossible for an adult dog to get sick.  There are different factors that can impact whether or not an adult dog is more at risk, such as if he or she has been administered a complete round of vaccinations.  While adult dogs are at less risk, it is still a good idea to take all of the proper precautions of prevention to ensure the health and happiness of your pet.

Myth #3: My dog is protected from Parvo after just one preventative vaccination.  

Fact: FALSE!  In order to ensure that your puppy is completely protected against the virus, he or she typically needs to be vaccinated three times.  Usually, the vaccinations are administered around eight, twelve, and sixteen weeks of age. Until your dog has had a complete round of shots, do not bring him or her to the dog park, to groomers, or to any areas where he or she might come into contact with other dogs.  Your dog can still get sick if an infected dog has unintentionally left the virus behind somewhere!

Myth #4: Parvovirus cannot live in the environment, especially in extreme heat or cold.

Fact: The virus can actually live for months in the environment, including in severe temperatures.  This is why it is so important to clean your yard after housing an animal with Parvo because the virus can live in the soil.  It is recommended to dilute bleach and to spray your yard in addition to picking up your dog’s waste. Unfortunately, the bleach solution may kill your plants and grass, however, it is the only way to ensure that the virus is killed and safe for your pets.  

dog in backyard with ball

Additionally, keep this information in mind while taking your dog outside of the home. The park, neighborhood sidewalks, etc. may have traces of the virus, and you should make sure that your dog does not consume any dog feces that have been left behind by another animal. Check out our previous blog on cleaning up after Parvo.

Myth #5: If I keep my dog away from other dogs, he or she has no chance of contracting Parvo.

Fact:  Again, not true!  As detailed above, the virus is able to survive in the environment for months, meaning that if your dog comes into contact with something that an infected dog did as well, your dog could get sick.

stepping in dog poop

Additionally, if you accidentally step in feces from an infected dog, the virus can be transferred from your shoe to your home. This is why it is so important to take preventative precautions and to vaccinate your dog against the disease!  


For more information about Canine Parvovirus, check out the main pages on to learn about the virus and to learn what signs to look for in your own dog.  There are several treatment procedures, and prevention option information as well. Always consult your veterinarian for medical advice, and take your dog to the vet immediately if you think he or she may have contracted the disease.  

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