Canine parvovirus is a very contagious disease that is often fatal in young dogs. Parvo can survive on any surface and even through cold weather for months at a time… meaning it can survive outdoors, and you will need to treat your yard for parvo.
You should disinfect your home then do the same to get rid of parvo in your yard once your dog has recovered. But how?
How to get rid of parvo in a yard? You can treat parvo in your yard by using diluted bleach on all hard, non-organic surfaces. Rescue, Virkon, and Sniper Hospital disinfectants are best for grass and soil.
That’s the short answer above, but here are the steps you go through, and the products I recommend you use to treat parvo and keep things safe.
How to get rid of parvo in a yard?
The parvovirus is very resilient. It’s resistant to most common cleaners and disinfectants. It’s especially hard to get rid of outdoors in yards and gardens – it can survive in shaded areas for months and years at a time.
Proper cleanup is crucial, especially if you have a dog that has contracted parvo that use the yard, garden, or outdoor space.
While it’s nearly impossible to get rid of all parvovirus particles from your yard, you will be able to reduce it to a level that will be safe for your pets with treatment.
Here are some cleaners you can use:
Bleach is the most effective disinfectant to treat viruses like parvo in a yard. You can combine 1 part bleach with 30 parts water and apply it to any hard, even surfaces in which color changes aren’t important.
This is especially useful for decontaminating indoors if you live with a dog that has recovered from parvo. You can apply it on your floors, toys, your dog’s food bowls, furniture, and other objects or surfaces that your dog has licked or sat on.
Bleach is also best for your outdoor patio and other furniture that lives in your yard or garden area.
If you have carpets, it’s best to have them sent off for regular steam cleaning. This is effective not just to prevent parvo, but also makes a big difference in keeping strong odor and dander in control.
Bleach is most effective after 10 to 15 minutes of contact time with the surface you’re cleaning, and then you can rinse it off thoroughly with water.
Unfortunately, bleach will kill your grass and your plants, so you can’t exactly just spray it on your yard and hope for the best.
2. Rescue Disinfectant
Rescue is a disinfectant that is reasonably effective when applied to grass and soil. Application is a bit more complex because disinfectants are generally much less effective in the face of large amounts of organic matter.
It’s actually used by vets and you can read the Amazon reviews online.
First, flush your yard with water and let it dry under sunlight – do this 2 or 3 times and be as thorough as you can. Mix 8 oz of Rescue disinfectant with 1 gallon of water and spray the solution on the whole area using a hose-end sprayer.
It’s important to get the yard area you want to clean of parvo as wet as possible. You will likely have to apply Rescue multiple times over several months to be absolutely thorough.
3. Sniper Hospital Disinfectant
Sniper is used in hospitals, so you’re assured of its friendliness to humans, pets, and the environment. It kills all common viruses and bacteria like parvo found in yards, healthcare facilities and is effective against canine parvovirus as well.
Like the previous recommendation for yard parvo treatment, you can also buy this on Amazon.
The main ingredient in Sniper is chlorine dioxide. It’s non-corrosive, friendly to all organic material, and quickly kills harmful organisms such as parvo in your yard.
There’s no need to dilute it with water – it’s perfectly safe to even spray on your dog if he’s been skunked, or even to wash your hands with it.
4. Virkon-S Broad Spectrum Disinfectant
Virkon is widely used for disinfection in the poultry industry, so it’s perfectly animal-safe for treating parvo in yards. It’s most effective when the contaminated area is dry. Dilute it to 1 part Virkon and 99 parts water and wear gloves as you handle the tablets.
As before, you can also purchase on Amazon. Read the reviews which are very impressive.
Viruses thrive in dark and moist areas – yards can be prone to parvo. Before spraying Rescue, Sniper, or Virkon-S on your yard, remove any furniture or objects that cast large shadows on the grass such as umbrellas, overgrown bush, picnic tables, and arbors.
It’s best to disinfect on dry grass, and when there’s no rain in the forecast for a few consecutive days. Turn off your sprinkler system to make sure your yard is hot and dry as you’re disinfecting.
The most difficult part of yard treatment is that there are so many nooks and crannies where the virus can live. Apply your chosen solution liberally, then rake or turn over mulch and rocks before applying again 2 or 3 more times.
If you’re covering a large area, you may have to break it up into sections and disinfect them one at a time to be as thorough as possible.
What causes parvo in dogs?
Parvo is so dangerous because it spreads very easily. Infected dogs “shed” or spread the virus before exhibiting any symptoms and for several days after recovery – that means they are contagious for two or three weeks.
It also means that anything an infected dog has touched or stepped on has likely been contaminated. Parvovirus can survive on almost any surface for months at a time.
If you live with a dog that has or had parvo, it’s definitely on your shoes and clothes as well. You might be bringing parvo back into the house from your yard, a long time after your dog has recovered.
Your dog doesn’t even have to come into direct contact with an infected dog to contract parvo. Just sniffing or licking a surface or environment that has been contaminated can infect them.
Once a dog has contracted the virus, it spreads inside their body very quickly. Common parvo symptoms are digestive problems (diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, loss of appetite), and in rare cases can spread to the bone marrow and the heart.
Is my dog at risk for parvo?
Parvo is perfectly preventable through vaccination and keeping unvaccinated puppies indoors and away from possible sources of infection.
Puppies are born with antibodies from their mothers, but these fade within a few weeks. When puppies are between six weeks and six months old, they are most at risk for contracting parvo.
The first vaccinations should be administered at six weeks, with regular booster shots as they grow up.
Adult dogs should get booster shots every three years. You can also get a titer test – an antibody blood test that shows what antibodies are still active in your dog’s system. You can then make further vaccination decisions accordingly.
Can my puppy get parvo from my backyard?
The parvovirus is ubiquitous and resilient – it can survive on almost any surface for months at a time. Studies have shown that it can live on moist soil for over a year – that means yes, you will need to get rid of parvo in your yard if there’s a risk it’s still there.
Just by walking on sidewalks or through dog parks, or even down the beach, anyone in your household can bring the virus into your yard even if no other dogs have been there.
Unless you regularly disinfect your home and your garden specifically against parvo, you should consider your environment contaminated.
It’s best to keep unvaccinated puppies indoors and away from other dogs. Once your puppy has completed the vaccination cycle after 4 months or so, give your yard as thorough a cleaning as possible before letting them roam free.
Clearing homes, yards, and kennels of parvo is difficult work and should be done diligently with utmost focus, to make sure that the environment is completely safe for dogs.
However, with some standard cleaning products as described above, you can treat your yard for parvo and get rid of it.
You might also like…
If your dog has recently had parvo, you will also find these guides helpful.
- How to tell if your puppy will survive parvo
- What you should be feeding a dog with parvo
- Reasons for ammonia smelling dog fur
Image in header licensed via Storyblocks.com.