Disinfecting outdoor areas can help prevent your dog from contracting canine parvo, a highly contagious virus that kills 80 percent of infected puppies that do not receive veterinary treatment. Even after treatment, dogs can still spread parvo through feces for some time. The resilient virus can thrive in the ground for months. It can be prevented and controlled using basic sanitizing supplies.
Chlorine bleach is the only household disinfectant known to kill parvo. To kill parvo in your yard, add 1/2 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water. Use a spray bottle to dispense the solution over all parts of the yard including grass, dirt and cemented areas. Any other outdoor items that may be contaminated should also be cleaned with bleach. Soak your dog's dishes and toys in bleach water for 10 minutes.
The diluted bleach solution will kill your grass and discolor some outdoor items. Even if you completely remove canine parvovirus from your yard, it can be brought back in if you step on a contaminated surface and walk into your yard.
It is best wait a year after disinfecting your yard to adopt a new puppy. Although bleach does kill parvo, it is easy to miss a spot when disinfecting outdoor areas. The remaining traces of the virus can live for up to a year and continue infecting puppies and adult dogs. Waiting a year to bring a new dog home reduces the risk of contracting parvo.
Keeping puppies and adult dogs up-to-date on vaccinations can prevent them from getting parvovirus. Dogs are commonly given a 5-in-1 vaccination that protects against the deadly virus. Puppies usually receive their first shots at six or eight weeks of age and monthly boosters until they are 18 to 20 weeks. Dogs must be revaccinated at regular intervals determined by a veterinarian.