How to Kill the Parvo Virus

By Naomi Millburn

Canine parvovirus, unlike distemper, isn't surrounded by fat. As a result, it's highly robust in its surroundings. If a dog who was infected by parvo was recently in your home, careful disinfection of the place is absolutely necessary. Parvovirus is extremely contagious between dogs, notably young puppies.

Elimination of Viral Particles

Parvo is able to survive in a setting for months at a time. Killing the virus completely, while important, can often be tough. Since fully eliminating parvo from a setting can be difficult, the priority should be to minimize the amount of existing viral particles. Thorough cleaning doesn't always ensure the destruction of the virus. A lot of oft-used household disinfectants are simply unable to destroy parvo indoors. Ammonia and alcohol, for example, are not able to destroy parvo. If a disinfectant's packaging indicates that it's capable of killing parvo, that's not necessarily true. Standard soaps also can't destroy parvo.

If an infected dog spent any time in your residence, clean it in its entirety, leaving no rooms out. The virus can easily travel on your shoes.

Bleach Solution and Other Methods

Bleach, unlike many other things, has the ability to fully destroy parvovirus. If you want to kill parvo in your home, create a solution that's 32 parts H20 and a single part bleach for locations that are free of organic matter. Clean the water dish, food bowl and toys that were used by the infected animal. Follow that up by using the bleach solution to disinfect them. Let the solution remain on the contaminated items for a minimum of 10 minutes. If you don't disinfect all of the items that were exposed to the dog, you should immediately throw them away. It's also important to disinfect footwear, surfaces and floors. Other methods that can be effective for killing parvo include steam cleaning and UV irradiation. Fire can be effective for quickly killing parvo. If you have contaminated bedding in your home, burning it can eliminate the virus.

Options For Furniture and Carpeting

Bleach is not a suitable disinfectant for all items in the home. Furniture and carpeting cannot handle bleach. If you have wood furnishings, resurfacing may be able to do away with parvo. If you have contaminated carpeting, keep puppies away from it for at least a couple months. Parvo generally doesn't survive inside for longer than that. Meticulous shampooing can't completely rid carpeting of parvo, but it can decrease its lingering viral particles.

Parvo Strength

Parvo becomes less infectious with time. If the virus stays at room temperature for three months, it should become less potent. It is, however, generally an extremely strong virus. It can stay alive for six months inside of a refrigerator and for a couple weeks at temperatures of 100 degrees. The virus can survive for upward of three years inside of stool matter, too. It can even tolerate freezing ground temperatures in the winter months. These are all reasons why parvo is so transmittable between canines.

Although parvovirus is extremely contagious to canines, human beings and felines are not believed to be able to contract it from them.