How Long Can Parvo Live On Clothes

How Long Can Parvo Live On Clothes?

Last Updated: August 20, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

I'm frightened. Up to six months can pass for this disease on your clothes, carpet, or any other fabric, and up to nine months on outside surfaces. Yikes! When you even suspect there is a case of Parvo on your property, you should start cleaning everything.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “How Long Can Parvo Live On Clothes?“.

Parvo is a disease that is highly contagious and often fatal in puppies – kind of like a deadlier version of Covid-19 but for dogs.

How Long Can Parvo Live On Clothes

In most cases if you get your pup to the vet in time his chances of survival are good. Veterinarians have a survival rate between 68 and 92 percent for parvo cases. Still its scary and unvaccinated dogs are particularly vulnerable.

In most cases your puppy will be fine if he survives the first week or so of the illness. The survival rate of untreated cases is low with 90 percent of pups not surviving.

In todays article we answer some questions about Parvo in dogs.

1. What is Parvo?

It is a viral disease caused by the canine parvovirus usually affecting dogs although other animals can be carriers as well. Dogs contract this potentially lethal virus through direct or indirect contact with infected feces.

Dogs love to sniff anything they can get their hands on – thats why this highly contagious disease spreads so quickly. It can survive for months on any property.

In your clothes on doggy equipment leashes or anywhere your pup touches – even in the soil in your yard – scary stuff.

Infections caused by the Parvovirus usually require advanced medical attention in a veterinary hospital.

Besides suppressing your pups immune system it also makes him vulnerable to secondary infections. These pups usually get very ill and its not pleasant to see.

If your pup does come into contact with Parvo you can (and should) vaccinate him against it to give him a fighting chance.

A puppy generally receives these shots at six nine and fourteen weeks of age. You’ll give your dog a booster shot a year later and then every three years thereafter.

Immunity to the disease is not guaranteed by vaccination but it is highly effective protecting dogs against it in most cases.

Before allowing four-legged clients into doggy daycare and other socialization centers most require proof of inoculations. This is to ensure the safety of other dogs.

2. Why is it dangerous for dogs?

Especially in young dogs parvo is potentially fatal. A person who comes into contact with many dogs especially puppies must be extremely careful to avoid contamination because the disease spreads so rapidly.

Due to its ability to stick to any surface for up to nine months the disease is spread by many people without even realizing it.

Many dogs recover and suffer no long-term side effects from parvo with the right treatment but there is no cure.

They will recover if they receive treatment within three days of falling ill if they get treatment in time. As long as your pup survives the first three days of the illness he stands a good chance of surviving.

These dogs may carry long-term effects such as repressed immune systems and a tendency to pick up diseases related to the gut and intestines. The pups human parents might have their hands full with all the special care their furry child needs.

Usually it is not Parvovirus that kills a dog – it is a secondary infection usually in the gut. It weakens your dogs immune system leaving him susceptible to secondary infections which are also potentially lethal. Parvo is treated with antibiotics because they can not kill viruses. Bacteria are killed by antibiotics.

During this time and for ten days after recovery dogs with Parvo are infectious so its best to keep them quarantined after they have recovered. The last thing you need is for them to infect other dogs and spread the disease.

3. How long can Parvo live on clothes?

Dogs that have been infected with parvo live on anything that they poop or vomit on. This includes anything that comes into contact with that surface. I’m frightened. Up to six months can pass for this disease on your clothes carpet or any other fabric and up to nine months on outside surfaces. Yikes! When you even suspect there is a case of Parvo on your property you should start cleaning everything. Everywhere.

4. How to clean clothes after Parvo?

Now that we know how important it is to remove the Parvovirus from clothes the question remains how? Bleach is usually the best option since it kills anything in motion. The first step is to soak your clothes in bleach – the longer the better. The instructions should tell you how long to soak.

Once its steamed its ready. Check the specifications of your steamer to make sure 120-130 *C is the right temperature for this step. Make sure you steam for at least 15 minutes to ensure everything is cooked properly. To get rid of the last of these nasty bugs hang it in the sun. Natural sunlight is an excellent disinfectant.

In general non-hard surfaces are harder to clean properly so repeat this process a few times for good measure. Donot leave anything to chance with this one – get into any creases and dense stitching.

Unfortunately you can not know for sure whether you killed the virus – only time will tell. As a result if you’re not sure its best to keep the area (or clothes) quarantined as much as possible. If you do not wear your favorite pair of pants for a while you would not infect more dogs with the disease.

5. What are parvo tablets and where can you get them from?

Parvo tablets (weighing about 2.5g) are hard small tablets that contain a disinfectant.

The agents are effective against a wide variety of bacteria viruses fungi and spores.

Clean a wide range of surfaces and objects with these products that dissolve in warm water.

Their target audience is veterinarians and their clinics not ordinary dog owners and their clothes.

There are no instructions on how to use them on clothes- only floors surfaces surgical equipment and so forth.

In the UK they can be purchased at and

6. Will color-safe bleach kill Parvo?

At least most of the time. The good news is that your favorite T-shirt may still be wearable after being infected with Parvo. That is if you thoroughly wash it. You know “kill it and when its dead kill it again.” If you’re unsure check the label – the active ingredients will be listed there so you can look it up on the Internet.

7. What kills Parvo besides bleach?

Although bleach is usually the most effective way to kill Parvo it is not always the most practical. Parvo can also be killed with readily available products such as accelerated hydrogen peroxide potassium peroxy mono sulfate and chlorine dioxide.

The products would not be listed under those names in the shop. Nevertheless they tend to be the main or active ingredients of parvo-killing products.

Check out the ingredients on potential products before buying if you are looking for an alternative to bleach. These products are usually effective against a list of viruses and other pathogens on the manufacturers website. If you’re not sure Google will come to your rescue.

What else would you need besides bleach you ask? There are times when you have to clean large areas. Alternatively you need to clean something that will be ruined by bleach. If you’re looking for a cost-effective alternative to bleach it may also be as simple as that.


Parvo is extremely contagious and potentially deadly. You can cure your pooch of the virus if you give him the necessary treatment right away.

Therefore you should always keep an eye out for signs of infection especially if you have pups that have not been inoculated. Many dogs can survive Parvo with the right treatment but only if its administered as soon as they become ill.

Clothing and surfaces that have been in contact with the virus can remain infectious for up to nine months. ​Therefore its vital to properly disinfect anything that may be infected immediately and thoroughly

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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