Kennel Cough How To Treat It

kennel cough how to treat it

How to treat kennel cough is not difficult. Although quite contagious, it usually goes away on its own within two weeks. In severe cases it can last up to six weeks. It is most dangerous for puppies, older dogs, pregnant dogs and dogs with respiratory issues. 

Kennel cough also called canine irresistible tracheobronchitis or canine infectious respiratory disease is a respiratory disease easily transmittable if your dog is not vaccinated. Bordetella is the most common bacteria that causes kennel cough, but is often combined with a virus such as canine distemper or canine influenza. 

Symptoms of Kennel Cough

  • Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Sniffles
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low fever

How Does Kennel Cough Spread?

  • Through the air - an infected dog is contagious for up to 14 days and can spread Bordetella by coughing, breathing, barking and by dander. 
  • Contaminated surfaces - bordetella can spread from one dog to another for example on a food bowl or toy up to 48 hours. 
  • Contact with infected dogs - dogs can spread the disease by sniffing each other or being face to face. Places such as the vet, doggy daycare, dog park and kennels are breeding grounds for the disease. 


kennel cough how to treat it

How To Treat Kennel Cough In Dogs

  • Keep your dog out of the cold
  • Avoid going to places with other dogs to prevent spreading
  • Don't expose your dog to smoke or excessive dust 
  • Keep your dog in an are that has fresh air
  • If symptoms continue for more than two weeks take your dog to the vet. If symptoms such as severe coughing, lethargy or fever are present, go to the vet right away. Medication may be needed to help get rid of the bacterial infection. 

How To Treat Kennel Cough At Home

  • Honey and warm water - this helps to soothe your dog's throat and minimize coughing. Give up to one tablespoon of honey in warm water three times per day as needed. 

  • Humidifier - place a humidifier by where your dog lays. The moisture helps soothe an irritated respiratory tract. 

  • Steam therapy - allow your dog to sit in the bathroom while you take a hot shower. The moisture helps the same way a humidifier would. 

  • Rest - reduce the amount of exercise your dog gets while they are recovering from kennel cough. Short bathroom breaks only which can help to reduce coughing. Allow your dog to sleep as much as needed. 

  • Use a harness - this is better than a collar which can worsen your dog's cough.

Illnesses Besides Kennel Cough That Can Cause Coughing

  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Canine distemper virus
  • Canine adenovirus
  • Canine herpes virus
  • Parainfluenza virus 
  • Canine reovirus
  • Cardiac disease
  • Heartworm disease
  • Pneumonia 


About The Author

Performance Dog Wheelchairs wants you to know that physical limitations are not the end to mobility. Our purpose is to give others and their dogs the ability to seek new adventures and overcome physical challenges with one of our dog wheelchairs. We have small, medium and big dog wheelchairs

We offer a front support dog wheelchair which is also referred to as a dog quad wheelchair or four wheel dog cart, a dog cart for rear legs and the patented SitGo Dog Wheelchair. This is the only affordable dog wheelchair that allows your dog to go from standing to sitting without having to remove it.

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