Kennel cough is an infection on the airway that causes dogs to have a nasty cough.
It could occasionally result in symptoms such as reduced appetite and increased temperature.
Like human colds, kennel cough is caused by different types of germs such as viruses or bacteria.
It is mostly contracted in areas where there are a lot of dogs such as in kennels, dog daycares, and doggy shows.
No, it is not advisable to exercise your dog when they are infected with kennel cough because it makes their cough much worse.
Their bodies are not built to handle vigorous exercise when sick.
The kennel germs can survive in that area for long periods.
It spreads through direct body contact of dogs, in the air, or on the surfaces like on bowls and leads.
Dogs that have contracted kennel cough should stay away from other dogs for about two to three weeks.
Below is more of kennel cough in dogs; the symptoms and everything you need to know.
Symptoms of Kennel Cough
The symptoms of the kennel cough virus develop in 3-14 days and then last for about 1-3 weeks.
The most common symptom is a hacking cough and most dogs only go through this.
But for puppies, poorly treated dogs, and older dogs may have other symptoms such as
- Reduced appetite
- Reduced energy
- A fever or increased temperatures
Treating Kennel Cough
You don’t need to administer medicine to your dog when they get infected with kennel cough.
The virus can easily be treated at home and the dog will recover in 1-3 weeks.
However, in cases where your dog has severe coughs and appears too unwell, it is recommended you visit a vet.
The vet will prescribe drugs that are either:
They reduce inflammation in the airway and reduce high temperatures.
Antibiotics are prescribed on rare occasions just as a precaution.
Especially when your dog is very small or unwell. Also, viruses do not respond to antibiotics on most occasions.
Care Tips for Your Dog Infected With Kennel Cough
When your dog contracts kennel cough he will cough a lot especially if they are doing many activities.
It may be quite a nuisance to your dog but it is not life-threatening.
It is vital to take care of your dog well just as you would love to be taken care of when you are sick.
Some of the ways to take care of your dog when they contract Kennel cough are:
1. Give your dog honey
Honey contains antioxidants, flavonoids, and enzymes.
Giving your dog honey helps relieve his symptoms because of these properties.
It will also make him feel better.
Their size will guide you on the amount of honey you will give them.
Bigger dogs need one tablespoon of honey per day, while medium dogs should be fed two teaspoons and smaller dogs only require only a teaspoon.
In case your dog does not want to eat the honey, you could try to mix it with some of his treats and see which one he likes more.
2. Use a humidifier
To give your dog more comfort, you can place a humidifier next to his bed.
A humidifier adds moisture to the air and will soothe your dog’s dry cough.
3. Hydrate your pooch
It is essential to make sure that your dog drinks enough water when he has kennel cough.
The water flushes out toxins from his body, helping him heal from the virus quickly.
4. Do not expose your dog to smoke or other irritants
If toxic chemicals in smoke and irritants access your dog, they intensify the cough.
You shouldn’t smoke close to the dog if you are a smoker.
When cleaning your house, it is safe to put your canine in a separate room.
Because the house cleaning detergents contain harsh chemicals that would aggravate your dog’s cough.
5. Give your dog a steam treat
Steam helps loosen up the gunk on your dog’s throat, hence relieving his cough.
You can give your dog a steam treatment by letting him sit in the bathroom with you when you are showering.
Leave him in there for about thirty minutes.
The steam will make your dog too hot, so always have some water for him to drink.
6. Encourage and allow him to rest
One of the best ways to treat kennel cough is to receive adequate sleep.
It helps the body relax and ability to fight the virus and be able to recover fully and properly.
Let your dog sleep in a room away from the children and other pets.
This will discourage any form of disturbance and he will be able to rest well and fully.
7. Administer cough suppressants to your dog
Under veterinarian’s approval and dosage, you may give your pooch a cough suppressant such as Robitussin.
It is intended to be used for a very short time.
How To Prevent Kennel Cough?
The best way to keep your dog from being infected by kennel cough is by vaccinating them.
Especially if they are in the company of other dogs most of the time or goes into different kennels.
It is important that the kennel cough vaccine is added to your dog’s vaccine schedule.
Below are some important points to note.
1. The vaccine should be administered annually since it lasts for 12 months
2. There is no 100% guarantee that the vaccine will protect your dog fully from contracting the virus.
But, it will significantly reduce the chances of catching the virus and the symptoms will not be too much if they get infected.
3. Most dog car shelters and kennels have a requirement that dogs get vaccinated 2 to 3 before they start taking care of them
Therefore, do not exercise your dog in the name of helping it get through the virus.
No, rest is more important to the healing process of kennel cough to a dog.
Additionally, give them steam treats and enough water and if need be take them to the veterinary.
It is also advisable to give them vaccines annually to reduce the chances of contracting kennel cough.