What You Need To Know About Kennel Cough


Many dogs get kennel cough during their lives, and though the hacking, raspy cough may sound serious, the condition itself rarely is. In fact, it usually clears up without needing treatment.

The main symptom of kennel cough is a harsh, hacking cough. Like so…

Apart from the cough, your dog should otherwise be unaffected and still have a good appetite and normal energy levels.

Kennel cough is a respiratory infection in dogs caused by any of a host of bacteria or viruses. Because it is not caused by one specific pathogen, there is not one vaccination guaranteed to prevent it. That said, since Bordetella bronchiseptica is one of the most common causes of kennel cough, a Bordatella vaccination is a good idea if your pup will routinely be in places frequented by other dogs; in fact, many boarding facilities require a Bordatella vaccination for their canine clients.

Many dogs get kennel cough from being in dog kennels and shelters, which is where the illness gets its name. They become infected by being around other dogs who have the cough. Though not usually serious, kennel cough is highly contagious. In fact, dogs with kennel cough were often contagious for up to fourteen days before showing symptoms, and sometimes longer. It can be transmitted through toys, bowls, or other shared items, or through mucus expelled into the air when an infected dog coughs. Dogs with suspected or diagnosed kennel cough should be kept away from other animals.

Kennel cough will usually go away on its own – most cases will clear up within three weeks and shouldn’t need any treatment at all. That said, if your dog shows other symptoms, or if you’re just not sure that the cough you’re hearing is indeed kennel cough, it’s a good idea to make an appointment to visit your vet. Your vet can also prescribe antibiotics or a cough suppressant to shorten the duration of symptoms and give your dog some relief.