Two Pomeranians look up to the camera, smiling. Picture is to demonstrate how dogs being together in kennels can spread kennel cough.

Kennel Cough: How to Prevent and Treat It

Most often passed in kennels and places where dogs congregate, kennel cough is a common and contagious disease in dogs. It produces upper respiratory symptoms, coughing, and discomfort in your pup. In most cases, the illness responds to veterinary treatment but, in some cases, it can have serious complications. Knowing and understanding the symptoms of kennel cough is essential to your dog’s health. This way, you know how to prevent it and stop it in its tracks.

Kennel Cough Symptoms 

If you are concerned about your pup not feeling well, there are several kennel cough symptoms to look for. Please note that dogs who are very ill or are having difficulty breathing should get immediate veterinary care. 

  • The cough sounds like hacking or honking. This is the most common symptom and it looks like they are trying to get something out of their throat. It might progress to them hacking up liquid or foam. 
  • Sensitive trachea: touching their windpipe might trigger a coughing episode.
  • Wheezing
  • Gagging and retching
  • Sneezing and runny nose
  • Tearing eyes or discharge
  • Further progressed symptoms include decrease of appetite, fever, and lethargy.

Kennel Cough Treatment and Prevention

While it is possible for a dog with mild symptoms to get better on their own, it’s crucial to seek proper treatment. Without kennel cough treatment, your pup might get worse instead of better. It is important to get prompt care for your dog to help them heal and feel better. Common vet treatments include:

  • Antibiotics to treat bordetella bacteria. They can also be used to prevent secondary bacterial infections when the dog has a viral infection.
  • Pet-safe medications. The vet might prescribe cough suppressants, anti-inflammatories, and pain medications. It will help relieve the symptoms while they recuperate. 

At home, you can help their recovery by using a humidifier without medications or oils. This will help soothe their throat and make the air less of an irritant. Be sure to let them rest as much as possible and keep them hydrated. 

Vaccinations are generally the best way to prevent kennel cough in your dog. They are especially important if your dog regularly goes to boarding facilities or other places to interact with other dogs. Your veterinarian will help you work out the right kind of vaccination and booster schedule. Be sure to choose your boarding facility wisely depending on their cleanliness practices to avoid spreading disease. 

Get Health Questions Answered With Get Joy

Now, Get Joy not only offers great fresh food for your pup but also accessible pet telehealth. Get all your dog's behavioral and health questions answered by a real professional 24/7. If you are concerned about your dog’s health, make an appointment to speak to a veterinarian today.