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Kennel Cough for Dogs

What is kennel cough?

Kennel cough is the dog equivalent of your common cold. It’s a highly contagious respiratory disease spread from dog to dog. This makes it particularly easy to pick up at dog parks, training groups or doggy daycare, or wherever there is a large number of dogs. 

How do dogs get kennel cough?

Kennel cough is an airborne infection, meaning dogs catch it when they inhale the bacteria (bordetella bronchiseptica) or parainfluenza virus into their system. If your dog’s immune system is a bit out-of-whack due to certain factors, this can make them susceptible to infection. For example, cold temperatures, stress from travel or poor air quality can all make your dog more prone to kennel cough. 

Is kennel cough contagious to humans? 

It’s extremely rare for this to occur. However, someone with a weakened immune system may be able to contract the bacteria infection.

Symptoms of kennel cough

So what does a kennel cough sound like? A dog’s cough sounds a bit like a honking noise. So if you’re hearing a forceful, persistent choking-like sound, it’s very likely they’ve got kennel cough. It can sound pretty horrible, but thankfully it’s usually not serious. Other symptoms can include a runny nose, sneezing and lethargy. 

How long does kennel cough last?

The duration of kennel cough changes for each dog but generally can last  6 to 14 days. However, if infected by both the bacteria and virus version of kennel cough, it could last up to 20 days. If your dog is a bit older, this might also extend the duration. 

Do dogs need to see a vet for kennel cough?

In most cases, no. Given that kennel cough isn’t usually serious, a healthy dog can often fight off the infection alone. If, however, they’ve developed more severe symptoms, or the symptoms persist for longer than two weeks, then it’s best to seek medical advice for your furry friend. 

If you’re wanting early-onset prevention, you can also look to get a kennel cough vaccination which will help limit infection. This is especially a good idea if you have a very social pup.

How to treat kennel cough at home

If you’re thinking your pooch has caught kennel cough, firstly, isolate them from other dogs to avoid spreading it further. To speed up recovery or minimise symptoms, you can look at our great range of kennel cough treatments.