How can I help my dog with kennel cough? Find Out Here

Are There Home Remedies for Kennel Cough in Dogs?

For mild cases of kennel cough, there are a few at-home remedy options. However, keep an eye out for signs that the kennel cough is getting worse or not getting better.

Honey can be a great home remedy for kennel cough as it can help soothe your dogs throat and minimize coughing.

You can give your dog 1/2 tablespoon to 1 tablespoon of honey mixed with a little warm water in a bowl. This can be offered up to three times a day depending on how often your dog is coughing.

A small humidifier can be placed near your dog while they are resting.

The humidifier will moisten the air that your dog breathes, which can help with irritation of the respiratory tract.

Why isn’t the vaccine 100% effective?

1) Kennel cough is a syndrome, not a specific disease. It can be caused by many different viruses and bacteria, often in combination. Kennel cough vaccines are typically targeted against Bordetella bronchiseptica +/- canine parainfluenza, two important causes of kennel cough, but not the only causes.

2) No vaccine is 100% effective. Vaccines help reduce the risk of illness, but they don’t completely eliminate it. Some vaccines are better than others, and some animals respond better to vaccines than others.

3) Timing is another issue. One of the weak points of many kennel protocols is the requirement that the dog be vaccinated “before entry,” or within a certain number of weeks or months. The problem with this is vaccines are not immediately effective. What often happens is people decide to board their animal at the last minute or realize the night before that they need their dog vaccinated, so the vaccine gets given a day (or less) before kenneling. The intranasal kennel cough vaccine (squirted up the nose) takes a few (3-5) days to be effective, and the injectable vaccine takes even longer (a week or more). Vaccination very soon before boarding, particularly for a dog that has never been vaccinated against kennel cough before, is unlikely to result in protection from infection by the time of boarding.

Make Sure Your Dog Is Getting Plenty of Rest

Rest is very important for your dog while recovering from kennel cough.

Try to reduce the amount of exercise your dog gets on a daily basis while they are recovering from kennel cough—this can help with healing and reduce coughing spells.

Many dogs with kennel cough can recover without complication; however, some dogs can become very sick with life-threatening pneumonia.

Dogs that are more susceptible to complications from kennel cough include:

  • Puppies that have immature immune systems (especially young puppies that have not been fully vaccinated)
  • Older dogs that have a decreased immune defense or other serious diseases (heart failure, diabetes, or cancer)
  • Pregnant dogs that may have a lower immunity
  • Dogs that have pre-existing respiratory diseases (tracheal collapse, chronic bronchitis, severe respiratory allergies)
  • How To Spot and Treat Kennel Cough In Dogs | Vets4Pets

    Known as infectious tracheobronchitis or canine infectious respiratory disease (CIRD), kennel cough in dogs is a type of respiratory infection caused by a number of different viruses and infectious agents: canine parainfluenza virus (SV5), canine adenovirus 2, Bordetella bronchiseptica, and mycoplasma (1, 2).

    When several dogs are contained in one space (like daycare, boarding kennels, animal shelters, veterinary hospitals) and new pets are regularly introduced, kennel cough will be caused by a complex of pathogens (3, 4, 5).

    When pets are densely housed, these pathogens get transmitted from dog to dog by sneezing, coughing, and nose-to-nose contact (6, 7).

    Pathogens will attack the cilia protecting a dogs respiratory tract and cause the upper airway to become inflamed (8).

    As a result, this causes irritation, which then results in a dogs dry, harsh and hacking cough (9, 10).

    In most cases, kennel cough will be mild and go away on its own in about a week (11).

    In more rare instances, a case of kennel cough can progress to pneumonia which is life-threatening.

    Antibiotics will be needed, and in some cases, hospitalization may be required as well (12).

    The main difference between a harmless kennel cough and a dangerous one (pneumonia) is the way your dog appears and any additional symptoms.

    In simple cases, dogs will only have a dry cough, while those with pneumonia will appear very sick, may have fever, lose their appetite, and theyre going to be listless (13).

    New vaccines are very effective at keeping most common infectious agents at bay (14, 15, 16).

    This is especially important if youre going to put a dog in a “problem kennel” (with other animals).

    If your pet has already developed kennel cough, and the case is mild, there are some home remedies you can try to ease their discomfort.