What Is Kennel Cough?

Does your dog suddenly seem like they have a bad cold? While dogs do experience colds and allergies, if they are troubled by a particularly loud cough, they could have kennel cough.

Kennel cough, or canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory infection. Although this condition is colloquially known as “kennel cough,” it doesn’t just come from kennels. It can be contracted whenever groups of dogs interact.

Kennel cough is typically spread through direct contact with contaminated dogs or surfaces, as well as airborne droplets.

Fortunately, this condition is highly treatable and easy to prevent! Top Dog’s expert staff is here to walk you through the symptoms, treatment, and prevention of kennel cough.

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Dogs are our whole world, and we’ve gathered the expertise to make sure your pup has an amazing dog daycare, boarding, and training experience.

What Are the Symptoms of Kennel Cough?

If you think your dog may have kennel cough, you should first ask yourself whether they have been interacting with other canines recently. Did they go to the dog park or a dog boarding resort?

The signature symptom of kennel cough is a strong, loud cough that almost sounds like a honk. However, a dog with kennel cough may also exhibit:

  • Sneezing
  • A runny nose
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of interest in play

If your dog is exhibiting kennel cough symptoms, it is important to visit the veterinarian.

While kennel cough is generally a mild disease, it has similar symptoms to other more serious conditions like the canine distemper virus and canine influenza. Your vet will be able to accurately diagnose your dog and recommend a specific treatment procedure.

How Do You Treat Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough has a simple treatment process. Normally, a dog will recover on its own with 1-3 weeks of rest, just like a healthy human recovering from a cold or flu.

It’s important to create a beneficial environment for your dog’s recovery. A well-humified room will help ease coughing, and walking your dog with a harness instead of a collar will minimize throat irritation.

If you have other dogs, you will want to keep them separate from the infected dog, as kennel cough is very contagious. Consider placing them in another part of the house or a dog boarding resort.

Kennel cough will often heal without any medication, but your vet may recommend something to speed up or ease the recovery process, such as cough medicine, antibiotics, or even a nebulizer.

If your dog does not improve, schedule a follow-up vet visit. Just like a lingering human cold, kennel cough can develop into pneumonia.

How Can You Prevent Kennel Cough?

The number one way to prevent kennel cough is the kennel cough vaccine. Kennel cough is usually caused by the bordetella bacterium, and a vaccine that targets bordetella is highly effective at preventing kennel cough.

In fact, many dog daycare and boarding facilities require kennel cough vaccines to prevent an outbreak.

The bordetella vaccine can be administered either as an injection, oral dose, or intranasal mist. The initial course of treatment is two doses, given two to four weeks apart, followed by a booster dose every six months to a year.

Although the bordetella bacterium is responsible for the majority of kennel cough cases, there are other bacteria and viruses that can cause kennel cough. Therefore, it’s important to take a few precautions:

  • Avoid crowded and poorly ventilated areas
  • Reduce your dog’s stress levels
  • Avoid cold temperatures
  • Limit exposure to dust and smoke

Dog Boarding in Mebane, NC with Top Dog

To avoid kennel cough, you also want to make sure you find the best dog boarding near you.

Top Dog offers a highly-skilled staff that can handle special diets and administers medication, and our dog boarding facilities prioritize your dog’s comfort and safety.

All of our cozy elevated pet cots have sanitized bedding, and we create a soothing environment with music.

Dog boarders are also able to take advantage of our day school during the week and get supervised play over the weekend.

Give your precious pup a safe, comfortable dog boarding resort. Contact us today!

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