How to spot kennel cough

Adorable purebred dog with brown coat yawning while lying on couch cushions at home

Even our own pets are plagued by the endless stream of pesky bacteria and viruses in the air. 

If you think your dog has kennel cough, take them to the vet. Kennel cough is an infection of the respiratory system caused by bacteria or viruses. It manifests as a severe cough in dogs and can make them sick for weeks. You can help prevent Kennel cough by vaccinating your dog against it. 

Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease in dogs that is easily spread through close contact with an infected animal. In severe cases, pneumonia may develop as a complication. Although kennel cough is usually not serious, it should always be treated to prevent the further spread of the disease. Look out for your dog making a forceful, hacking cough. This may also sound like retching as if your dog is trying to clear something stuck in his throat. If the coughing persists, this could well be chemical pneumonia, which can last for several weeks. If your dog contracts kennel cough, it is possible for the disease to run its course and for your pet to recover without intervention. However, during this time your dog can still spread the infection to others, and the longer the cough persists, the greater the risk of serious complications developing. Therefore, if you notice your dog coughing, it is best to take them to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. 

Once a dog has had kennel cough, they are not immune to it in the future. This means that you always need to be on the lookout for it. If you suspect kennel cough, your vet will be able to diagnose it and can give your dog prescription medication to help them recover. There are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood that your dog will contract kennel cough. One is to have them vaccinated. This vaccination is given via a nasal spray, and while it cannot guarantee prevention, it can make the symptoms milder if your dog does catch the illness and shorten the recovery time. It is important to remember that the yearly booster injection does not protect against kennel cough, so you will need to make sure your dog gets the nasal vaccination for kennel cough in addition to their standard annual vaccinations. They can be done at the same time, so you don’t have to make an extra trip.

Prevention and care are often key to avoiding and recovering from this condition. Remember to always be on the lookout for any signs of Kennel Cough and make sure your dogs get immediate medical care.