Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.

Kennel Cough – Everything You Need To Know

Rachel Poli Author
Apr 4 ·
Kennel cough

Kennel cough is one of many respiratory infections that dogs can get. It’s a contagious cough that is easily treated (and preventable). So, let’s talk about everything you need to know about this condition in dogs. 

What Is Kennel Cough?

Kennel Cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a contagious respiratory infection in dogs.

It is an infection within the windpipe (also known as the trachea) and the bronchial tubes.

It’s a fairly common disease that can occur when large dogs come together. However, it’s treatable, and it’s also preventable. 

What Causes This Disease?

It is contagious by any means. For example, if your dog is at the dog park and playing with other dogs or sniffing one another, they can pass kennel cough along that way.

Also, if dogs share the same water bowl, it can be passed on through that.

In addition, environmental factors can cause kennel cough. For example, if your dog is too stressed out, too cold, or there’s a lot of dust or smoke, it can settle in their lungs. Thus, they can get kennel cough or develop something worse. 

Which Dogs Are Most Likely To Get Kennel Cough?

This respiratory disease can affect any dog breed. However, it’s most common in puppies under six months of age. Also, if your doggo has a compromised immune system, they are most likely to get this disease, no matter their age.

Kennel Cough

What Are The Symptoms Of Kennel Cough?

If you suspect that your dog has kennel cough, then you can keep an eye out for these symptoms of the disease:

  • A strong cough (usually a “honking” sound)
  • Running nose
  • Watery (or running) eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Low fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Wheezing

You should bring your pup to the vet right away if you notice any symptoms. It can be severe, so you’ll want to get your doggo treated for it as soon as possible.

Whenever Your Dog Has A Cough, Tell Your Vet

Regardless of whether your pup has kennel cough or not, you should always tell your vet whenever they have a cough.

Sometimes the cough can be kennel cough developing. Other times, a cough can be a symptom of much more extensive disease.

For example, your dog may have:

  • Collapsing trachea
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Heart disease
Kennel Cough

Can Humans Get Kennel Cough?

Believe it or not, yes. But unfortunately, humans can get kennel cough. Although it’s rare, this infection can be passed from dog to human if the human has a compromised immune system.

For example, symptoms in a human are as follows:

  • Persistent cough
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fever
  • Other respiratory symptoms

If a human gets kennel cough, then they can see their doctor. Your doctor will most likely give you antibiotics, and you can use cough suppressants to lessen the cough and soothe your throat.

If Humans Can Get Kennel Cough From Dogs, Can Dogs Get It From Humans?

The short answer is yes. Even though it’s rare for humans to get the condition from another dog, humans can still carry the infection.

For example, if you’re a dog walker or dog sitter and one of the dogs you look after happens to have kennel cough, you can carry it even if you don’t get it.

Then, you go home to your dog, let them lick you and greet you, and you may accidentally pass it onto them.

If you’re unsure, the best way to prevent yourself from carrying the infection is always to wash your hands. Then, when you get home, you can even shower and put your dirty clothes in the laundry to ensure your dog doesn’t get any germs from it. 

How Do You Treat Kennel Cough In Dogs?

Since kennel cough is a respiratory infection, the best way to treat it is to give your dog rest. For instance, allow your pup to rest at home for about a week so they can recover.

Your doggo can still go on walks and play a bit, but it shouldn’t be too strenuous. In addition, they should certainly stay away from other dogs so that they don’t spread the disease.

Also, to help speed up the recovery process (or depending on how severe the kennel cough is), your vet may prescribe your pup antibiotics. 

Kennel Cough

Is This Disease Preventable?

Luckily, it is preventable. As a puppy, your furry friend can get the Bordetella vaccination, which helps fight kennel cough. If you get this, you’ll be able to bring your doggo to fun places such as daycare or the dog park.

Most places require this vaccination before taking your dog anyway. For example, you often have to show proof of the vaccine if you drop off your doggo at daycare or the grooming salon.

So, be sure to get your dog vaccinated and know the signs of kennel cough to get your pup treated for it right away. 

Rachel Poli Author
Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
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