Possibly like you, many pup parents are unsure exactly what Kennel Cough is. I’ve spoken to people who believe it was a death sentence, others confuse it with different canine illnesses altogether. So what exactly is Kennel Cough, how can it be prevented and what do you do if your dog gets it? As a canine expert with over 13 years of experience I am here to help you better understand what it is and isn’t.


Pet WebMD (https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/kennel-cough-in-dogs) says this about Kennel Cough, “Although kennel cough can sound terrible, most of the time it is not a serious condition, and most dogs will recover without treatment… Just as human colds may be caused by many different viruses, kennel cough itself can have multiple causes”. The most common symptom of kennel cough is a honking sound, not to be confused with reverse sneezing (https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/reverse-sneeze-in-dogs). Although there is a vaccine and at Dogtown we require it, this is what Pet WebMD says about vaccination, “…Although these vaccines may help, they do not guarantee protection against kennel cough or infectious tracheobronchitis because it can be caused by so many different kinds of bacteria and viruses.”



How do dogs get Kennel Cough? Whole-dog-journal.com writes, “CIRD [Kennel Cough] is highly contagious, infectious, and is transmitted through direct and indirect contact between animals, through contact with aerosolized respiratory secretions (coughing and sneezing) from infected dogs, and through contact with contaminated objects – just like a cold at a [human childs] daycare center!”


The most important things to know about Kennel Cough is


  • It’s like a human cold. Most cases are mild and resolve themselves in a few weeks.
  • Vaccinate. Vaccination is key if your dog is going to be in communal settings. Although even vaccinated dogs can still get and give Kennel Cough since the vaccine does not cover all strains.
  • It’s highly contagious. Keep sick dogs at home.


While having a sick dog can be scary it’s important to understand exactly what you’re dealing with. Kennel Cough is not uncommon or life threatening in most cases.


This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

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