A common ailment in dogs is an easily preventable sickness called kennel cough. This illness occurs when dogs are around other dogs for an extended period of time. It is easily spread from dog to dog and without proper vaccination can be a real pain for you and your pup. Luckily a simple Bordetella shot can prevent your dog from getting kennel cough.
If you are worried that you dog might have already been affected by kennel cough than don’t stress. Your vet can provide medicine that will get your dog back to 100% in a jiffy. Just like most illnesses, the quicker that you can identify and start treatment the shorter the time that the illness will be an issue.
Identify Kennel Cough
The symptoms are pretty obvious when looking you think about the name of the illness. The main symptoms for kennel cough are:
- A strong cough, usually with a louder “honking” sound
- You will notice a running nose
- Some sneezing will be common
- They may lose their appetite
- Laziness and lack of motivation
- Sometimes they might have a fever
These symptoms may break your heart to see your dog dealing with after picking them up from being away, but as we mentioned they are treatable. If you dog is healthy, they have a much better chance at fighting off the cough.
Be careful to note that there could be a larger and more serious illness than just kennel cough. I wouldn’t assume that if your dog has a cough after boarding that it is kennel cough. If you have an older pet you should go to the vet to get them checked out. There are other illnesses that act like kennel cough but are more serious.
Such illnesses like the dog flu, more officially named canine influenza, can be much more serious.
Managing Kennel Cough
Your dog will have a very sore throat if they are suffering from kennel cough. For this reason, you should only use a harness when walking your dog so not to put extra pressure on your dogs throat. Sounds like common sense when it is spelled out but this is something that is often overlooked when caring for a sick dog.
Your dog will need a lot of rest and relaxation. This shouldn’t be too hard for most dogs after a week of playing with other dogs at the kennel but should be taken seriously. Be sure to give your dog ample water and make sure they are eating enough during the day.
When my dog had kennel cough we gave him small amounts of CBD oil and encouraged him to eat by supplementing his normal meal with a bit of cooked meat or eggs. A little bit of extra goodies goes a long way in getting a sick dog to be motivated to eat.
Just like with us humans, when your dog is sick they need extra love and care. Being conscious of your dog’s actions will help you care for you four legged friend while they rest and recover from the kennel cough. Be sure to keep them away from other dogs as kennel cough is extremely contagious. You don’t want your whole dog pack to get sick!
Prevention Of Kennel Cough
Most vets will vaccinate your dog with a Bordetella shot to prevent them from getting kennel cough. Even with this vaccination there are times that your dog could still get sick from being in close quarters with so many other dogs.
Very recently our dog was day boarded and came back with the symptoms of kennel cough even though he was current on his Bordetella shots. Luckily he was able to kick the illness quickly within a couple days. Needless to say we didn’t day board him at that puppy camp again!
When you board your dog be sure to request a tour of the facility and make sure that your dog has the space they need to rest and get away from the pack of dogs. If they are playing all day their immune systems will get worn down and they will be more susceptible to illness. Make sure there is ample water and good airflow as well.