Kennel Cough Causes and Treatment

Kennel cough is a fairly common disease and is also called the dog common cold. Dogs who are frequently boarded or are exposed to humid conditions have a higher susceptibility to catch kennel cough. Many vets recommend that dogs be immunized with bordetella vaccine once every six months. Kennel cough is not transmitted to humans but rabbits, pigs and cats can contact this infection very easily. Dogs who are boarded frequently have a higher risk of developing this infection. This is not a hard and fast rule but don’t be surprised if your dog catches kennel cough even after a walk in the park.


The onset of the infection starts with dry and harsh cough. As the infection progresses the dog may develop gagging and retching cough. This is mainly due to the irritation in the air pipe and dryness of the trachea. Many people suggest giving their pets a lot of fluids to combat cough but this has very less effect on the overall condition on the situation. Generally after the first strike of the infection it takes about 3 – 4 days for the infection to fully develop and show full symptoms. In some cases the progress can even be faster. Puppies develop this infection faster than adult dogs. The severity of this infection can be attributed to contributing factors like immunity, ventilation and improper nutrition. The Kennel cough symptoms are more or less similar to that you would see in humans, The difference being the gagging and choking noise. Unlike humans where the flu virus is destroyed within a couple of weeks. The kennel cough pathogen stays embedded in the tissue linings even after 2 months.


Kennel cough is generally not fatal but in some cases it can be a cause of a much bigger disease which can turn fatal. Many vets have reported dogs developing pneumonia due to kennel cough. Many people resort to giving their pets cough syrup meant for humans. Well this can prove fatal as dogs are not tolerant to pheniramine and Guaifenesin. These two ingredients are found in almost all of the cough medications available today. Guaifenesin can cause increased heartbeats, palpitations and even liver failure in dogs. The best way to deal with a kennel cough infection is by a combination of holistic and natural approach. Here are a few pointers –

1. Insulate the pet from other dogs. This ensures that others do not catch the infection.

2. Ensure proper ventilation and cleanliness

3. Humidity only makes the condition worse. Keep your pet in a damp free environment.

4. Feed your pet at regular intervals and ensure adequate liquid intake. Chicken soup or even watery boiled rice with veggies/ meat is a good option.

5. Milk with a little turmeric power works wonders in soothing dry cough.

The Bottom line:

While your vet might suggest giving your dog antibiotics and a cocktail of chemicals, but the truth is that the best way in dealing this problem is a natural approach. Dogs just like other animals by instinct seek natural cures. Animals in the wild have been known to sniff out herbs and plants that would help them to get rid of the ailment. It is important to remember that the root cause of the infection to spread is due to low immunity. Immunity can be boosted not by allopathic cocktails but only by natural ways.

Just like humans, animals too show a remarkable response to natural healing treatments, such as homeopathy.Contrary to the popular belief that homeopathy works slow, Many people have actually reported excellent results just after the first dose.

So the next time your pet falls sick or is a victim of kennel cough. Give homeopathy a try.