Complete Guide on Kennel Cough in Dogs

Apr 05, 2023

What is Kennel Cough in Dogs? 

Just like a cold or the flu circulating at a school, kennel cough can sometimes run rampant throughout any space  where large amounts of canines congregate, such as dog boarding and daycare facilities, dog parks, shelters, and training groups. 

Fortunately, kennel cough is highly treatable in healthy dogs, and there are many ways to prevent the spread and limit the severity. In this post, we’ll take a deeper dive into what kennel cough is and how dog parents can help protect their pups from contracting it.


Signs & Symptoms of Kennel Cough

If your pup is experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may want to schedule a visit with your vet:

  • A dry hacking cough or “honking” sound is the most prominent symptom
  • Coughing up a white foamy substance
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low fever


How Is Kennel Cough Spread? 

Kennel cough is an airborne virus spread through direct contact with infected dogs and/or through interactions with contaminated objects, such as bowls, toys, and bedding. Dogs who spend time in crowded places such as boarding facilities, dog parks, and groomers are at a higher risk of contracting the illness from an already infected dog.


Protection & Prevention from Kennel Cough

When it comes to protecting your pup from kennel cough, prevention is key. The best way to prevent the illness is to vaccinate your dog against bordetella and canine parainfluenza virus. This is especially important if your dog spends a lot of time at daycare or comes into contact with other dogs on a regular basis. It’s important to note that no vaccine is 100% effective and a vaccinated dog can still pick up kennel cough, much like a person who gets the flu vaccine can still get the flu, but the vaccine lessens the severity in many cases.  

There are other steps we take at Hounds Town to help prevent the spread of kennel cough. These include practicing good hygiene by washing our hands after handling dogs and disinfecting objects that may be contaminated with the virus or bacteria. We require Bordetella vaccinations for all dogs, and highly encourage the canine parainfluenza vaccine. We also enforce a 7 Day Vet Policy where dogs who have been to the vet, where there is a possibility of encountering a contagious dog, are not allowed to come to Hounds Town for the week after their visit.

As pet parents, the best thing you can do to help protect the safety of other pets and prevent the spread is by keeping your dog at home when they’re sick until they have fully recovered. 

Kennel cough is a highly contagious but treatable illness, and we at Hounds Town always place the highest regard on your pet’s health and safety.