Does your dog cough incessantly after you take him out for a walk? You should get it checked as soon as possible. Contracting kennel cough is incredibly easy since it’s highly contagious and affects dogs of all ages. But if your puppy is younger than six months or has a weaker immune system, this respiratory infection can be a nightmare.

Research shows that while this instance is generally uncommon, kennel cough can be transmitted to pet owners with an underlying health condition. Here’s how you can prevent your dog from developing kennel cough.

Causes of Kennel Cough

Different bacterial forms or viruses like canine distemper virus or canine parainfluenza virus can lead to your dog developing a hacking cough. Your pup may develop this persistent cough after spending time in crowded spots like kennels, dog shows, or congested training facilities. Kennel cough symptoms are often seen in warmer months, but it can happen at any time of the year, especially if your pup travels in packs.

Symptoms of Kennel Cough

Your dog will show clinical signs quickly, with a cough that only gets worse with excitement, pressing his neck, or if you take him out for exercise. You can gauge the severity of the condition if your dog develops a colored nasal flow, fever, lethargy, struggles to breathe or doesn’t feel like eating. In this case, visit your veterinarian to get your dog treated as soon as possible.


After coming home from a public setting like a dog show where there are packs of dogs, sanitize all areas of the doghouse with bleach or any other disinfectant. Since this disease is spread through contact, it’s essential to disinfect all the surfaces that your pup will touch. Whether it’s your bedding, clothes, dishes or crates, all of them need to be sterilized thoroughly.

A short-coated tan dog sitting inside a kennel

Separate Food Sources

If you’re going to a dog show or any setting where there are other canines present, make sure you prevent your pup from drinking or eating from common sources. You may want to watch your dog because they may be inclined to touch other dogs’ noses. You should also wash your hands if you’re tempted to pet other dogs at your friend’s place.


If your dog is at risk of contracting kennel cough, you can take him to the vet for vaccination. Depending on your dog’s lifestyle and age, your vet can arrange an appropriate vaccination regime. This won’t act as a prevention against the disease, but it can reduce the symptoms and the length of the illness.


You may be familiar with quarantine, especially amidst COVID-19. Applying that same principle is essential if your dog is already infected. Isolate your pup for a fortnight after its last cough. Antibiotics like butorphanol and hydrocodone can control the cough as well, but it’s best to have your vet prescribe the right medication for your dog.

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