Kennel Cough: Avoid the Canine Cold

Dog with Kennel Cough

As we discussed in previous blogs, it is important to socialize your dog. On occasion, just as you would experience illness from being around others, so does your dog. Your dog is much more like you than may have suspected. That’s because just like humans, dogs can get colds that can leave them feeling miserable if left untreated. Whether your dog has contracted kennel cough in the past or you’ve witnessed the toll it takes on dogs secondhand, this highly contagious respiratory issue can be a huge pain for both dogs and their owners. Dogs spread kennel cough through airborne droplets, direct contact with other animals and when they come into contact with contaminated surfaces. But luckily for West Houston area pet owners, this respiratory disease is usually highly treatable and in many cases, can be prevented altogether.

Easy Tips to Help Your Dog Avoid Kennel Cough

What is Kennel Cough?

Just like the common cold, kennel cough can be the result of several different health issues. Most commonly, the “canine cold” is caused by the bordetella bacterium. When dogs inhale the bordetella bacteria or other virus particles that may carry the bacteria, it becomes trapped in the thin mucus that lines the respiratory tract. While the mucus usually fights against bacteria and viruses as they enter the respiratory tract, a number of issues can cause the mucus to thin and therefore offer less protection for your dog. This results in inflammation on the larynx (voice box) and the trachea (windpipe).

Identifying Common Symptoms

To have the best chance at preventing your dog from falling victim to kennel cough, you first need to be able to properly identify the common symptoms of the infection. When you recognize the warning signs, you can possibly alert other pet owners and keep your dog away from areas where they might come into contact with infected animals. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Frequent and Strong Coughing. (Listen for a clear “honking” sound.)
  • Sneezing
  • Runny Nose
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Low Fever

Prevention and Treatment Options

The easiest way to prevent kennel cough is to keep your dog away from areas where they are more likely to come across other infected animals. When you are able to provide in-home pet sitting for your dog with Barking Life Pet Concierge, you can make sure they are safe and comfortable in their own space while you’re away. Unlike other pet sitting options, you have complete control over who comes into contact with your dog with in-home care. Additionally, with one-on-one pet care, it’s much easier to avoid common allergies and identify common illness symptoms right away.

Be Proactive When Treating Kennel Cough

It is important for dog owners to report the first sign of persistent coughing and other related kennel cough symptoms to their veterinarian right away. While mild cases of kennel cough will go away after a week or 2 of rest and isolation from other pets, your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to prevent further infections.

Because kennel cough is so highly contagious, separation from other pets in the home is necessary to prevent further spreading of the infection. In households with multiple pets, sick dogs should use separate food and water bowls, their own bedding and toys to prevent the infection from spreading. In some cases, your veterinarian may also suggest antibiotics to treat other pets in the home as well. It’s also a good idea to remember that while your pet is recovering from their infection, it’s best to walk them with a harness instead of a standard collar to avoid further irritation.

Other Treatment Options

If your dog regularly competes in canine sports, is in frequent contact with other large groups of dogs or they must be boarded frequently instead of receiving in-home pet sitting care, your veterinarian may suggest giving your dog a vaccine for the bordetella virus. Many training, boarding and daycare facilities also require proof of vaccination before your dog can continue using their services.

Superior Care for Your Superior Pet

If you notice your dog coughing frequently or you are planning to introduce him into a large group of animals, speak with your vet about allergy and illness prevention. While kennel cough can usually be treated or avoided with ease, providing your pet with the best care possible is paramount. When you choose in-home pet care and dog walking services, you are better able to protect your pet from outside forces. Give your pets the extra TLC they deserve with experienced and knowledgeable care provided by Barking Life Pet Concierge. Visit us online today for more information on our services and be sure to schedule a free in-home consultation.

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