Common dog diseases

How to Treat Kennel Cough

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Treat Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a viral disease that affects dogs, with a cough as its main symptom. The best way to treat kennel cough is through a strategy of good prevention, which starts with having your pet vaccinated at 6 months. Don't take risks with this type of cough. Remember to get your dog vaccinated annually, especially if your dog is in regular contact with other dogs. This explains how to treat kennel cough.

You may also be interested in: Can Dogs Get Human Colds?

Steps to follow:


The name of this disease evolved from the fact that shelters and adoption centers have a large concentration of animals, sites which are ideal for this virus to be contracted and easily spread. It is a flu-like illness similar to that suffered by humans, but not identical.

It is a virus that should be detected and treated early because it is very contagious. It can become deadly if it is not detected in time or is at an advanced stage in any animals with a weakened immune system.

How to Treat Kennel Cough - Step 1

Its main symptom is an intense and dry cough. The cough is so strong that the dog can occasionally vomit or even foam at the mouth. Although you should bear in mind that vomiting is not necessarily a specific symptom of kennel cough.

This disease can appear in a subtle way with a mild cough and no fever. If this is the case, the virus will disappear without being treated. However, in severe cases the dog experiences fever, a constant dry cough and a greenish phlegm. If your dog experiences these symptoms, you should go to the vet so a treatment can be prescribed. We give you some tips in this article so you know how to tell if a dog has a fever.

How to Treat Kennel Cough - Step 2

The most common medications prescribed to treat kennel cough include syrups and antibiotics to treat the symptoms of this virus. You'll need a different medication depending on your dog's condition which your veterinarian will prescribe. When treatment begins, it is normal for your pet to recover within a week.

Some dogs will also need antibiotics and anti-inflammatories to treat the cough. If your pet is living with other dogs while they are ill, they should be kept in isolation because it is a contagious disease. The cough is spread by bacteria that your dog expels when they cough.

How to Treat Kennel Cough - Step 3

The best way to combat kennel cough is with the vaccine specific for this virus. This vaccine is given when your pet is 6 months old and they are re-vaccinated each year. This annual re-vaccination is essential for dogs who suffer from breathing disorders related to lung problems, heart disease or who will spend time in kennels with other dogs.

You should also bear in mind that autumn and winter are the seasons when kennel cough causes more havoc. Cold attacks dog's defenses which is when the virus enters the body. In this OneHowTo we offer some home remedies for coughs in dogs.

How to Treat Kennel Cough - Step 4

You have to understand the importance of vaccination. Many pet owners do not vaccinate their dogs against this type of cough and then suffer the dreaded consequences. Where many dogs live together in animal shelters, cases of this disease can multiply following a single outbreak of the disease. So the most responsible action is to vaccinate your dog, in order to prevent any unwanted outbreaks of this infection.

Apart from medical treatment, there are certain guidelines to follow when caring for your sick pet so they recover as soon as possible. To begin with, you should avoid smoking at home or near your pet because this will provoke more coughing and irritate their throat.

How to Treat Kennel Cough - Step 5

One way to ease your pet's throat discomfort causing them to cough, is via the inhalation of peppermint vapour. Heat some water with some peppermint essence and place the pan in the area where your dog spends more time sleeping or resting.

You can bath your pet but you must always dry them off immediately so that no residual moisture remains in their fur. When they are ill, it is not recommended that they do physical exercise because the air that rapidly enters their airways will irritate their throat and worsen the cough. Whilst they are recovering, it's best to remove their collar so it doesn't press on the throat. You can use a harness or a neckerchief to hook their lead on.

How to Treat Kennel Cough - Step 6

If you want to read similar articles to How to Treat Kennel Cough, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
Jeannie Briggs
a little bit of common cold cough vs flu or covid~19 cough would have been nice. you have confirmed my treatment in the meantime ! thank you for your help
OneHowTo Editor
You're welcome!
Has dry cough, symptoms of kennel cough. What to do to cure this virus.
OneHowTo Editor
Hi bobbi
If you believe your dog is showing symptoms of kennel cough, we recommend consulting your veterinarian as soon as possible in order to treat it accordingly
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How to Treat Kennel Cough