Understanding Kennel Cough

An update to our original post:

PetU students who are receiving the Bordetella vaccination for the first time must receive it one week prior to boarding at PetU. This is for maximum protection for your dog as well as our other students.  For dogs who have received the vaccine prior and are getting a booster, the minimum time is 24 hours.

‘Tis the season for sharing! Many people start to get colds this time of year, and kennel cough (formally knowing as infectious canine tracheobronchitis) starts to show up in dogs.  This condition is an inflammation of the trachea and bronchi.  Dogs with kennel cough start to cough and sneeze much like humans with a cold. Kennel cough is highly contagious, however, like a cold it generally clears up on its own.

While you can’t chase your dogs around with hand sanitizer like you may do if you have kids, there are things you can do to help prevent your dog from getting sick.

The best way to prevent kennel cough is to prevent exposure. We suggest avoiding dog parks and public areas where you are not sure that other dogs are up to date on their vaccines, particularly Bordetella.  While it is possible that a vaccinated dog can still get sick, it is likely that the severity will be lessened.  If you plan to board your dog over the winter months, you want to look for a boarding facility that has well ventilated, individual spaces for the dogs to go back to at the end of the day.

The symptoms of kennel cough include a persistent dry cough, runny nose, fever and gagging. If the symptoms persist, we suggest you take your dog to the vet to make sure there is not another health issue like pneumonia. However, the vet office can also be a place for your dog to pick up germs this time of year, so you may want to avoid bringing your dog in to the vet with you if you just need to stop in for something and your dog is otherwise healthy.

Common treatment for kennel cough may include isolation from other dogs, time and possibly antibiotics, but there are a few things that can help that may sound familiar from when you have a cold. For example, a humidifier can provide relief for irritated breathing passages. Also please make sure your dog has plenty of access to water.

Because our job is to keep all of dogs happy and safe, if your dog shows signs of kennel cough he or she will need to stay out of Dog Day Care, Dog Boarding and Dog Training Classes until the symptoms are gone.

We love all dogs in the PetU family and wanted to share this information not to alarm you, just to make sure everyone is aware of the symptoms so we can all work together to keep our PetU pack healthy and happy this winter!    To read more about kennel cough, click HERE.