What Helps Dogs With Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough, also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that affects dogs. It is commonly spread in places where dogs congregate, such as boarding kennels, dog parks, and grooming salons. While kennel cough is not usually life-threatening, it can cause discomfort and lead to more serious complications if left untreated. Fortunately, there are several measures you can take to help your furry friend recover from kennel cough and alleviate their symptoms.
1. Rest: Rest is crucial for dogs with kennel cough as it allows their bodies to heal and recover. Keep your dog calm and limit their physical activity until they are fully recovered.
2. Isolation: Isolate your dog from other dogs to prevent the spread of the infection. Keep them away from crowded places and avoid contact with other canines until they are no longer contagious.
3. Humidity: Increasing humidity in the environment can help soothe your dog’s irritated respiratory system. Use a humidifier or bring your dog into the bathroom while running a hot shower to create a steamy atmosphere.
4. Steam inhalation: Steam inhalation can help relieve your dog’s coughing and congestion. Bring your dog into the bathroom and let them breathe in the steam for a few minutes, ensuring the water is not scalding hot.
5. Cough suppressants: In some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe cough suppressants to provide temporary relief from persistent coughing. However, always consult a professional before administering any medication to your dog.
6. Antibiotics: If the infection is caused by bacteria, your vet may prescribe antibiotics to help fight the infection and prevent further complications. Be sure to follow the prescribed dosage and complete the full course of medication.
7. Good hydration: Encourage your dog to drink plenty of water to keep their body hydrated and help soothe their throat. Add warm water to their food to make it more appetizing, and consider offering low-sodium chicken or bone broth to entice them to drink.
8. Nutritious diet: Providing your dog with a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for their overall health and immune system. Include foods rich in vitamins and minerals, such as lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, to support their recovery.
9. Natural remedies: Some natural remedies, such as honey or herbal supplements, may help soothe your dog’s cough and boost their immune system. However, always consult with your veterinarian before using any natural remedies.
10. Vaccination: Ensure your dog’s vaccinations, including the kennel cough vaccine, are up to date. While the vaccine does not guarantee complete protection, it can help reduce the severity and duration of the infection if your dog contracts kennel cough.
11. Clean environment: Regularly clean and disinfect your dog’s living area, toys, and bowls to eliminate any potential sources of infection. Use pet-safe disinfectants and wash their bedding frequently.
12. Veterinary care: If your dog’s symptoms worsen or persist for more than a week, consult your veterinarian. They can provide a proper diagnosis, suggest appropriate treatment options, and address any concerns you may have.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
1. Can my dog get kennel cough even if they have been vaccinated?
Yes, the kennel cough vaccine does not provide complete protection, but it can help reduce the severity of the infection.
2. How long does kennel cough last?
The duration of kennel cough can vary, but most dogs recover within 1-2 weeks with proper care.
3. Can kennel cough spread to humans?
No, kennel cough is primarily a canine respiratory infection and does not typically affect humans.
4. Should I keep my dog away from other dogs after they recover from kennel cough?
It is advisable to wait until your dog is no longer contagious before exposing them to other dogs.
5. Can I give my dog over-the-counter cough medicine?
No, it is essential to consult your veterinarian before giving any medication to your dog.
6. Can kennel cough be fatal?
Kennel cough is rarely life-threatening, but it can lead to more severe complications in puppies, elderly dogs, or those with weakened immune systems.
7. Can dogs with kennel cough eat normally?
Most dogs with kennel cough have a reduced appetite, but they should still eat and drink to stay hydrated.
8. Can I prevent kennel cough entirely?
While you cannot completely prevent kennel cough, you can reduce the risk by ensuring your dog is up to date on vaccinations and avoiding crowded dog areas.
9. Can I catch kennel cough from my dog?
It is highly unlikely for humans to contract kennel cough from dogs, but it is recommended to practice good hygiene when caring for an infected dog.
10. Can kennel cough be treated at home?
In most cases, kennel cough can be treated at home with rest, humidity, and proper care. However, consult your vet for a proper diagnosis and guidance.
11. Can kennel cough recur?
Yes, dogs can contract kennel cough multiple times, but previous infections may provide some immunity.
12. Can I still take my dog for a walk if they have kennel cough?
It is best to avoid walks and physical exertion until your dog has fully recovered to prevent the spread of infection and worsening of symptoms.
Remember, if you suspect your dog has kennel cough, consult your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options. With proper care and attention, your furry friend will be back to their happy and healthy self in no time.