Kennel Cough

2016-07-07 03:07:03

What is it and how can it be prevented?

Kennel Cough (infectious tracheobronchitis) is an upper respiratory infection that affects the respiratory tracts, and more specifically the lungs, windpipe and voice box, of dogs. It can be caused by a variety of viruses and pathogens, such as Bordetella Bronchiseptica, and other infectious agents like Canine Adenovirus and Parainfluenza. Kennel Cough is highly contagious and picked up the name from the fact that it is known to spread swiftly between dogs housed in boarding kennels and dog shelters. We spoke to our pet health experts to find out more about this distressing condition.

What are the symptoms of Kennel Cough?

  • Kennel Cough has an incubation period of approximately 4-7 days and is highly contagious because of the aerosol spread.
  • Because it causes inflammation of a dog’s trachea and bronchi, Kennel Cough can be characterised by a persistent, dry cough followed by a retch or gag.
  • This can often be more distressing for the owners than the dogs because, in many cases, the animal can be bright and well.
  • Your dog may also suffer from a dripping nose and inflamed or runny eyes.
  • Other symptoms that may accompany the condition can be general lethargy and loss of appetite.

How can Kennel Cough be treated?

  • Treatment for Kennel Cough depends on the severity of the dog’s symptoms.
  • A vet may not prescribe any treatment as symptoms will often resolve themselves in time, much like when we have a cough or a cold.
  • Dogs whose symptoms don’t resolve themselves naturally can be prescribed with anti-inflammatories.
  • If the dog is immuno-compromised or suffering severe and continued conditions then anti-biotics may be prescribed.

Can Kennel Cough be prevented?

  • An annual vaccination, administered via the dog’s nose is available for Bordetella.
  • A healthy immune system will improve your dog’s chances of fighting the infection should they contract it. Make sure they stay fit by giving them regular exercise.
  • Behave pre-emptively. If your dog does begin to cough or behave in a manner that seems unfamiliar then take them to a vet, as soon as possible.
  • Make sure any areas in which the dog is kept for an extended period of time are well-ventilated.
  • If your dog is to be housed in a boarding kennel, then double check that the organisation in question insists upon vaccination certificates from all dog owners*.

Kennel Cough, and indeed any form of unexpected illness or injury, can herald the beginning of an expensive and worrying experience for dog owners. At, we offer policies that could help in the event of unwelcome occurrences. With Vet’s Fees cover as standard and other benefits such as Boarding Fees, Holiday Cancellation and Death of Pet, dog insurance from might be helpful in a time of need.

With a 45% Intro discount and an additional 10% Multi-dog discount, visit for your simple, no-strings quote today!


*All dog insurance policies state that the animal must be vaccinated against kennel cough when entering a boarding kennel or show.

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