How To Keep Your Dogs Safe From Kennel Cough

Dr. Abdulmutalleb Kalaji with a beautiful golden retriever

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Over the years, pets have become less of play buddies and more of a family for much of the world population. So much so, that in recent years, studies have found out that millennials are treating their pets as their literal children, which we at Al Hayat, are fully supportive of and encourage all paw-parents to do. 

Part of being a parent is taking care of your kids. That means understanding the risks of common diseases and taking necessary precautions for the same.  Just like children have to be vaccinated to protect themselves against different ailments, dogs, cats and rabbits also come with the same amount of responsibilities. 

In our article, we talk about one of the more common diseases that infect dogs — kennel cough.

Most importantly, is the kennel cough vaccine required in the UAE?

Yes, if your dog is going to spend any time in a kennel or in a dog park, it is required to take the vaccine. Taking the kennel cough vaccine is highly recommended by veterinarians and is always the best precaution you can take against this disease.

So, what is kennel cough?

Kennel Cough refers to any and all contagious or infectious diseases in dogs that can cause them to cough incessantly. It is usually caused by a rapid spread of viruses and bacteria through our dog’s system and can be contracted in a jiffy by other dogs.

Because symptoms in dogs mostly start showing up after they have spent some time in a kennel in close proximity to other animals, the disease is names kennel cough. However, your dog may get it from anywhere, including parks or even from the comfort of its own.

How do I know if my dog has kennel cough?

Apart from persistent dry cough, there are several other symptoms that you can check for (before you decide to take them to a vet). The coughing is usually accompanied by a runny nose and frequent sneezing.

A dog suffering from this disease would also have visibly low energy, a sharp decrease in appetite and sometimes, in rare cases, a mild fever.

How can I prevent my dog from contracting kennel cough?

The first thing to remember is that kennel cough is an infectious disease, therefore if you have a dog that is already infected, the foremost thing to do would be to isolate them. 

Other precautions you can take is disinfecting your dogs' bowls, bedding and other accessories from time to time. If you and your canine friend are coming back from a trip to the park, make sure you disinfect their lease, collars, etc. especially if they had interacted with other dogs. 

Our suggestion would be to talk to a professional veterinary clinic or your dog’s vet and get a second opinion on getting them vaccinated for kennel cough. The Bordetella vaccine is often given as a precautionary to this disease, however, it does not have a 100% immunity rate and can only mean reduced chances of contracting it. 

If your dog does not interact with other dogs on a daily basis and often, then a vaccine might not be mandatory. However, we do suggest that you get your dog checked by the vet after a trip to the kennels or pet boarding houses, just to be sure. 

If my dog has contracted kennel cough, what medicine should I give them?

We recommend Biocan RESPI nasal drops for your dogs in case you feel like they are showing symptoms. However, it is extremely important that you consult with your local veterinarian to get a better picture of your dog’s health condition.

How can I take care of my dog who has contracted kennel cough and make them feel better and comfortable?

If your dog has contracted kennel cough, we would suggest that you try to make them as comfortable as possible. Here are a few ways how you can take care of your dog until they get better

  1. Hydration is important: Remember that because of incessant coughing, dogs’ throats tend to get scratched and drier than usual. Make sure that they have constant access to clean, drinking water. 
  2. Protect them from Smokes: Because this is primarily a lung disease, we would recommend not exposing your contracted dogs to any kind of smoke, be it from cigarettes or other things. The chemicals cause extra irritation to them. 
  3. Honey: Honey is great for the throat (be it for humans or animals). Feed your large dogs one tablespoon of honey a day, medium-sized dogs can be fed two teaspoons of honey and only one teaspoon for small dogs. 

Kennel cough is, fortunately, not a fatal disease for dogs. Just give them loads of love and medicines, allow them to rest and they will be back on their feet in a few weeks.

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