Kennel cough is an ailment that can easily be passed from one dog to another. It gets its name from being highly communicable in close quarters, such as within a kennel. Kennel cough sounds like a raspy, laboured cough and is a highly contagious form of bronchitis that is not likely to go away on its own without some form of treatment.
Consult a vet before you treat the kennel cough yourself. The symptoms of kennel cough are similar to other canine ailments. It is important that you have a definitive diagnosis of kennel cough before you begin treating it at home.
Choose an appropriate cough medicine. You want to look for a product that is alcohol-free and acetaminophen-free. Both of these ingredients can be harmful to a dog. If you are unsure of what type of cough medicine to buy for your dog, consult your vet for advice. She may be able to recommend a specific brand or type to meet your dog's needs.
Administer the cough medicine to your dog based on the animal's weight. Small dogs only require a half tsp of cough medicine with each dose. Administer 1 tsp of cough medicine for dogs between 9.07 and 18.1 kg (20 and 40 lb) and 2 tsp of medicine for dogs larger than 18.1 kg (40 lb). When in doubt, administer a smaller dose rather than a larger one.
Consider using other herbal remedies to help your dog deal with the cough. Herbal tea and honey can also be administered to a dog with a dry, harsh cough to relieve symptoms and help with healing. You can combine these herbal remedies with over-the-counter cough medicine or with a veterinarian-prescribed medication. Between a half tsp and one full tsp every four hours is typically sufficient.
If the dog is experienced a wet cough, it is likely not kennel cough. It is vital that you consult a vet for a proper diagnosis before administering any type of treatment. Human cough medicine products will not help a dog with a wet cough, and this cough may be an indicator that something is more seriously wrong with the dog.