How to Soothe Kennel Cough

Written by lisa lavergne
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Kennel cough is an infectious disease that attacks a dog's respiratory system. It is an airborne contagion that consists of a variety of viruses and bacteria. Dogs with kennel cough exhibit symptoms of nasal discharge, snorting, sneezing and a dry cough. Dogs with a mild case of kennel cough may not require medication for treatment, while those with more severe cases will need prescription medication from your veterinarian. In both cases, there are many treatments you can perform on your own to help soothe kennel cough and make your pet comfortable.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Humidifier
  • Pet vitamins
  • Soft food
  • Natural honey

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  1. 1

    Take your dog to the veterinarian at the first sign of kennel cough to determine the severity of the case and rule out any other health conditions that present similar symptoms. Diseases, such as canine distemper virus, canine parainfluenza virus or canine adenovirus, cause some types of kennel cough and require separate medical treatment.

  2. 2

    Administer any medications prescribed by your veterinarian for the duration of their prescribed treatment. Antibiotics, bronchodilators and cough suppressants may be prescribed if your dog has a severe case of kennel cough.

  3. 3

    Keep your dog in an area that is warm and free of dust, smoke and harsh-smelling chemicals. These irritants can cause additional irritation to the respiratory system and cause your pet's coughing and sneezing to worsen.

  4. 4

    Place a humidifier near your pet to help make breathing easier. Keeping the air around your dog humid and moist will help to prevent swelling of the throat and reduce coughing and sneezing.

  5. 5

    Use steam inhalation to help removed excess mucus from the bronchial tubes and nasal passages. Take the dog into the bathroom, and with the door closed, run a hot shower to allow steam to accumulate in the room. Let your dog inhale the steam for 15 to 20 minutes. For best results, do this two to three times per day until kennel cough symptoms have vanished.

  6. 6

    Give the dog a pet vitamin to help boost its immune system to fight off infection.

  7. 7

    Feed your dog a soft-food diet to help soothe kennel cough symptoms. Dry food can aggravate the throat and induce coughing. A soft-food diet consisting of canned food or dry food soaked in meat broth works well for dogs suffering from kennel cough.

  8. 8

    Add 2 to 3 tsp of natural honey to your dog's food or water to help soothe its throat. Do this once a day for the duration of the infection.

  9. 9

    Remove your dog's collar, and avoid petting or applying pressure to the throat. Pressure to the dog's trachea induces coughing and aggravates inflammation.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep your dog separated from other pets while it is suffering from kennel cough to prevent the pets from passing the disease back and forth between one another.
  • Use a dog harness in place of a collar when walking your dog to prevent undue pressure and stress to the throat area.
  • If kennel cough symptoms persist, contact your veterinarian for further testing.

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