The holiday season is here, which means most of us will be traveling to visit family and friends more than usual over the coming weeks. Unfortunately, some of us will have to leave our pups behind. If you don’t have a family member or friend near who can take care of Fido during the holidays, your pup will likely need to be boarded at a trusted kennel. Although boarding your dog at a kennel is a safe, easy way to ensure your pup is cared for while you’re away, it also increases your pup’s chances of contracting kennel cough, more scientifically known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis. Here’s everything you need to know about kennel cough in preparation for the holidays, including how it spreads, symptoms, treatment and how to prevent it.
What is Kennel Cough, and Which Symptoms Should I Look Out For?
Most often, kennel cough does not result in life-threatening illness and is commonly regarded in the dog community as the equivalent of a human cold. Pups most frequently catch kennel cough when they are boarded in crowded conditions with pups who have already been infected. Many bacteria can cause kennel cough, such as Bordetella bronchiseptica m, by entering your dog’s respiratory tract and affecting the trachea and larynx. Other causes of kennel cough include overexposure to cold weather, excessive dust or smoke inhalation and even travel-induced stress that weakens your dog’s immune system.
Because the condition largely affects dogs’ respiratory tracts, the most common symptom of kennel cough is, you guessed it — a frequent, dry cough or wheeze. However, like humans, all dogs react to illness differently, so pups can also show other symptoms like fatigue, decreased appetite, heavy or quick breathing, sneezing, runny nose and/or discharge from the eyes.
How do I Treat Kennel Cough, and How Can It Be Prevented?
If you think your dog has contracted kennel cough or similar “doggy cold,” you should take your pup to a licensed, dependable veterinarian immediately. Although kennel cough can go away on its own like human colds, your veterinarian may prescribe an antibiotic or cough suppressant to decrease recovery time and reduce the severity of your dog’s symptoms. Usually, kennel cough is completely resolved in three weeks or less, though longer recovery times can be common for older dogs.
Luckily, thanks to the rapid progression of veterinary science, there are inexpensive vaccines on the market that decrease your dog’s chances of catching kennel cough. However, these vaccines do not guarantee that your dog will not catch kennel cough. To further help your dog avoid catching kennel cough, its best to always keep your dog in a well-ventilated space, avoid boarding in unclean, crowded spaces, maintain annual vaccinations and always carry a personal doggy bowl when on the go, so your pup doesn’t have to drink after other germy dogs who may be infected.
Also, keeping your yard clean and free of dog landmines will ensure that your pup has a safe, clean space free of harmful bacteria and germs. If you live in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Atlanta, Tulsa, Oklahoma City or the Phoenix Metro areas, contact us today to schedule your first poop scooping! We’re the top-rated residential pet waste removal specialists dedicated to extraordinary work, meaning if you don’t think our work was excellent, we’ll “re-doo” it for free!