Dogs are susceptible to kennel cough, also known as infected tracheobronchitis, a serious respiratory illness. It is characterized by a dry, hacking cough and is brought on by a concoction of viruses and bacteria.
While kennel cough can be distressing for both dogs and their owners, it is usually a mild and self-limiting condition. In addition to veterinary care, several home remedies can help alleviate the symptoms and make your dog more comfortable.
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Home Remedies for Your Pup’s Kennel Cough
Honey is a natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent that can help soothe your dog’s irritated throat. A teaspoon of honey given two to three times a day can help reduce coughing and inflammation. However, it’s essential to consult your vet before giving honey to puppies, diabetic dogs, or dogs with allergies.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help boost your dog’s immune system and fight off infection. You can add a teaspoon of coconut oil to your dog’s food once a day. However, be cautious with the amount, as excessive coconut oil can lead to weight gain and digestive issues.
Dry air can exacerbate kennel cough symptoms. Using a humidifier in the room where your dog spends most of their time can help moisten the air and ease their cough. Alternatively, you can let your dog sit in a steamy bathroom for a few minutes after running a hot shower.
4. Herbal Teas
Herbal teas like chamomile and licorice root have anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe your dog’s throat. Brew a cup of tea, let it cool down, and offer it to your dog in small amounts throughout the day. Make sure the tea is caffeine-free and doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients like xylitol.
Probiotics can help strengthen your dog’s immune system and improve their overall health. Adding a probiotic supplement to your dog’s diet or offering them plain yogurt can help support their immune response and speed up recovery.
6. Rest and Isolation
Rest is crucial for a speedy recovery from kennel cough. Encourage your dog to take it easy and avoid strenuous activities. Additionally, since kennel cough is highly contagious, it’s essential to isolate your dog from other pets to prevent the spread of the infection.
Preventing Kennel Cough
It’s essential to prevent kennel cough, particularly for dogs that often socialize with other dogs or go to locations where the illness is more likely to spread. Here are some methods to lessen the possibility that your dog may catch kennel cough:
- Vaccination: One of the most effective ways to prevent kennel cough is through vaccination. The Bordetella vaccine, commonly known as the kennel cough vaccine, can help protect your dog from the most common bacteria that cause the disease. Consult your veterinarian to determine the appropriate vaccination schedule for your dog.
- Good Hygiene Practices: Regularly cleaning and disinfecting your dog’s living area, toys, and food and water bowls can help prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses. If your dog has been in contact with an infected dog, make sure to wash their bedding and toys thoroughly.
- Avoid High-Risk Environments: If there is a known outbreak of kennel cough in your area, it’s a good idea to avoid places where dogs congregate, such as dog parks, kennels, and grooming facilities. If your dog needs to stay in a kennel, make sure it’s a reputable facility with proper hygiene practices and vaccination requirements.
- Boosting Immune Health: A strong immune system can help protect your dog from various diseases, including kennel cough. Provide a balanced diet, regular exercise, and proper care to keep your dog’s immune system in top shape. Supplements like probiotics and omega-3 fatty acids can also help support immune health.
- Quarantine Infected Dogs: To stop the spread of the illness, it’s crucial to separate your dog from other dogs if they have been diagnosed with kennel cough. Observe the treatment and length of quarantine instructions made by your veterinarian.
- Regular Vet Check-ups: Regular vet visits can help catch any potential health issues early, including kennel cough. Your vet can also provide advice on preventive measures tailored to your dog’s specific needs and lifestyle.
Precautions and Veterinary Care
While home remedies for kennel cough can help alleviate symptoms, it’s crucial to consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. In some cases, your vet may prescribe antibiotics or cough suppressants. It’s essential to follow your vet’s recommendations and complete the prescribed treatment.
Kennel cough can be distressing for both dogs and their owners, but with proper care and some home remedies, your dog can recover quickly and comfortably. Remember to consult your vet before trying any home remedies and to follow their recommendations for treatment. By providing your dog with the right support, you can help them get back to their happy, healthy selves in no time.