What Is Kennel Cough & How Is It Spread?
Canine Cough, commonly known as Kennel Cough, is an upper respiratory infection that is easily spread from one dog to another.
Your dog is more likely to contract Canine Cough in a large group of his peers, much like common illnesses in humans. A simple walk down the street after an ill dog passing or drinking from a communal water bowl can also infect your pup with this serious sniffle.
For more information on symptoms and treatment for Kennel Cough, check out our blog What is Kennel Cough?
How Do We Protect Our Pups From Canine Cough?
Short of keeping our dogs locked inside forever (2020 taught us just how much fun that is!), we can only do our best to be knowledgeable and diligent pet owners.
Tip 1: Keep Up To Date On Vaccinations!
Fortunate for us, there is a vaccine that can help your favorite four-legger fight off this pesky infection: the Bordetella vaccination. This vaccination will do its best to wage war on as many versions of Canine Cough as it can. Although, no vaccine is perfect. There are some strands of Canine Cough that are too strong for even the best of vaccinations.
Most Bordetella vaccinations are effective for a year. Some vets will recommend getting the vaccine every 6 months for a little extra boost. Here at The Dog Stop, our policy is to get vaccinated every 6 months.
Tip 2: Feed A Healthy Diet
A healthy pup starts at meal time! A strong immune system is key to fighting off Kennel Cough. Without proper nutrition, a weaker immune system can leave your pup more vulnerable to communicable diseases.
What foods dogs can & cannot eat this holiday seasons gives a quick look into what a healthy diet may consist of.
Tip 3: Be Mindful Of Where You Spend Your Time
Dog parks can be a great resource for those of us not blessed with a big yard of our own. However, there is no way to guarantee that your pup’s park friends are fully vaccinated and healthy. Dog parks are a high-risk environment for the spread of illnesses in our dogs.
A better outlet for your pup is a walk in a controlled environment, puzzle time at home, or play time at The Dog Stop. Here we make sure all of our visitors are current on vaccinations and maintain high standards for cleanliness.
Tip 4: Listen To Your Pup
As pet parents, we are obligated to learn our dog’s language and their nuances that are unique to them. Ask yourself: Is your usually laid-back pup suddenly pacing? Has their tolerance turned into irritability? Is your wild pup sleeping more often?
The signs that your pup might not feel their best are not always obvious but sometimes it can be a sign of something more and you may need to consult your vet.
Tip 5: Know Your Dog’s Risk Level
Certain dogs are more likely to contract Canine Cough than others.
These consist of:
- Puppies who have yet to develop their full immune defenses.
- Senior dogs whose age hinders their ability to fight illnesses
- Dogs with pre-existing conditions that negatively affect their immune system
If your pup falls into any of these categories, you may need to reevaluate their participation in group play. Your answer could be to find a more suitable one-on-one care option (hint hint: we offer that too!)
And please know that no matter what you – or your favorite team of pet care professionals – do, there is still a chance that your pup will come down with Canine Cough or any other illness.