Keeping clear of Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a highly contagious, infectious disease and upper respiratory infection affecting dogs. Most kennel cough cases are caused by viruses, although dogs are often secondarily infected with bacteria due to their immune systems being compromised.

The name ‘kennel cough’ stems from the fact that these infections spread rapidly amongst dogs in close confinement like kennels. The infection creates mucus in their respiratory system, which leads to a build-up and eventually an inflammation of their trachea and larynx.

How To Prevent It

  • The best way to prevent kennel cough is vaccinate your dog proactively. This vaccination does not form part of TAH’s basic vaccine regime can be requested additionally with vaccinations as part of your dog’s preventative care regime. This vaccination is, however, not a cure and cannot be given to dogs that already have the virus.
  • It is also recommended to have your dog vaccinated against kennel cough at least 2 weeks before scheduled to go to kennels, day-care or group training/activities.
  • Vaccinate annually for dogs suffering of heart disease, a collapsed trachea or chronic lung disease.

Dogs Prone To Kennel Cough Include Dogs That:

  • Attend a puppy / doggy day-care
  • Taking part in group training or activities.
  • Frequently coming into contact with other dogs.
  • Regularly visits groomers.
  • Bull dog, Pug and Pekingese also battle more with respiratory infections, like kennel cough, due to their facial anatomy.


  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Retching
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Snorting
  • Gagging
  • Vomiting after a coughing episode.
  • Dog becomes lazy and lethargic
  • Refusal to eat.

Should your dog be coughing or show any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you will need to take him or her to a vet for treatment.


  • Your dog may be placed on antibiotics for about 7-14 days.
  • Your vet may also use a cough suppressant to ease your dog’s coughing.
  • Dogs could require anti-inflammatory medications to decrease the inflammation in the upper respiratory tract.

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