10 Signs of Kennel Cough and How to Protect Your Dog

If you’re keen to keep your four-legged companions healthy and happy, understanding the signs of kennel cough is crucial. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the top 10 signs of kennel cough and share essential prevention tips. Remember, for personalized care and advice, Mendocino Animal Hospital in Ukiah, CA, is just a call away at (707) 462-8833, or you can easily book an appointment online.


What is Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough, known scientifically as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, might sound complicated, but it’s essentially a common cold for dogs. Just like humans catch colds, dogs can pick up this cough when they’re around other dogs, especially in places like dog parks, boarding kennels, or doggy daycares. It’s caused by a mix of viruses and bacteria, with the most common culprit being the Bordetella bacterium.

It’s not usually serious, but it can be pretty uncomfortable for your furry pal. The good news is, it’s preventable with vaccines, and like a common cold, it usually clears up on its own. However, keeping an eye on your dog’s health and consulting a vet if symptoms persist or worsen is always a smart move.

Top 10 Signs of Kennel Cough in Dogs

Primary Symptom

  • Dry, Hacking Cough: This is the most noticeable sign. It often sounds like your dog has something stuck in their throat.

Secondary Symptoms

  • Runny Nose: A nasal discharge may accompany the cough.
  • Sneezing: Some dogs with kennel cough also exhibit sneezing.
  • Lethargy: Your normally active dog might seem unusually tired.
  • Loss of Appetite: Watch for any changes in eating habits.
  • Low Fever: Though less common, some dogs may have a mild fever.

Severity Indicators

  • Retching or Gagging: This can sometimes occur after intense coughing spells.
  • Watery Eyes: Like the runny nose, this can be a sign of upper respiratory infection.
  • Changes in Breathing: If your dog’s breathing becomes rapid or labored, it’s a cause for concern.
  • Change in Bark: Your dog’s bark may become hoarser.

Protecting Your Dog from Kennel Cough

Preventing kennel cough is key. The most effective way to prevent kennel cough is making sure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Regularly clean your dog’s living space, including any beds or kennels they may lounge in. Avoid walking your dog through crowded areas, especially if outbreaks are reported in your area.

When to Seek Veterinary Help

If you notice any of these signs, don’t hesitate to contact Mendocino Animal Hospital at (707) 462-8833 or book an appointment online. Keeping your dog healthy is our top priority. If you’re concerned about kennel cough or any other health issue, Mendocino Animal Hospital in Ukiah, CA, is here to help. Together, we can ensure your dog enjoys a happy, healthy life.

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About Mendocino Animal Hospital

At Mendocino Animal Hospital, we believe in fostering the human-animal bond with excellent veterinary medicine. Our full-service veterinary practice operates in Ukiah, CA with a team of skilled veterinarians and a passionate, talented support staff who make you feel like a part of the family.

As an AAHA-accredited animal hospital, every service and aspect of our practice meets AAHA’s Standards of Excellence. No matter what your pet comes in for, they’ll receive only the best in care, compassion, and service.