What’s the best treatment for kennel cough?

The Ultimate Guide to Kennel Cough Treatment: How to Get Your Furry Friend Back to Good Health

If you’re a pet owner, you know how heart-wrenching it can be to see your furry friend suffer from any kind of illness. One of the most common issues dogs face is kennel cough, a highly contagious respiratory infection that affects the trachea and bronchial tubes.

Kennel cough is a frustrating and often persistent condition, but the good news is that it can be treated effectively. In this guide, we’ll explore the best treatments for kennel cough, so you can get your pooch back to good health as soon as possible.

What is Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough is a type of respiratory infection that affects dogs. It’s caused by a combination of bacteria and viruses, including Bordetella bronchiseptica, Canine Parainfluenza virus and Canine Adenovirus. The infection is highly contagious, so dogs that spend time in close quarters, such as at a kennel or dog park, are particularly susceptible.

Kennel cough can cause a range of symptoms, including a persistent cough, gagging, and retching. In severe cases, dogs may experience difficulty breathing, and the infection can lead to pneumonia.

The Best Treatments for Kennel Cough

There are several effective treatments for kennel cough, and the best one for your dog will depend on the severity of their symptoms and the underlying cause of their infection. Here are some of the most effective treatments for kennel cough:


Antibiotics are often prescribed to treat kennel cough if the underlying cause is bacterial. They work by killing the bacteria that are causing the infection, which helps to reduce symptoms and prevent the spread of the illness.

It’s important to note that antibiotics are not effective against viruses, so they won’t help if your dog’s kennel cough is caused by a virus. However, if your dog has a secondary bacterial infection, antibiotics can help to clear that up and prevent further complications.

Cough Suppressants

Cough suppressants can be helpful in reducing the severity of your dog’s cough and making them more comfortable. They work by suppressing the cough reflex, which can help to reduce the severity of the cough and prevent further irritation of the airways.

It’s important to note that cough suppressants should only be used under the guidance of a veterinarian, as they can interfere with your dog’s ability to clear secretions from their airways.

Steam Therapy

Steam therapy can be a highly effective treatment for kennel cough, as it helps to loosen mucus and soothe irritated airways. To use steam therapy, simply run a hot shower and sit with your dog in the bathroom for 10-15 minutes. The steam will help to soothe their airways and reduce the severity of their cough.

Rest and Hydration

Rest and hydration are essential components of any kennel cough treatment plan. Your dog’s body needs time and energy to fight off the infection, so it’s important to keep them as comfortable and relaxed as possible.

Encourage your dog to drink plenty of water, as staying hydrated will help to thin mucus and make it easier for them to clear their airways. You may also want to offer them a humidifier or a bowl of hot water to breathe in, as the added moisture can help to soothe their airways and reduce the severity of their cough.

Preventing Kennel Cough

The best way to treat kennel cough is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are some steps you can take to reduce your dog’s risk of developing kennel cough:

  • Vaccinate your dog against kennel cough and other common respiratory infections.
  • Avoid exposing your dog to other dogs that are showing signs of illness.
  • Keep your dog’s living area clean and free of debris that can irritate their airways.
  • Avoid exposing your dog to cigarette smoke and other irritants.
  • Ensure your dog has plenty of rest and exercise, as a healthy immune system is better able to fight off infections.

By following these simple steps, you can help to reduce your dog’s risk of developing kennel cough and keep them healthy and happy for years to come.


Kennel cough is a common and often persistent respiratory infection that affects dogs. However, with the right treatment and care, it can be treated effectively and your furry friend can make a full recovery.

From antibiotics and cough suppressants to steam therapy and rest, there are a range of treatments available to help your dog overcome kennel cough. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can help your dog get back to good health and enjoy a happy, healthy life.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s health, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian. They can help you determine the best course of treatment for your furry friend and ensure that they receive the care they need to recover from kennel cough and other illnesses.