Kennel cough, also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that affects dogs. It is caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria, and it spreads easily through the air or direct contact with infected dogs. While kennel cough can be serious, it is often mild and can be treated at home with natural remedies. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to treat kennel cough at home naturally.
Table of Contents
- What is Kennel Cough?
- Symptoms of Kennel Cough
- Causes of Kennel Cough
- Natural Remedies for Kennel Cough
- Coconut Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Vitamin C
- Licorice Root
- Essential Oils
- Steam Therapy
- Chicken Soup
- Homeopathic Remedies for Kennel Cough
- Preventing Kennel Cough
- When to See a Vet
1. What is Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease that affects dogs. It is caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria, including Bordetella bronchiseptica, canine adenovirus type 2, canine parainfluenza virus, and Mycoplasma. It spreads easily through the air or direct contact with infected dogs and can be transmitted through coughing, sneezing, or sharing contaminated objects.
2. Symptoms of Kennel Cough
The symptoms of kennel cough may vary depending on the severity of the infection. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- A dry, hacking cough
- Runny nose
- Loss of appetite
3. Causes of Kennel Cough
Kennel cough can be caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria, including Bordetella bronchiseptica, canine adenovirus type 2, canine parainfluenza virus, and Mycoplasma. These pathogens can infect a dog’s respiratory system, causing inflammation and irritation of the trachea and bronchi.
4. Natural Remedies for Kennel Cough
Fortunately, kennel cough can often be treated at home with natural remedies. Here are some of the most effective natural remedies for kennel cough:
Honey is a natural cough suppressant that can help soothe a dog’s irritated throat. Simply mix a teaspoon of honey with your dog’s food or give it to them directly.
Coconut oil has antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help fight off the pathogens that cause kennel cough. Mix a teaspoon of coconut oil with your dog’s food or give it to them directly.
Eucalyptus oil is a natural decongestant that can help relieve a dog’s cough and congestion. Mix a few drops of eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil and massage it into your dog’s chest.
Vitamin C can help boost a dog’s immune system and fight off the pathogens that cause kennel cough. Give your dog a vitamin C supplement or feed them foods rich in vitamin C like oranges, strawberries, and broccoli.
Licorice root has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the inflammation and irritation of a dog’s respiratory system. Mix a teaspoon of licorice root powder with your dog’s food or give it to them directly.
Probiotics can help boost a dog’s immune system and promote good gut health, which can in turn improve their overall health and help fight off the pathogens that cause kennel cough. Give your dog a probiotic supplement or feed them foods rich in probiotics like plain yogurt or kefir.
Essential oils like lavender and chamomile have calming properties that can help soothe a dog’s cough and promote relaxation. Mix a few drops of essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil and massage it into your dog’s chest or diffuse it in the air.
Steam therapy can help relieve a dog’s cough and congestion by loosening up mucus and opening up their airways. Bring a pot of water to a boil and then turn off the heat. Place a towel over your dog’s head and let them inhale the steam for a few minutes.
Chicken soup is a comforting and nutritious food that can help boost a dog’s immune system and promote healing. Make a homemade chicken soup with bone broth, chicken, and vegetables and feed it to your dog.
5. Homeopathic Remedies for Kennel Cough
Homeopathic remedies can be effective in treating kennel cough in some dogs. Some of the most commonly used homeopathic remedies for kennel cough include:
- Aconitum napellus
- Hepar sulphuris calcareum
- Spongia tosta
However, it is important to consult with a veterinarian or a certified homeopathic practitioner before administering any homeopathic remedies to your dog.
6. Preventing Kennel Cough
The best way to prevent kennel cough is to vaccinate your dog against the pathogens that cause it. Additionally, you should avoid exposing your dog to other dogs that may be infected and make sure to keep their living space clean and hygienic.
7. When to See a Vet
While most cases of kennel cough can be treated at home, there are some cases that require veterinary attention. You should take your dog to the vet if:
- Their cough is severe or persistent
- They have difficulty breathing
- They have a high fever
- They are lethargic or unwilling to eat or drink
- They show signs of dehydration
Kennel cough can be a serious respiratory disease in dogs, but it can often be treated at home with natural remedies. Honey, coconut oil, eucalyptus oil, vitamin C, licorice root, probiotics, essential oils, steam therapy, and chicken soup can all be effective in relieving a dog’s cough and promoting healing. Additionally, homeopathic remedies and preventative measures like vaccination can help prevent kennel cough from occurring in the first place. If your dog is showing signs of kennel cough, it is important to consult with a veterinarian to ensure that they receive the appropriate care and treatment.
- Can kennel cough be cured completely?
- While kennel cough can often be treated and cured with appropriate care and treatment, it is important to note that some dogs may experience recurring bouts of kennel cough.
- How long does it take for a dog to recover from kennel cough?
- The recovery time for kennel cough can vary depending on the severity of the infection and the dog’s overall health. In most cases, a dog will recover within 2-3 weeks.
- Can I give my dog human cough medicine for kennel cough?
- It is not recommended to give your dog human cough medicine without consulting with a veterinarian first. Some human cough medicines can be toxic to dogs.
- Is kennel cough contagious to humans?
- While kennel cough is primarily a canine respiratory disease, some forms of the disease can be transmitted to humans in rare cases. However, the risk of transmission is generally low.
- Can I still take my dog to daycare or boarding if they have kennel cough?
- It is not recommended to take your dog to daycare or boarding while they have kennel cough, as it can easily spread to other dogs in close quarters.
We hope this article has been helpful in providing you with natural remedies and preventative measures for treating kennel cough in your dog. Remember to always consult with a veterinarian before administering any remedies or treatments to your dog, and to take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease. With the right care and attention, your dog can make a full recovery from kennel cough and return to their happy and healthy self.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. Always consult with a veterinarian before administering any remedies or treatments to your dog.