How to Know if Your Dog has Kennel Cough

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Your dog is suddenly hacking and coughing constantly and you, the loving owner, can feel your anxiety going through the roof. Dogs are like family to us and it’s important to understand how to effectively protect your pet.

Relax, kennel cough is extremely common and usually not a serious illness. It’s generally caused by the bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria and will usually go away on its own after it’s made its way through a dog’s immune system.

So how do you know if your dog has kennel cough? Well, that’s why we wrote this post. Read on to learn about the top 5 kennel cough symptoms to watch out for.

But first, it’s worth mentioning that we strongly recommend getting your furry best friend checked out by an animal doctor if the cough persists more than 2 weeks. In rare cases kennel cough can develop into more serious issues such as pneumonia or mask underlying problems such as a collapsed trachea, so it’s always best to be on the safe side.

Constant Coughing

The most common symptom of kennel cough is .. you guessed it, a cough! The sound of the cough can range from a hacking, to a gagging or even honking sound. The giveaway for kennel cough is that it is extremely constant, even through the night, which can be extremely frustrating for your dog and yourself. 

Luckily, there are several natural remedies you can give your dog for relief such as honey, cinnamon, coconut oil, and even chicken soup.

Nasal Discharge

If you notice a runny nose or nasal excretions in addition to the coughing, don’t be alarmed. Sneezing and snorting can be a bit gross to be sure, but are normal signs of kennel cough. As long as your dog is breathing normally and without issue there isn’t a need to worry. 

Lethargic Behaviour

Most cases of kennel cough will come and go with no change to your dog’s energy levels or regular behaviour. However in rare cases dogs will start to show signs of lethargy, and this is when you know it’s time for a visit to the veterinarian.

Trying to Vomit

It might seem like your dog is trying to vomit, or cough something up. It’s common for them to cough up a little bit of white foam or light colored liquid. This is normal in addition to the persistent cough, and it’s important to do whatever you can to keep them comfortable while the virus makes its way through them.


Your poor dog may be coughing for days (or weeks), putting a strain on their throat and respiratory system. This can make their trachea sensitive, so be sure to encourage them to stay hydrated, especially in the summertime.

Remember, no one knows your dog better than you. If you notice them exhibiting any of the symptoms above, or acting out of their ordinary character, it’s important to monitor them closely, and take them to the vet if the symptoms persist for more than 2

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