Why You Should Care About Kennel Cough Even If You Don’t Board Your Dogs

As a pet owner, you have likely heard of kennel cough—a highly contagious respiratory infection that affects dogs. Because of the name “kennel” cough, many dog owners assume that their furry friends are safe from catching it if they don’t board them or send them to doggy daycare. However, this assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Kennel cough can spread quickly in any environment where dogs come into contact with one another, including dog parks, grooming facilities, and even during casual interactions with other dogs on walks. It is crucial to protect your dog from kennel cough with the Bordetella vaccine, regardless of your dog’s lifestyle.

What is Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough is one of those frequently misunderstood terms when it comes to what it is and how to prevent it. Broadly put, kennel cough is a type of bronchitis that causes inflammation to a dog’s windpipe and voice box. Puppies with immune systems that aren’t fully matured are especially susceptible to the infection, but even adult dogs need to be vaccinated annually to avoid the illness. 

Another term for kennel cough is Bordetella, particularly when referring to the vaccination that prevents the cough. While many people think the Bordetella vaccine only matters for dog owners who board their pets, this is not the case. All dogs should be vaccinated against kennel cough.

How does kennel cough spread?

how does kennel cough spread
Protect your dog from kennel cough. Get them vaccinated at PetWellClinic!

Kennel cough is an airborne disease that got its name because it’s so easily spread when dogs are in close quarters, such as in boarding facilities or shelters. It can also be  transmitted through contaminated objects like chew toys or balls. Although humans can not catch Bordetella from their dog, the disease is in the same family as whooping cough in people.

For this reason, dogs can pick up kennel cough by coming into contact with other dogs in the neighborhood, on hiking trails, or at dog parks. Even snatching up a tennis ball at the dog park can pass along the infection. Simply put, kennel cough is highly contagious and exposure to pets with unknown health and vaccination histories puts your dog at risk.

How can I tell if my dog has kennel cough?

Monitoring your dog’s health closely and visiting the vet regularly can help in diagnosing and managing kennel cough effectively. In order to ascertain if your dog has kennel cough, it’s important to be aware of the disease’s common symptoms:

  • A loud, dry hacking cough, which may produce phlegm
  • Nasal discharge
  • Fever
  • Sneezing
  • Lack of energy and appetite

Learn more about what kennel cough is and why it matters!

Preventing Kennel Cough

To protect your dog against kennel cough, you must prioritize preventative veterinary care, and most importantly, vaccinations. The kennel cough vaccine, officially known as the Bordetella vaccine, should be administered to your dog when they are a puppy. This will significantly reduce the risk of your dog contracting kennel cough.

Why should my dog receive the bordetella vaccine?

Left untreated, kennel cough may lead to complications such as severe bronchitis or pneumonia, particularly if the dog is very young, old, or has compromised health. 

The best way to prevent this is to make sure your dog is up-to-date on his or her Bordetella vaccine, even if you don’t regularly board your pet. And if you do, reputable doggy daycare centers or boarding facilities will only accept dogs vaccinated against bordetella. 

What other vaccinations does your dog regularly need? Find out here!

Kennel Cough Vaccine at PetWellClinic®

kennel cough prevention
Protect your pup with the Bordetella vaccine!

The Bordetella vaccination, used to treat kennel cough, is already part of the puppy packages at PetWellClinic®, and it can also be administered to dogs over three weeks old as an a la carte service. We provide you with proof of the vaccination and can also send it to your boarding facility or regular vet. 

PetWellClinic® is dedicated to being here for pet owners. Our hours of operation extend into the evenings and weekends, and our clinic environment is built with your pet’s comfort in mind. Visit your local PetWellClinic® to take care of your dog’s health!

PetWellClinic® provides convenient, affordable veterinary care for pet owners. PetWellClinic® has locations and services built with convenience in mind. Stop by with your pet any time! No appointment necessary.

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