Kennel Cough: What You Need to Know

Most pet parents have heard of the dreaded kennel cough. The dry, hacking cough can cause both you & your dog some discomfort. We want you to be as informed as possible & we want to share some insights with you about kennel cough itself. 

Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis, or commonly referred to as "kennel cough" is a respiratory disease caused by inflammation in the trachea and bronchi. The symptoms include coughing, hacking, watery eyes, & lethargy. Kennel cough can be contracted anywhere dogs congregate: kennels, doggie daycares, vet offices, dog shows, even the pet store.

According to Pet Health Network: "kennel cough can be transmitted by aerosols released when a sick animal coughs, by direct contact with an infected animal, or by the sharing of contaminated objects". Additionally, "it can also spread if a dog greets an infected dog during a walk or drinks from a contaminated water bowl at the dog park."

The AKC says most causes of kennel cough are caused by Bordetella, but some may also be caused by other agents including: "the bacteria bordetella bronchiseptica, canine adenovirus type 2, canine parainfluenza virus, canine respiratory coronavirus, and mycoplasmas, so the vaccine may not prevent your dog from catching the disease." 

It is also important to receive all of the boosters for the Bordetella vaccine. The AKC recommends that the initial dosage be given twice 2-4 weeks apart, followed by a booster every 6 months to a year. We recommend checking with your local veterinarian to see if your dog is due for a booster. 

What does Francis Kennels do to combat Kennel Cough?

We try to take every step possible to reduce the risk of kennel cough coming into our facility. All dogs that stay or play with us are required to be up to date on their Bordetella vaccine. Our dishes are washed with antibacterial dish soap, and all laundry is washed with antibacterial laundry detergent. Dishes & laundry are of course washed between use. We use Trifectant to clean our facility, & it kills 99.99% of major viral, bacterial, and fungal pathogens in minutes. We also have floor, wall, & ceiling fans to keep fresh air constantly circulating through the main kennel area. 

We hope this extra information regarding kennel cough has been informative. While your dog stays with us, we do try to take every step possible to reduce the risk of them catching any illnesses. It is important to remember that like kids at school, the vaccine does not cover every strain and the risk is always there, even when taking your dog to the local dog park.