Vets warn owners not to let dogs drink out of shared water bowls | TeamDogs
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Vets warn owners not to let dogs drink out of shared water bowls

Kennel cough is extremely contagious and could prove fatal

TeamDogs

Posted 42d ago

Getty - Chalabala

We’re a big fan of local cafes and restaurants that cater for our four legged friends, it means we get to go and enjoy a nice meal or catch up with friends with our dogs in tow.

A few treats and a bowl of water can go a long way in keeping our dogs, and us owners, happy.

But while hydration is super important, especially during the warm weather, vets have warned owners against the use of shared water bowls.

Although our favourite dog-friendly businesses might have the best of intentions, sharing a water bowl could lead to kennel cough - a condition that is extremely infectious.

Kathleen Pohl, a veterinary surgeon at Zetland Vets and My Family Vets, warned: “If your dog is at risk and you are aware of a local outbreak, it would be sensible to avoid locations where your dog might have close contact with others such as busy parks, day care or shared public water and food bowls.”

READ MORE: Kennel cough: what it is and expert tips on caring for a dog with the illness

Due to the infectious nature of kennel cough, outbreaks are fairly common.

Posting in a community group on Facebook, one owner warned: “Been to a local vets today who advised kennel cough is rife in Chelmsford!

“Our dog has caught it. Told us don’t share public dog bowls for drinks.”

Getty - Mercedes Rancaño Otero

But what exactly is kennel cough? And just how dangerous is it for our dogs?

Kathleen said: “Kennel cough is very infectious and can spread both in the environment and the air. It is also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis and is an upper respiratory tract infection that can be caused by many different bacteria and viruses.  

“Due to this, we do often see outbreaks in cases in local areas, as dogs can pick it up very easily in the park or local dog shows, or in areas where they might mix with other dogs such as day-care and kennels.” 

READ MORE: Expert shares advice on protecting dogs from sunburn and other skin issues

Warning owners of the symptoms, Kathleen added: “Due to the range in possible causes of kennel cough, the symptoms can also vary, sometimes just causing a nasty cough, but in other instances progressing to a fever, appetite loss and breathing difficulties.  

“There is a vaccine that can protect against some of the infections that cause severe symptoms, however some viruses that cause kennel cough cannot be protected for due to their rapid mutation.   

“In these cases, the infections typically resolve by themselves, but sometimes animals will need treatments such as anti-inflammatories to help them feel better while they are affected.

“Older animals or animals with other underlying health conditions may be more at risk of developing severe disease and these cases can progress to pneumonia, which can be fatal.”

Although shared bowls might be off limits, alternatives include portable water bottles that double up as a dispenser.

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