Posted 2 months ago
Kennel cough is a highly infectious airborne disease that can be spread through coughs, sneezes and other forms of close contact (Image: Getty Images)
With kennel cough cases on the rise across the UK, TeamDogs readers have weighed in on how they’ve been protecting their pups, as well as caring for dogs with the illness.
Airborne and highly infectious, the disease is passed on via infected respiratory droplets.
Although it can result from dogs being in crowded spaces such as kennels or doggy daycare facilities, contaminated bowls, toys and park visits could also be to blame.
As TeamDogs reader Lyndsey Maund pointed out: “They can literally catch it anywhere… It’s an airborne virus but can be transmitted through the sharing of toys, dog bowls, grass, even dogs who have a tendency to lick other dog's urine.”
Alison Hinton added: “It's about time the name was changed. Kennel cough is caught anywhere an infected dog is or has been.”
Several readers advised bringing a water bowl with you rather than letting your dog drink from communal bowls outside shops or at restaurants, as well as ensuring your pets use separate bowls at home.
Vaccinations and yearly booster shots, which are recommended by vets, were touted by plenty of readers as a must – regardless of whether your pup goes to kennels or not.
Angela Sinclair said: “Worst thing ever calling it kennel cough – I speak to so many walkers who won't have the vaccination because their dogs don't go into kennels.”
Not only do vaccines reduce the likelihood of it spreading, but they mean dogs will have milder symptoms if they do catch it.
One reader also highlighted that pet insurance won’t cover kennel cough, since it’s considered preventable with the vaccine.
Readers also shared their own tips for treating pups, with manuka honey and human cough medicine proving particularly popular among TeamDogs owners.
Janine Done said: “My two dogs had kennel cough a few months ago, my Jack Russell was 17.
“I treated them both with baby cough medicine and kept putting them in the bathroom with the hot steam off the bath, they both recovered well.”
Cough medicine brand Benylin was offered as an alternative by a number of other readers too.
Julie White said: “I used a £5 bottle of Benylin instead of the £20 one the vet was gonna charge and it worked brilliantly.”
Those keen for a more natural alternative can try honey instead.
Not only does it have known antibiotic properties, but it’s also a sweet treat for your pup!
Janine Nickson said: “I swear by manuka honey – my dogs had kennel cough a few years ago and they loved the honey and cured them at the same time.
Jayne Pearson Poston added: “My pug recently had a bout and we treated it with honey on vet’s advice – unfortunately I now have a honey monster who demands some before bed.”
VetChef nutritionist Holly Barker has previously recommended using Manuka honey to TeamDogs.
She said: “There are a number of natural remedies that can help improve the symptoms of kennel cough – one of those is Manuka honey. The one I use is medical grade and you can buy it from Amazon.
“The rule of thumb is to get the highest percentage of Manuka that you can afford as the better it’ll be. You can give a teaspoon per 5kg body weight two to three times a day.”
Another user suggested a technique called ‘coupage’ to help clear your pup’s airways.
As Kathleen Rutherford explained: “It's when you firmly pat the rib cage one side at a time, to loosen secretions. Physiotherapists use this on people to bring relief.”
Read more: The symptoms of kennel cough in dogs
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