Kennel Cough – Why Is My Dog Coughing Non-Stop

Does your dog have a persistent, dry, hacking cough?  He seems to be chocking on something or gagging?   Your dog most likely has Kennel Cough or Tracheobronchitis, which is a highly contagious respiratory disease.  You’ve probably heard of it, Kennel Cough is extremely common in shelters. Thus, it’s very easy for a healthy dog to catch this disease.

Just as it is for humans, when an infected dog coughs, viruses, and bacterias disperse into the air. This make it easy for healthy dogs to become infected by inhaling these organisms.  However, dogs don’t need to have direct contact in order to get sick, in fact, it is very common for individuals to go to a shelter and get their dog (who was left at home) sick. Change your clothes and wash your hands after visiting a shelter or a place with multiple dogs.

What can you do?

Kennel cough is something like a “tough flu” in humans, if you don’t take good care of yourself and rest, it can become a life-threatening disease called pneumonia.  How do you know if your dog has Kennel cough or pneumonia?  If your dog is constantly coughing, yet he is still eating, drinking and his energy has not decreased, then you can still treat him at home.  

Your dog’s kennel cough may have escalated to pneumonia if he has trouble breathing, eating or drinking and his energy has decreased as he gets tired easily.  Other symptoms may include nasal discharge, rapid breathing, loud breathing, weight loss, and dehydration.  If this is the case, you must take your dog to the veterinary right now as this is a life-threatening disease.

Treating Kennel Cough Naturally

  • Coconut Oil contains antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties of the medium chain fatty acids/triglycerides (MCTs).
    • Give 2 teaspoons per day until he stops coughing.  You can also give your dog a teaspoon whenever he starts coughing non-stop, this will help his dry throat.
  • Cinnamon is an antiviral and antibacterial spice that can be used as a natural antibiotic when treating bacterial infections.
    •  Sprinkle half a teaspoon of cinnamon over your dog’s food bowl, it’s completely safe to use every day but it’s especially helpful when your dog has kennel cough.
  • Lemon mixed with honey remedy – Honey is an antibacterial and lemon contains Vitamin C, which will strengthen your dog’s immune system.
    • Mix two tablespoons of honey, one teaspoon of lemon juice and half a cup of water.  Give this remedy to your dog twice a day.  You can also give your dog one tablespoon of honey, ideally raw.
  • Cough Syrup is available in any drug-chain, make sure you don’t buy a suppressant formula.  Our favorite one is Umcka Cold Care (cherry flavor).
    • Measure one teaspoon and give three times per day.
  • Probiotics and/or Vitamins are excellent to boost your dog’s immune system and digestive health.  You can purchase some vitamins and probiotic supplements at our online shop.

A couple of other things you should keep in mind:

Right now your dog needs to rest so it may not be the best time for him to exercise.  Avoid using a collar, especially if your dog pulls when you walk him, this will stimulate the cough.  Keep your dog away from moist and humid floors, instead, keep him warm and free from the breeze.

If your dog’s cough continues, take him to your local veterinarian, it’s probably best if your vet prescribed some antibiotics.

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