Kennel Cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Dogs commonly contract kennel cough at places where many dogs are in contact with each other such as doggie daycare, dog parks and grooming salons. Kennel cough is spread when a dog inhales bacteria or virus particles into their respiratory tract. It can be spread to one another through airborne droplets, direct contact (e.g., touching noses), or contaminated surfaces (including water/food bowls).
The classic symptom of kennel cough is a persistent, forceful cough. People often describe it as sounding like a goose honk.
If your pet spends any time at places like the groomer or boarding facilities, the best prevention is to make sure your dog has been given a vaccine for bordetella bacterium, which is the most common agent to cause kennel cough.
The vaccine is available in oral, intranasal, and injectable forms, and depending on the form, it is usually initially given in two doses two to four weeks apart, followed by a booster every six months to a year.
Of course, no vaccine can guarantee your dog won’t get kennel cough. But if he or she does contract the disease, this vaccine may help reduce the severity of the symptoms.