Kennel Cough – Why You Should Vaccinate Against it

by Melissa Keen

Pet dogs are usually vaccinated at 8 weeks, and again at 10 weeks of age. These vaccines protect them from harmful and common illnesses that can cause them a lot of harm. It’s important you get these vaccines to protect your dog from getting poorly; you shouldn’t take your dog for a walk outside until these vaccines have taken place and are working, which is two weeks after their second shots. We are told to keep these vaccines up to date with booster shots once a year.

One illness that isn’t vaccinated against at this time, however, is kennel cough. Also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, it’s an infectious disease that can cause dogs to be unwell for several weeks.

Symptoms of Kennel Cough

Kennel cough causes a hacking cough in dogs. This may sound like retching, or as if they have something stuck in their throat. Some dogs are able to ride out the illness and get better on their own if they have a strong immune system, but some dogs – particularly younger and older dogs – are more at risk of being seriously poorly, and developing something worse like pneumonia. The cough can also last for several weeks; not only is it uncomfortable, but it is highly contagious, and you shouldn’t allow your infected dog around other dogs until it is better again.


If you’re worried your dog may have kennel cough, take them to the vets. They will be able to give you a proper diagnosis. They may give your dog some prescription medication in order to clear up the infection faster.


You can ask your vet to vaccinate your dog against kennel cough to decrease its chances of catching it. It is administered with medicine up the nose, rather than an injection, so the medicine can get right where it is needed.

If you plan to leave your dog at a kennel or doggy daycare, it’s really important you get this voluntary vaccine. Not only will it give you peace of mind, but it will also stop the disease from spreading. Most kennels will not allow you to use them unless you can show you have had the vaccination done.

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