Is your dog coughing as if it is clearing his throat, in order to get rid of frustrating hair that might be irritating him? If it constantly coughs, do not ignore, as this might be the initial sign of niggling upper respiratory infection that is popularly called Kennel cough. This is a communicable infection. However, timely prevention and treatment can retain your pet’s health. At an initial stage, the disease may last up for 10-20 days, but it may recur, if stress is put on the dog’s immune system.
Infection in the upper respiratory tract is the main cause of kennel cough. It is caused by a combination of the bacteria- Bordetella bronchiseptica and the canine parainfluenza virus. The infection has an effect on the outer lining of the air passage and throat which results in cough and irritation. The dogs may also find difficulty in eating their food.
In particular, the symptoms of kennel cough include intermittent coughing that increases at night, runny eyes and nose, coughing triggered by exercise, nasal discharge, vomiting mucous at the end of a coughing spasm, sneezing, eye discharge, clear or yellowish nasal discharge, dry and callous cough, fever, and lethargic appearance.
You may try the following home remedies to cure your dog in a faster way.
1. Raw Honey and Lemon
Lemon contains Vitamin C, which is required to improve the immune system of dogs. Mix two tablespoons of honey, one teaspoon of lemon juice, and half (1/2) cup of water. Give this mixture twice a day to your dog. Alternatively, you can also give a teaspoon or two of honey for quick recovery.
Vitamins speed up the process of recuperation in your dog. Vitamin C is considered useful not only for humans, but it can also be a beneficial remedy for dogs, to treat virus and bacteria related infections. The dosage level depends on the pet’s weight, but generally a 500 mg tablet is given two to three times a day.
3. Chicken Soup
This remedy may sound strange, but it’s very effective. Chicken soup soothes the throat and boosts the immune system of the dog.
4. Garlic Pills
Give your pet a 500mg garlic pill every day with its daily meal. This will recuperate its immune system quickly. In addition, you may also add an Echinacea capsule for a speedy recovery.
5. Keep the Air Moist
For quick healing, keep the air moist when your dog is suffering from throat problems. A vaporizer or humidifier can keep your dog’s throat from turning too dry. You may put it near to the pet’s bed or wherever it sleeps. You may also use air conditioners that have inbuilt “humidifier mode” in them.
6. Coconut Oil
It has antiviral properties which combat kennel cough. Give 2 teaspoons of coconut oil to your pet until the cough is cured. You may also pour a few drops in its food bowl or let it lick directly from the spoon.
Sprinkle half a teaspoon of cinnamon over your pet’s food. This will provide it relief from the canine common cold.
If your dog is 2-years-old or more, you can give it Robitussin. Generally, the recommended dosage is 4 times a day, which can be continued to 5-7 days. If you do not see any results within a week, consult a vet.
Note- Robitussin should be used only for unproductive, persistent and dry coughs. It shouldn’t be used for moist or productive coughs.
9. Over-the-Counter Cough Syrup
Give your pet decongestant cough syrup, such as Umcka Cold Care (cherry flavor), which is easily available at almost all drugstore chains. Use a syringe to measure 1 teaspoon and spray this syrup down its throat with the syringe, at least 3 times a day. Thereafter, close its jaws and massage its throat gently.
10. Steam or Hot Water Bath
Steam is the easiest and powerful kennel cough home remedy, since it opens up the bronchial tubes of the dogs and assists them clear extra phlegm from their throat. Simply turn on the hot shower in the bathroom and allow the room to fill with steam. Now, let your pet inhale it for about 15 to 25 minutes. It will ease breathing.
11. Steam Vaporizer
Make use of a warm steam vaporizer that is widely available in all pharmacies. In a crate, covered by a sheet or in a small bathroom, direct the vapors in the direction of your dog’s head. Allow your dog to breathe these vapors, for approximately 15-20 minutes. Repeat this procedure 2-3 times daily, for a minimum of 2 to 3 days.
Note – Make sure to put the vaporizer far away, to ensure the safety of your dog.
Herbal Remedies to Cure Kennel Cough
12. Anise Hyssop
This popular herb is widely used to alleviate mucous accumulations, irritated throats, and various other respiratory issues. It is easily available at any health store.
If your pet is suffering from dry cough, you may use this herb. You can also use it, if your dog is experiencing contracted kennel cough.
You may use this herb, if your dog sounds like it has extreme phlegm in its throat or chest, but is not able to get rid of out. You may try to firmly hit your pet’s lungs at the time it is coughing, to aid getting the phlegm out.
15. Plantago Lanceolata
This is a very common herb which is known as English plantain. It efficiently soothes the upper respiratory tract and the inflamed throat.
It’s very essential to maintain the strength of your dog’s immune system, especially, if it is suffering from kennel cough. Echinacea aids fight against viruses and bacteria. Prolong the use of this herb until your dog recovers completely.
17. Licorice Root Tea
Herbal tea prepared from licorice root is, said to be, an excellent remedy for dogs suffering from kennel or canine cough. Mix together 1 tablespoon of dried licorice root and 2 cups of cold water. Boil the mixture, and then leave it till it reaches room temperature. Add a teaspoon of honey to every tablespoon of licorice tea. Give 2 tablespoons of prepared tea to your dog before meals.
- As an alternative, you can also mix a little amount of the prepared tea in your dog’s food. You can store the tea, in the refrigerator, for 5 days.
- You can also prepare herbal teas from elder blossom, blackberry leaves, thyme and sage leaves.
18. Essential Oils
Essential oils help a pup with kennel cough to breathe in an easy way. Oils of lavender, eucalyptus, and tea tree may be used. Chamomile has a soothing effect. You may also use oregano oil, as it has antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
- You can also prepare a mixture on your own by combining essential oils such as eucalyptus, ravensare, and spike lavender. Dilute the mixture and spray it to vaporize the air around your pet. It will immediately stops coughing and will also be able to breathe with ease.
This is a Chinese herb that fortifies the immune system. It also stimulates the regeneration of bronchial cells and supports lung function.
20. Slippery Elm
This herb soothes soreness and irritation in the throat of your pet.
21. Other Herbs
You may also try other respiratory health herbs that include wild cherry bark, black seed, mustard seed, rosehips, coltsfoot, elecampane, marshmallow root, kelp (seaweed), yarrow, mullein, and wormwood.
- Keep your children away from your pets, when they are suffering from kennel cough.
- Keep the environmental conditions healthy. Ensure your house is dust-free.
- Keep your dog away from moist and humid floors.
- Regularly clean its food as well as water bowls.
- Keep your pet warm, calm and free from breeze.
- Encourage your pet to drink a lot of fresh water.
- Provide wet food, if in case, your dog’s throat is irritated and sore.
- Remove the collar of your dog to stop it stimulating cough.
- Set up an air purifier in your home.
- Allow your dog to play only with those mates who are up-to-date on their vaccines and healthy.
- Get your pet regularly checked by the vet.
- Avoid smoking in the house.
- Do not use any toxic cleaners.