If you have recently rescued your dog and noticed that they have a lingering cough, it may be time to take them to the vet. One of the biggest concerns that pet owners have is kennel cough and its ability to be transferred to other dogs. This is a respiratory infection in your dogs that can cause discomfort and cause them to have a horrible cough.
They will even appear to gag and have excessive throat clearing. If you have taken your dogs to a vet, and they have identified the cough as kennel cough, then there are some things to keep in mind while you are treating your dog and the cough is gone.
Can a dog with kennel cough go for walks?
While exercising is a good way to keep your dog healthy, those with kennel cough should not go for walks, especially in public areas where there are other dogs. Kennel cough develops quickly when the same airspace is shared between an infected dog and healthy dogs.
The name kennel suggests that it comes from the pound, but it can actually generate anywhere that several dogs are together in a small space. If you like to walk your dog and they have a favorite dog park they enjoy, you will need to avoid this area until the kennel cough has cleared.
How often to walk a dog with kennel cough?
Your dog needs lots of rest to beat the kennel cough and needs quarantining space. If you have an area that you can walk your dog without interacting with other dogs, such as a backyard, then you can allow them to walk for a little each day to keep their cardio up and maintain physical health.
Because of their current condition, you will not want to do an excessive amount of walk, and maybe spend some time just soaking up the sun and vitamin D. This is only okay if the weather is warm and if there is some humidity. If the air is cold, the air will irritate the cough and is not worth the walk at all.
How long can a dog with kennel cough walk for?
If you have a quarantined area you can walk your dog without exposing other dogs to the kennel cough, you may want to give them a quick walk of 10 to 20 minutes. Do not overdo it, though because they are suffering. Dogs with kennel cough do not have the same stamina as they usually do, so you will want to avoid any long walks. This could cause more harm than good to their bodies and force the kennel cough to continue for long periods of time.
Do dogs with kennel cough need rest?
Absolutely. In fact, they need rest more than anything else while they are working to treat and get over the kennel cough. While they are resting there are a few other things you can do for your pet to ensure they get over the kennel cough and back to their regular walks.
Clean Water and Soft Food
Because their throat from the kennel cough may be sore, you can soften it with some warm water or heated broth to help them eat and keep getting the nutrients they need. Do not use something like milk that will build up phlegm in their throat and cause further agitation.
Your dog is also going to be drinking a lot and drinking more than usual. Make sure the water they are drinking is clean and plentiful over the next few days.
Give Them A Steam Treatment
As the cough progresses, it is important to make sure they can break up any mucus. Run the shower and create a mini steam room in the bathroom for your dog. This will give them a humid area that eases the cough and can be done periodically throughout the day.
If your vet has provided you with safe cough medication and an antibiotic, then you need to give that to your dog to ease the pain of the cough and fight what is causing the cough. The antibiotics are recommended for dogs who may have an impaired immune system, or a senior age and need assistance fighting the infection. Make sure that all medication is done at the vet’s recommendation and by their dosage.
Once your dog is over the kennel cough, it is critical that you have your dog vaccinated against this so that it does not return. The kennel cough vaccine is good for a year, so it should be administered each year to prevent the cough from returning.
Is exercise bad for dogs with kennel cough?
In most cases, it is probably best to avoid any excessive exercise with your dog until they have gotten over the kennel cough. Because it takes such a toll on their throat and lungs, trying to do very much exercise will only be harmful and cause your dog more pain. Only when it is very warm out, and you have a secluded area for your dog is it okay to consider giving them some exercise.
Even then, you want to keep this to a minimum, only allowing their heart rate to increase and then bringing them back inside for more rest. The longer they have to fight the kennel cough, the more contagious they will be and their bodies will wear down. If they reduce exercise and spend more time resting, they are more likely to beat the kennel cough faster.