Kennel cough

Kennel cough is a highly contagious illness characterized by inflammation of the upper respiratory system.

It can be caused by viruses such as canine parainfluenza, or bacteria such as Bordetella bronchiseptica. It is so named because the infection can spread quickly among dogs, such as in the close quarters of a kennel however dogs can catch the disease anywhere. The disease is spread through the air by infected dogs sneezing and coughing. It can also spread through contact with contaminated surfaces and through direct contact. It is highly contagious.


Symptoms can include a harsh, dry hacking/coughing, retching, sneezing and snorting.


Antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatories are used to treat the disease. In some circumstances cough suppressants are also used.


Vaccination is a highly affective way of preventing infection by Bordetella bronchiseptica and canine parainfluenza. Vaccination is often required by boarding kennels at least 72 hours prior to boarding.