Kennel cough, also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, is a common respiratory condition that affects dogs. It’s highly contagious and can spread easily, especially in places where dogs congregate, like kennels or dog parks. One of the common questions dog owners ask is, “Can I walk my dog with kennel cough?” In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about kennel cough and whether it’s safe to take your furry friend for a walk.
Understanding Kennel Cough
What Is Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough is a respiratory infection that causes a persistent, dry cough in dogs. It is like a cold in humans and can be caused by many different viruses and bacteria. The most common culprits are Bordetella bronchiseptica bacterium and canine parainfluenza virus.
Symptoms of Kennel Cough
- Coughing: The hallmark symptom is a dry, hacking cough. It can be quite persistent and may sound like your dog is choking.
- Sneezing: Some dogs with kennel cough may also sneeze frequently.
- Runny Nose and Eyes: You might notice a watery discharge from your dog’s nose and eyes.
- Lethargy: Infected dogs may appear less energetic and enthusiastic.
Can I Walk My Dog with Kennel Cough?
Many dog owners are unsure if they should take their furry companions for a walk when they have kennel cough. The short answer is that it’s generally not advisable. Here’s why:
Contagious Nature of Kennel Cough
Kennel’s cough is highly contagious. It can spread through the air when an infected dog coughs or sneezes. Direct contact with an infected dog can also transmit the disease. This means that taking your dog for a walk can expose other dogs to the infection.
Risk of Worsening Symptoms
Exercising your dog when they have kennel cough can worsen their symptoms. The increased activity might lead to more coughing and discomfort for your pet.
Responsible dog ownership involves considering the well-being of other dogs in your community. If your dog has kennel cough, it’s best to avoid areas where other dogs frequent to prevent the spread of the disease.
How to Care for a Dog with Kennel Cough
Visit the Vet
If your dog is showing symptoms of kennel cough, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian. They can confirm the diagnosis and guide treatment.
To prevent the spread of the disease, keep your dog isolated from other dogs until they are no longer contagious. This typically takes around two weeks.
Rest and Hydration
Ensure your dog gets plenty of rest and stays well-hydrated. Rest is essential for their recovery, and proper hydration helps soothe their throat.
Sometimes, the vet may prescribe medication to alleviate the cough or address any secondary infections.
Prevention is better than cure. Ensure your dog is up to date on vaccinations, including the kennel cough vaccine.
When Is It Safe to Walk Your Dog Again?
Once your dog is no longer contagious and their symptoms have improved, it’s usually safe to start taking them for short walks. However, ease back into it slowly. Excessive exertion can still trigger coughing, so keep walks short and on a leash to prevent close contact with other dogs.
Resources & References
For more information on kennel cough and dog health, consider the following resources:
If you want to learn more about kennel cough and how to care for your dog during this time, check out the video below:
Finally, it’s best to avoid walking your dog when he has a kennel cough to prevent the spread of the disease and prevent his symptoms from getting worse. Prioritize their recovery, and consult your veterinarian for guidance. Once they are no longer contagious and their condition improves, you can gradually reintroduce short walks into their routine. Remember, your dog’s health and the well-being of other dogs in your community should always come first.
FAQs – Can I Walk My Dog with Kennel Cough
Can kennel cough be picked up from a walk?
Yes, dogs can get kennel cough from sniffing, sneezing, or coughing other dogs on a walk.
Can I catch kennel cough off my dog?
Yes, humans can catch kennel cough from their dogs, but it is rare.
Do dogs with kennel cough need to be isolated?
Yes, it is best to isolate dogs with kennel cough from other dogs to prevent the spread of the disease.
How long is a dog contagious with kennel cough?
Dogs are contagious with kennel cough for 10-21 days after exposure.
Does walking make the kennel cough worse?
Yes, walking can make kennel cough worse by irritating the trachea.
What is the fastest way to cure kennel cough?
There is no cure for kennel cough, but most dogs recover within 2 to 3 weeks. Some dogs may need antibiotics to treat secondary infections.