Options for Treating Kennel Cough

There are several ways of treating a dog that has contracted kennel cough. While some pet owners prefer prescribed medication for quick relief, others prefer to let the cough run its course and give their dogs natural home remedies to treat the condition.

The kennel cough treatments listed below are what you can generally expect to be recommended from a veterinarian. It's important to remember that what works for one dog may not work for another, so it's important to bring your dog in to get properly assessed. Animal doctors may recommend different types of treatment depending on a variety of factors such as the dogs size, age, and condition.

Kennel cough typically only lasts for 1-2 weeks, however if your dog has been coughing for longer than 3-4 weeks it is highly recommended that you bring it in to an animal hospital for x-rays to be on the safe side. Constant hacking is tough on the dogs throat, especially for puppies, and can cause damage their trachea if it goes on for too long.


Kennel Cough Vaccine

While some vets may recommend the kennel cough vaccine (Bordetella) in the form of a shot or inhalant, it’s important to know that it does not work 100% of the time. In some cases, this vaccination has even been known to trigger the cough. This type of treatment is recommended for those that spend a lot of time around other dogs, such as show dogs, or dogs who go to doggy day care often.


Just like the human flu, bacteria and viruses are the most common elements behind kennel cough and as such, can often be treated with prescribed medication. There are several types of antibiotics used for kennel cough treatment, most of them coming in the form of a pill or liquid. Your vet will prescribe the best medication suited for your dog based on its symptoms, age, and weight.

Cough Suppressants

You can get cough suppressants to treat your dogs kennel cough which can be helpful if they are up coughing all night. This will help sooth their throat and keep them from coughing. There are many over the counter cough suppressants, but it’s always a good idea to check with your vet first. They can better recommend the best solution and dosage for your pet. Note - it is important to avoid the prolonged use of cough suppressants to ensure that they are not masking a more serious problem.

Anti Inflammatories

Your vet may prescribe anti inflammatories such as "terbutaline sulfate" if your dog is having a hard time breathing due to the cough. Anti inflammatories help open up the airwaves for your dog, and can be a very effective kennel cough treatment, helping your dog breathe easier.