So your dog has Kennel Cough. You’ve checked out the Kennel Cough symptoms, and now you want to know what you can do at home to help ease the discomfort for your favorite fur baby.
Maybe you’re a homeopathic kind of person that prefers natural solutions to pharmaceutical ones, or perhaps you just want to exhaust every option available. Either way, there are several holistic remedies for kennel cough in its early or mild stages, as well as other options for home treatment of kennel cough.
Extra measures will be necessary for severe cases such as the kennel cough vaccine, but these home remedies are helpful in any kennel cough case.
As you know, Kennel Cough is an upper respiratory condition that is usually accompanied by a virus-like Adenovirus or Parainfluenza.
The symptoms of Kennel Cough include a runny nose and eyes, sneezing, and, most often, a dry hacking cough. The cough is usually deep and can sound like a honking horn.
As the condition becomes more severe, a dog can experience lethargy and lessening or loss of appetite. These are signs that your dog may need a little more help to kick the illness than home remedies.
If you have seen the vet and are now trying natural and holistic treatments, pay close attention to your dog’s symptoms. If the cough is not improving or lethargy or loss of appetite is apparent, call your vet.
Let’s get down to business.
Natural Remedies for Kennel Cough
We’ll start with the most natural, homeopathic, and holistic solutions to your pet’s kennel cough.
Top 8 Natural Kennel Cough Remedies
- Coconut oil
- Licorice root
- Lemon-honey mix
- Oregano oil
- Chicken soup
Honey is at the top of many homeopathic lists. This gift of nature has antibacterial properties that make it good for acne, sweetening your tea, AND Kennel Cough!
Honey will soothe a dog’s (and humans) cough while the antibacterial properties help relieve the sore throat.
Do your best to use organic or local honey because the ingredients will be more beneficial. Mix one teaspoon to one tablespoon of honey with warm water or just give it to them off the spoon. I’d start with one teaspoon twice a day and go from there. Honey has fantastic benefits, but it is chock full of sugar.
Cinnamon has antiviral qualities that aid in killing bacteria. Grind up some raw cinnamon sticks and add a teaspoon to your dog’s food to help relieve your little Christmas cookie’s cough.
Coconut oil has been blowing up in the past few years, with new benefits continuously being discovered. It is one of the best known holistic cures for Kennel Cough; its built-in antimicrobial properties naturally help eliminate coughing in dogs.
- Use organic, extra virgin coconut oil.
- Base the consumption of coconut oil on your dog’s weight—1 teaspoon to every ten pounds. So if you have a 40-pound dog, do not exceed four teaspoons in a day.
- You can mix one teaspoon of honey and one teaspoon of coconut oil for a tasty,
antibacterial cough suppressant.
Yogurt is a natural probiotic for humans and animals alike and aids in killing bacteria. So go ahead and share a teaspoon to a tablespoon (depending on the dog’s weight) of your greek yogurt with your furry friend daily to help relieve Kennel Cough.
Though yogurt can be beneficial, it can upset a dog’s stomach if they overeat. Dog’s don’t produce as much lactase to break down dairy as we do, so they can’t eat dairy in the same amounts we can without having some undesirable side effects. Start small and discontinue when the cough is cured. Always consult your vet with questions and concerns.
Glycyrrhizin is the sweet acid in licorice root with all of the super sweet benefits. It is used for peptic ulcers and other stomach disorders, as it is an anti-inflammatory and antiviral and has even been noted as an anti-cancer. *Runs to store to get licorice root*
How to use it:
- Mix a few tablespoons of dried licorice root with water
- boil for 3-5 minutes
- Add a little honey for extra benefits yum factor.
- Let your dog drink licorice tea before a meal once a day.
A Mixture of Honey & Lemon
As you can see, honey is excellent for many things, but adding lemon makes it a double threat to Kennel Cough. Along with honey’s antibacterial awesomeness adding lemon’s vitamin C boosts the immune system.
How to do it:
- Mix two parts honey with one part lemon juice
- Add 1/2 cup of water
- Let your dog drink the mix twice a day
Oregano isn’t just for pizza anymore! Oregano oil is used to relieve menstrual cramps, kill infections in animals, and be an insect repellent. *Runs to store to buy oregano oil* including antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties to aid in your dog’s recovery.
Many farmers have even raved about its antibacterial advantages as opposed to pharmaceutical antibiotics. Mix a few drops in with your dog’s food several times a day.
I know this seems strange, right? Do you know how they say to gargle saltwater for a sore throat? It’s kind of like that, except it tastes better, and I have yet to meet anyone who has taught their dog to gargle.
Chicken soup for dogs soothes the throat and boosts the immune system. The best part is, you can eat it too!
Don’t feed your dog all of these concoctions at once or in one day. Consult your vet.
|Natural Remedy||How much?||How Often?|
|Honey||One teaspoon – one tablespoon||1-2 times a day to soothe sore throat|
|Coconut oil||One teaspoon per every 10 pounds||1 -2 times daily to soothe and quiet cough|
|Yogurt||One – three tablespoons depending on your dog’s size.||Once a day|
|Licorice root tea||One to three tablespoons with water|
Bring to boil
|Let dog drink tea before a meal once a day|
|Honey & lemon||Two teaspoons honey one teaspoon lemon with ½ cup of water||Let your dog drink mix twice a day|
|Oregano oil||Mix 2-4 drops in your dog’s food||Once a day|
|Essential Oils||Combine a few drops of lavender, tea tree, and eucalyptus oil in a spray bottle and dilute with water.||2-4 sprays in the dog’s vicinity but not their face 2-3 times daily.|
*Always consult your veterinarian when you’re considering treatment of any type
Now we’ll move on to over the counter treatments for Kennel Cough.
- Cough syrup
- Probiotic supplements
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Echinacea tablets
- Slippery elm tablets
Over the Counter Kennel Cough Remedies (still pretty natural)
We saw yogurt in the list of holistic remedies, which is a probiotic. Probiotic supplements are another option. They come in capsules, powders, and chews. Ask your veterinarian about probiotic supplements for your dog.
Vitamin C is known for boosting the immune system as well as improving white blood cell function.
Since stress and sickness are the most prevalent reasons for the depletion of Vitamin C in dogs, it is ideal for replenishing their supply while recovering or suffering from kennel cough.
There are several types of Vitamin C for your dog. Some work better than others. Consult your vet for suggestions.
Types of Vitamin C:
- Ascorbic Acid
- Ascorbyl Palmitate
- Calcium Ascorbate
- Sodium Ascorbate
Ascorbic acid is the stuff that most of our (human) Vitamin C supplements are. However, in this crystalline form, more massive amounts are not well absorbed in either humans or dogs. They aren’t bad but let’s be honest. Your dog will find that giant pill in even the biggest spoonful of peanut butter.
Ascorbyl Palmitate is an oil-soluble version of the vitamin that is absorbed better by the body but is quite costly.
This vitamin C version comes in salt form and is easily absorbed by the intestinal tract in humans and animals. The salts or mineral ascorbates are more gentle than other methods.
Another salty option that is also absorbed well by the body can last more than twice as long as Ascorbic acid.
Vitamin E offers several benefits for dogs, including support of respiratory function and enhancing the immune system, which will surely speed along with recovery from kennel cough.
Other advantageous things to note about vitamin E for your dog are:
- A healthy, shiny coat
- Connective tissue health
- Slows aging
- Helps to prevent degenerative conditions like cataracts
- Regulates digestion
Native Americans have used Echinacea for centuries for various ailments. Nowadays, they sell tablets over-the-counter as a natural remedy for the common cold and flu. Echinacea has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties and boosts the immune system, making it a triple threat to Kennel Cough in dogs.
Slippery Elm tablets
The slippery elm tree or Ulmus Rubra is native to the central and eastern United States and Ontario, Canada. Native Americans would peel the tree’s slimy, reddish-brown bark, mix it with water, and then use the gooey mix for anything from wounds to sore throats.
Slippery Elm has anti-inflammatory properties, and its sliminess helps to lubricate the digestive tract and improve the upper respiratory system. Both of these outcomes are wonderful for kennel cough.
Don’t worry; you don’t have to go to the U.S. and peel the bark yourself. There are several Slippery Elm, powder-filled capsules to choose from available online and at your local health food store. Consult your vet on the recommended Slippery Elm supplements.
|Symptom||Natural Home Remedies|
|To relieve sore throat and swelling|
|Clear congestion & break up phlegm|
|To speed up recovery and support the immune system|
Onto the last and possibly most crucial section to Home remedies for Kennel Cough in dogs – The home!
5 Ways to Make Your House a Healing Haven
- Lose the collar
- Steam therapy
- Essential oils
- Healthy foods
- Get a humidifier
- Keep the place at a cozy temperature
Lose The Collar!
I know; you’re nervous about your dog running off without any information. We understand; move your dog’s tags to their new harness that they will be wearing or just loosen up the collar a bit and don’t use it to attach the dog to any sort of lead or leash.
Damage to a dog’s tracheal tube can occur anytime from stress from pulling on the leash too hard. If your dog pulls on the leash, it’s a good idea to get a harness.
If your dog is suffering from a cough or sore throat, the discomfort and stress from the collar against the windpipe can cause more irritation than they are already experiencing.
So get a cute new harness for your stylish fur baby. Like you weren’t looking for an excuse to buy something new for them anyway!
Talk about natural! All you need to do is steam up your bathroom with a hot shower, then sit with your dog in your self-made sauna.
The steam will help to loosen phlegm and clear congestion. The warm water vapor can also soothe the cough. Go ahead and throw on your favorite face mask and enjoy the detox with your fur bestie.
*Warning: Essential oils are toxic and never safe for cats. So if you have a mixed family at home, forget about this method.
Essential oils might be an effective Kennel Cough treatment for your dog.
A combination of antiviral and soothing essential oils can save the day when a dog has a persistent, bothersome cough.
Using oils like Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Lavender, and Tea tree can relieve congestion and coughing.
Combine these and dilute with water in a spray bottle. Give 2 – 3 sprays in your dog’s surroundings, NOT IN THEIR FACE.
Listen, I know this combination smells nice, and you want to spray it everywhere. Remember that your dog’s sniffer is much more powerful than yours, and too much can be sickening.
All essential oils are toxic if ingested!!
Everyone will benefit from a healthy diet, and your dog is no exception. Ask your vet about healthy foods rich in Vitamin C & E. These foods include :
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radicals.
Some foods rich in Vitamin E:
- Dark leafy greens like spinach, swiss chard, kale, and beet greens
- Grapeseed oil
Foods rich in Vitamin C are:
- Sweet potatoes
As you might guess, from personal experience, eating oils and dark leafy greens can lead to a less than desirable effect on your bowel movements. Ask your vet about vitamin and nutrient-dense dog foods, or if they recommend a homemade, clean diet.
Get A Humidifier
Since Kennel cough is an airborne bacteria disease, it causes inflammation of the upper respiratory system. This inflammation leads to the main kennel cough symptoms of coughing, sneezing, and runny nose. A humidifier will moisten the air your dog is breathing in to reduce irritation of the throat.
Situate a small humidifier near the area where your dog is resting and allow them to breathe in the water vapors.
Keep Your House Cozy
It can be a delicate process finding the perfect temperature for your pup, mainly because they can’t tell us how they’re feeling.
Fresh air and proper circulation are essential, but we also don’t want the dog to catch a chill because their space is too cold. Cold temperatures can encourage illness in dogs, but hot temperatures encourage bacterial growth, so finding a good “in-between” is essential.
The kennel cough bacteria Bordetella grows best at 35 – 37 degrees Celcius and 95-90 degrees Fahrenheit, so if you keep the temperature anywhere from 65 -80 degrees for sick pets.
A Few Other Things To Consider:
- Clean bowls on the regular
- Keep your puppy rested and don’t allow overexertion
- Please keep your dog isolated while they have kennel cough!
- Allow your dog to drink as much as they can
- Give them healthy foods and treats
- Walk them with a collar
- Smoke around them or in the same building, house, or apartment.
- Use toxic or stinky cleaning products.
We can do many things to provide comfort for a dog cough, and other respiratory issues.
If you have been following our blogs, you notice many things are quite similar to recovery in a human, and most of these things revolve around common sense.
So be smart and be safe. Take care of yourself and your fur baby, and we’ll see you next time!