Kennel Cough Symptoms

Worried About Your Dog's Cough?

Kennel cough is not usually a serious condition, but can be very irritating for your dog and in some cases develop into a more serious disease. If your dog or pet is showing any of the following symptoms listed below, it’s important to give it the proper care so that it can recover as soon as possible.

Signs of kennel cough can range from the obvious honking cough, to a lack of exercise, to hacking up foamy liquid. Prevention is the best cure for kennel cough, so it is important to monitor your dog for strange symptoms, especially if you visit dog parks on a regular basis.

In many cases, dog owners do not bring their pets in to see an animal doctor because they are told that kennel cough is not a serious issue, and only lasts a week or two. While this is usually true, it is very common for the kennel cough symptoms to mask a more serious underlying condition.

While the cough itself is certainly nothing to be afraid of, it’s always best to be on the safe side when it comes to the health of our furry friends.

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Prolonged coughing can cause a collapse in your dogs trachea and have long lasting and sometimes permanent effects. Bring your dog to the vet as soon as you notice any symptoms so it can get the proper care right away.

How to

tell if your dog has Kennel Cough.

The Cough

Kennel cough can almost sound like a honking noise at times. It’s a persistent dry hacking that sounds like your dog is going to vomit. It’s common for your dog to cough many times in succession with the final cough looking and sounding like your dog is trying to hack something out. This is very uncomfortable for your pet and can put a big strain on its body if it’s not treated right away. This is the most apparent kennel cough symptom and can be treated with a variety of natural home remedies to give your dog relief


Most dogs will still want to be active regardless of their cough. However, if you notice that the cough gets worse every time they go for a run, it’s most likely kennel cough and is best to limit their exercise until all symptoms of the cough are gone. It may be hard to deny your pets the exercise they look forward to every day, but the rest is much more important in this situation so they can recover as quickly as possible.

Hacking up foamy liquid and phlegm

Hacking up phlegm is a common symptom of kennel cough, the same way humans do when we have the flu. It is also possible that they may throw up liquid and foam.

If they eat their food or drink their water too quickly, they may puke up their dinner and phlegmy water due to an irritated throat. Some dogs won’t cough anything up during kennel cough but are still suffering from a painful and uncomfortable throat (respiratory tract) disease that should be treated right away.

Depression and sickness

Many dogs will remain happy and active during kennel cough, however, depending on the length and severity of the disease it may start to wear your pet down. It’s extremely important to monitor your dog closely if they start acting out of the norm. If they begin showing signs of sickness and/or depression for more than a day or two they should be brought to a vet immediately. Other less obvious kennel cough symptoms might include a loss in appetite, redness around the eyes, and/or a runny nose.

Kennel cough does not usually last long, however, in series cases, it can last up to a few months. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to identify your dog’s condition and care for it accordingly. The quicker you catch these symptoms, the faster you can treat the ailment. Please note that kennel cough is extremely contagious so it’s best not to let your dog near other animals until it has fully recovered.

Appetite and weight loss

Another kennel cough symptom to watch out for is how much food your dog is eating. If you notice him/her eating less than regular then it is a valid cause for concern. If your dog starts having problems with its appetite and starts losing weight, it will be harder for it’s body to fend off the disease without the proper amount of nutrients, and can become more sick.

For more information on kennel cough symptoms and common signs of bordetella, check out our detailed article.