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Kennel Cough – What You Need to Know

Everyone who owns a dog has probably heard of kennel cough… but what exactly is it?

Kennel cough is a highly contagious illness that is similar to the common cold in humans.  It’s spread through airborne droplets and contact with contaminated surfaces such as a shared water bowl. If dogs are in close quarters, it can spread very quickly. The most common symptom is a dry and persistent cough that typically resolves in about 10 days.


Although the word “kennel” is part of the name, your dog can become exposed from any place frequented by other dogs, such as a dog park, groomer, training facility, pet stores, etc. Basically, anytime your dog comes in contact with another dog.

Once infected, your dog may not show symptoms anywhere from 2-14 days. That’s what makes it so hard to contain. Owners typically don’t even know their dog is infected or contagious.


Bordatella is a vaccine that protects your dog against getting kennel cough. However, just like the human flu, different strains of Bordatella arise every year.  The Bordatella vaccine often does NOT protect vaccinated dogs against these variant strains.

As you can see, this is a tricky little bacteria!

Now you can see why kennels, including ours, occasionally must deal with kennel cough. Once it’s in the building we take every precaution to prevent further spread. If your dog is showing symptoms, we will contact you immediately. With your consent we will take them to your regular vet or our vet. We inform all owners of dogs currently boarding with us and those scheduled to come in within a few days.

Due to the high transmissibility of kennel cough, the lengths we must take to get everything under control, and most importantly for the comfort of all dogs in our care, we kindly ask you to inform us if you believe your dog has come in contact with kennel cough or is showing symptoms prior to your appointment.

Kennel cough is very similar to a common cold. The majority of dogs will recover on their own. If you have any concerns for your dog, we advise you to contact your veterinarian.

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