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Your Dog Caught Kennel Cough? Here Are Some Natural Remedies!

January 11, 2021 4 min read

What Is Kennel Cough? 

Is your dog hacking? A sound, as if, something was stuck in their throat? But, it’s not a reverse sneeze? 

Your dog might have “caught” the kennel cough, also known as Bordetella. This is a dog version of the human’s cold. The sound can sound alarming to us pet parents, especially if we never heard the kennel cough before. 

When I brought my puppy home from San Diego, he made sounds I've never heard my first two dogs make. I was freaking out and ran to the vet the next morning. At the vet visit, I learned that the canine cough isn’t as bad as it sounds. In most cases, this virus can go away on its own.

So, don't worry. Your dog will be okay! We can also make the healing process easier with some natural remedies. 

How Do Dogs Get Kennel Cough 

Healthy adult dogs usually won’t catch this “cold” if their defense system, a.k.a the immune system, is strong. A dog’s respiratory tract, known as “mucociliary escalator”, which is lined with mucus to trap viruses and bacteria usually protects your dog. However, if their defense system is compromised and they get infected, dogs can get a canine cough.

Some of the common bacteria and viruses that cause the kennel cough are: 

    • common bacterium - Bordetella Bronchiseptica
    • Parainfluenza virus 
    • Adenovirus type 2 

Dogs are at risk of catching this “cold” similarly to how we are more prone to getting sick when in a stressful environment and weakened state.

A dog’s defense system can be weakened by different factors, making them vulnerable to catching the infection. 

Some of these factors are: 

  • Cold temperature 
  • A Crowded environment 
  • Travel stress ( including shipping stress)
  • Poor ventilation 

Dogs from kennels are more likely to catch the infection because of the factors like crowding and poor ventilation. Puppies are also at risk of catching this because their immune system is still developing. Pet parents who brought their dog or puppy home from afar location may see canine cough symptoms from their new furry friend.

The cough can be thought of as a dog’s version of our cold. The canine cough is an infection, caused by disease and contamination and more prone to catching it under stress or weakened health.

Is Kennel Cough Infectious 

Unfortunately, if your dog shows kennel cough symptoms, you should isolate your dog from other dogs. It's infectious and can be transmitted like a human cold, through air and contact. If you own more than one dog, use separate beds, toys, and food dishes until symptoms improve. 

Can Kennel Cough Spread To Humans 

Catching kennel cough from dogs is a very rare case, but never 0. 

For those with a weakened immune system, the canine virus can be transmitted to humans, but there is no strong evidence that humans can catch this infection from animals. If you are a pet owner with a compromised immune system, we recommend practicing common health safety practices. 

Kennel Cough Symptoms

These canine cough symptoms are: 

  • Sneezing
  • Cough, “honking” sound
  • Running nose 
  • Low appetite 
  • Slight fever
  • Eye boogers/discharge

How To Treat Kennel Cough 

If the case is fairly mild, about one to two weeks of rest should do the trick of treating your dog canine cough. This means less playtime, try to not excited your dog too much and run around since this can worsen their hacking. Walks should be limited until their symptoms improve. With more downtime, your dog will be able to recover faster. 

You can also give your dog holistic remedies to help your dog overcome their cough. 

Raw Honey

Raw honey isn’t only a great treat but it’s also medicine! It helps boost your dog’s immune system and inflammation. Feeding raw honey will soothe your dog’s throat. 

We recommend 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of honey throughout the day for medium to large dogs, four times a day or as needed. Feed a little less for smaller dogs but at the same frequency as long as you’re not feeding too much honey. 

Coconut Oil 

Coconut oil has an antiviral agent that will also boost your dog’s immune system. Feed your dog 2 teaspoons daily either over their food or straight from the spoon. This natural remedy is high calorie, so we recommend feeding no more than 2 teaspoons.


A humidifier can alleviate the dryness in your dog´s throat. Place the humidifier in a safe place and where your dog sleeps and spends most of its time.

Your vet can also provide natural remedies to cure your dog’s canine cough if needed. 

We Recommend:Other Natural Food Great For Your Dog

When To Consult Your Vet

In severe cases, your dog’s kennel cough can escalate to pneumonia, and should see a vet as soon as possible. This will usually not be the case and your dog should be up and “hacking-free” after a week or two.

We highly recommend giving your vet a call if you’re not too sure if your dog’s case is mild or severe.  

Prevent Kennel Cough

You can naturally prevent kennel cough by adding herbal immune system enhancers, such as vitamin c, olive leaf, astragalus, colloidal silver, and garlic. But, supplements aren’t as good as feeding a complete and balanced raw diet. 

Feeding natural dog food, like Cali Raw’s BARF dog food, can help prevent your dog from catching the cough. Raw dog food is biologically appropriate and has all the nutrition a dog needs to develop a strong immune system, which lowers the risk of getting sick. Since it’s raw and uncooked,BARF dog food is the healthiest and most nutritious of all other dog food types. 

Their body will thrive when fed a raw diet dog food, even if it’s only half raw food and half kibble. You can start by calculating how much to feed your dog and book a consultation with our team on the best way to start a raw diet for your dog. 


Interested In Starting Raw? 

Check out: Beginner’s Guide