Medical and Natural Kennel Cough Treatments

Infectious canine tracheobronchitis, or commonly known as kennel cough, is a contagious respiratory disease that can affect your dog. It leads to an inflammation of the bronchi and trachea. If your dog makes noises as if it is choking on something or hacks away a lot, this could be a case of kennel cough. 

Kennel Cough Treatment

1. Medical Treatment

When you suspect your pet has kennel cough, you should separate it from other pets right away. Mild cases do not require medical treatment, which means your pet can recover without treatment within a few weeks. This is usually the case when your pet has kennel cough but is generally alert and has a good appetite. You will just have to wait and watch, and ensure that situation does not get worse.

  • You can use OTC cough suppressants to make your pet feel more comfortable. Mucinex is a good option, and so is Temaril-P which can also help treat itching in dogs.
  • It is also important to keep your dog in well-humidified rooms. The vet may choose to nebulize your dog by exposing it to humidified air – you can do the same by using nebulizers.
  • You may have to give your pet some antibiotics in case it is not eating and has signs of pneumonia. Some common antibiotics used in this case are Trimethoprim-sulfa, doxycycline, Baytril, and Clavamox.
  • You can give Robitussin to your dog if it is older than 2 years. Generally, you need to give it 4 times a day for 5-7 days to see positive results. Talk to a vet in case you notice no improvement after a week. Keep in mind that you should never use Robitussin for moist and productive coughs.

It is important to keep your dog isolated even after it has recovered because it may still be contagious up to 6-10 weeks.

2. Home Remedies

You can try several home remedies as kennel cough treatment. Here are some suggestions:

Lemon and Raw Honey

Vitamin C in lemon helps support the immune system of your pet. Simply mix a teaspoon of lemon juice, two tablespoons of honey, and half cup of water. Give it to your pet twice a day for relief.


Vitamins will help shorten recovery time for your dog. Vitamins also help boost the immune system of dogs and give them energy to clear any infection. How much vitamins to give your dog depends on its body weight. Generally, you can give a 500 mg tablet to your pet twice a day.

Chicken Soup

It may sound a bit strange, but chicken soup works great to soothe the throat of your dog. Moreover, it is also good for its immune system.

Garlic Pills

You should give a 500 mg garlic pill to your pet with its daily meals. This will strengthen its immune system and make it easier for it to recover quickly.

Coconut Oil

You can use coconut oil as a kennel cough treatment because it has potent antiviral property. A couple of teaspoons of coconut oil will do. To make it even easier, simply pour a few drops in your dog's food.


Cinnamon works because of its antiviral property. You just need to sprinkle half a teaspoon over your dog's food. This works exceptionally well to treat kennel cough.

Hot Water Bath

You may consider giving your pet a hot water bath to make it feel better. Steam will help improve breathing and warm water will make your dog feel relaxed. You can turn on the hot shower for 15 minutes and let your pet inhale the steam for a few minutes.

Anise Hyssop

This is a popular herb and helps get rid of mucous accumulations. It also soothes irritated throat and makes breathing easier. You can find it at any health store with ease.


If it feels as if your pet has phlegm in its chest or throat, you can make use of this herb for relief. It can help get the phlegm out. 


It is one of the best herbs to improve your pet's immune system. With better immunity, it will be easier for your pet to clear the infection. Echinacea has strong antibacterial and antiviral properties, and you can use it until your dog recovers completely.

Licorice Root Tea

You can use licorice root to prepare herbal tea and give it to your dog to treat kennel cough. Simply add a tablespoon of dried licorice root to a couple of cups of cold water. Then, boil the mixture and leave it for a while until it reaches room temperature. Give 2 tablespoons to your dog for relief. You can also add a teaspoon of honey to the mixture to make it more effective.

Essential Oils

If you are seeking natural kennel cough treatment, try essential oils. The use of essential oils helps improve the respiratory system of your pet. You can opt for eucalyptus, lavender, or tea tree oil for this purpose. 

How to Prevent Kennel Cough

It may take a while for your beloved pet to recover completely, which is why it is better to take steps to prevent kennel cough in the first place. Have your dogs vaccinated for the bordetella bacterium, especially if your dog frequently goes outside, competes in canine sports, visits doggy day care, or plays with other dogs in any way. You can find the vaccine in intranasal, oral, and injectable forms. Your dog usually needs two doses about 2-4 weeks apart, and it will need a booster shot every 6-12 months.

Vaccination is important, but it may not always prevent kennel cough because agents other than bordetella can be responsible for the disease.   

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