Has your dog been diagnosed with kennel cough? You probably have many questions, including can I walk my dog with kennel cough?
First of all, don’t panic. Kennel cough is a pretty common disease among canines. It is easily treatable, but you will need to take precautions to help your furbaby recover faster and limit the spreading of this illness.
Read on for detailed information regarding the walks, exercise, and treatment that will help your pup recover from this contagious disease as quickly as possible.
What Exactly Is Kennel Cough?
The scientific name for this common disease is canine infectious tracheobronchitis. It is highly contagious and is most often caused by the Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria.
Kennel cough easily spread in places where there are many dogs confined in one place, such as shelters, doggy parks, daycares, kennels, grooming salons, and others.
It can be passed from one pup to another by direct contact, airborne bacteria, or contact with contaminated surfaces. In other words, your furry companion may spread it via sneezing, coughing, and contaminated bowls, toys, and even leashes.
Although it is more common among younger puppies, kennel cough can affect pups of all ages and breeds.
While it is usually an easily treatable condition, kennel cough is particularly rough for younger puppies and for dogs with weak immune systems.
The most common symptoms of the illness are the specific goose-like honking sound during coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, loss of appetite, a low fever, and lethargy.
Keep in mind that there are other diseases that have similar symptoms, such as the canine influenza virus and the distemper virus, and more serious conditions, such as bronchitis, a collapsing trachea, asthma, and heart disease.
So, always contact your veterinarian if your four-legged companion has such symptoms.
Can I Walk My Dog With Kennel Cough?
All dogs need walks to urinate, defecate, and stay active. But if your dog is infected with kennel cough, you should limit its exercise and strenuous physical activities to a minimum until it gets better.
As a responsible dog parent, you should also make sure to keep it away from other pups in order to limit the spread of the disease.
Care For Your Pup’s Throat
Kennel cough causes severe coughing and throat soreness. This is why you should also switch to using a harness instead of a collar when walking your sick dog. This will help relieve the pressure on its trachea and limit the coughing and the risk of damage to it.
Limit The Dog Walks For Faster Recovery
Kennel cough is usually due to a bacterial infection. This means that your dog will need as much energy as possible for its body to fight off the disease faster.
So, make sure to limit your walks and avoid strenuous physical exercise with your dog until it gets better and is in the clear.
Even if your pup seems happy and energetic, make sure to limit its walks to a minimum. Take breaks if needed while walking it.
Stay Away From The Dog Park
No matter how much your furbaby loves the dog park, be a responsible dog parent and keep it away from places where there are other dogs until the kennel cough symptoms disappear.
Kennel cough is highly contagious, so it can be spread via direct contact between the dogs, the droplets in the air, and even dog bowls, leashes, toys, fences, and other items.
Protect The Other Dogs
Be responsible, and keep your furry friend away from any places where there are a lot of other dogs, such as grooming salons, daycare centers, parks, and others.
Warn other dog owners to stay at a safe distance from you if you happen to meet.
After all, you would expect other dog parents to do the same for you and your furry companion, too, right?
How Often Should Dogs With Kennel Cough Go On Walks?
As mentioned earlier, your pup will need as much rest as possible, in order to beat the disease as quickly and with as few complications as possible.
The number of walks your dog needs depends on its age, activity level, and overall health.
Make sure to limit the number and length of the walks if the weather is cold when your dog is ill.
If the weather is warm and it is relatively humid, you can spend some time sitting outdoors with your pup, where it can soak up some sun.
How Long Should I Walk My Dog If It Has Kennel Cough?
Take your sick dog for a brief walk for about 15-20 minutes in a safe and quarantined area, away from other dogs.
Remember that while it is sick, your pup may lack energy and stamina. Even if it seems energetic and happy, restrict the walks and playtime to a minimum.
How Long After The Dog Has Recovered from Kennel Cough Can I Walk It Normally?
It would be best if you waited until the symptoms of kennel cough have subdued completely, and after 2-3 weeks, you can return to your regular walking schedule.
Then you can switch back to using a collar instead of a harness and reintroduce your furry friend back to the dog park and to its social life with other dogs without fear of contaminating them. You can also go back to your long walks, playtime, and other usual activities with your pet.
Can Exercise Worsen Kennel Cough?
Yes, too much exercise will cause rapid breathing and can lead to even more coughing and throat inflammation in dogs with kennel cough.
This is why you should restrict the physical activities of your sick pup to as little as possible until the symptoms subside completely.
Can Exercise Help Dogs With Kennel Cough?
Exercise is good for canines and for humans alike, but only when they are healthy and well.
While your pup is recovering from kennel cough, make sure to limit the physical exercise in order to help your pet beat the infection faster and with no complications.
If it is warm outdoors, and your pup is particularly eager to play, you can give it some play time, but in a safe area away from other dogs.
Is Rest Essential For Dogs With Kennel Cough?
Yes. Your pup will need as much rest as possible in order to recover from the kennel cough as quickly as possible.
Once the symptoms disappear and your dog starts feeling better, it will get its appetite and stamina back so that you can return to your previous, more active lifestyle again.
The Best Food For Dogs With Kennel Cough
Your sick pup will most likely have a sore throat and may lose its appetite if it has this illness. To make it easier on the throat, try feeding it some warm broth or adding warm water to its wet food to make it softer and easier to swallow.
Also, ensure that your dog has access to clean and fresh water at all times because it will need to drink more water to stay hydrated as it recovers from the kennel cough.
Steam Treatment For Kennel Cough
You can help ease your pup’s coughing via steam treatment. Run the hot shower, and let the dog sit inside the bathroom (not under the shower) in order to inhale the humid air. Or invite your pet to join you inside the bathroom while you are showering. This will help break up the mucus and relieve the symptoms.
Medication For Kennel Cough
Make sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions for treating the kennel cough. You may get a prescription for an antibiotic and cough medication from the vet, depending on the age and condition of your pet. Ensure that you provide your dog with the prescribed dosage per your veterinarian’s instructions.
Get A Vaccine For Kennel Cough
The best treatment is prevention. If you want to prevent a kennel cough infection altogether, you can vaccinate your pup. A viable vaccine will protect your furbaby from this nasty illness. It is an annual vaccine available in oral, injectable, and intra-nasal forms.
It is essential to vaccinate your furry friend if it spends a lot of time in doggie daycare or other places where there are a lot of other dogs.