Low Shires Boarding Kennels

Canine Cough / Kennel Cough Information and Advice

The correct name for kennel cough is ‘acute infection tracheobronchitis’, which is an infection of the upper airways in dogs. This is caused by a combination of the virus - Canine Parainfluenza and the bacteria - Bordatella Bronchispectica.


It is highly contagious and can be caught ANYWHERE - i.e. - not just from kennels. It spreads easily through airborne droplets, anywhere where dogs can meet and mingle. For example - the park, any dog walks, pavements, vet’s waiting rooms, dog training areas and yes, indeed - boarding kennels. 


However, as you all know, I am not the kennels that mixes dogs from different households. The only contact dogs have with each other here is the communal walkways at the front and back of the kennels, which are both disinfected every day as part of my daily kennel cleaning regime. 


The most common signs of KC are a dry ‘honking’ cough, possibly some sneezing and maybe generally lethargy. Most cases are not serious and dogs who contract KC are usually well in themselves - it’s just a bit of a nuisance, a bit like when we pick up a cold ourselves.


To protect your dog from kennel cough in what is considered to be a high risk environment, I require the you vaccinate your dog against kennel cough. The most common vaccination being the droplets up the nose one. However, as this is a live vaccine - essentially your dog will be carrying a little bit of kennel cough around with them for a few days following administration. 


For that reason, I request that you leave a 14 day gap from vaccination to arriving in kennels.


Much like the human flu vaccination (and indeed, now the Covid 19 vaccinations) - vaccinating against kennel cough does not totally eliminate the risk of contracting this virus by 100%, but it does significantly reduce the risk of infection and boosts their chances of a speedy recovery should they be unlucky enough to catch it. Also, just like the human flu vaccine, the canine KC vaccine only covers 2 or 3 strains of a this multi - strain virus, which generally has new variants coming through all the time (where have we all heard that before, recently??).


Even if you do not plan a kennel stay in the near future, it is strongly advised to keep up with your annual kennel cough vaccines (an indeed keep an eye on your dates and holiday plans), so I don’t have to turn you away for your next stay if it has been administered too close to your required dates.



I hope you have found this information useful.