Kennel Cough? Understanding And Preventing Kennel Cough With The Bordetella Vaccine

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Getting My Dog Proper Medical Care

When I became a pet owner, I didn't realize how difficult my new way of life would be. Unfortunately, after a few days I found myself largely overwhelmed with all of my new responsibilities. My pet took a lot out of me, including my ability to leave the house without making arrangements first. However, one day when my dog fell off of a steep embankment, my priorities instantly shifted in the right direction. As I rushed my dog to the veterinarian, all I could think about was getting my sweet little pup the help she needed. My blog talks about veterinary care for new pet owners, so that you can keep your animals safe.


Kennel Cough? Understanding And Preventing Kennel Cough With The Bordetella Vaccine

12 February 2016
 Categories: , Articles

Bringing a dog into your home and family's life is an exciting experience, but it requires a great deal of discipline and responsibility. From feeding and exercising to training and healthcare, there are many tasks necessary to keep your dog healthy and happy. Unfortunately, you may not be focusing enough on your dog's vaccinations. Considering the Bordetella vaccination is associated with preventing kennel cough, it may not seem like a necessity since you do not board your dog. However, your dog can develop kennel cough without boarding. Using this guide, you will understand the dangers of kennel cough and the importance of the Bordetella vaccine for your dog.

Kennel Cough

In most cases, kennels and boarding facilities are clean, safe environments for your dog to stay while you are away from home. Of course, your dog will most likely be around other dogs, cats, and other pets, so the risk of bacteria and viruses in the kennel area will be higher. Due to this presence of bacteria and virus, your dog may contract kennel cough.

If your dog is displaying the following symptoms, they may have kennel cough:

  • Hacking Cough
  • Vomiting During and After Coughing
  • Runny Nose

Fortunately, most cases of kennel cough will clear up on their own within 1 to 3 weeks. However, consult your veterinarian to treat the symptoms of their kennel cough. A medicated syrup may be used to control your dog's cough, which will reduce the vomiting as well.  In severe cases, your dog will need to take a series of antibiotics to reduce the risk of developing pneumonia.


Even if you do not board regularly, your dog should receive the Bordetella vaccination. While surprising for many dog owners to learn, kennel cough can be contracted at different times and locations.

Use caution when visiting places with your dog, since infected dogs may be visiting the same places, increasing your dog's risk of developing kennel cough. You do not need to avoid these places, but make sure your dog does not eat or drink from a bowl that other dogs may have used.

Also, do not allow your dog to chew the bones or toys of other dogs. Although going out with your dog can be fun, visiting the following places can place them at a higher risk of developing kennel cough:

  • Groomer
  • Veterinarian/Animal Hospital
  • Doggie Day Care
  • Training Class
  • Parks
  • Flea Markets
  • Farmer's Markets
  • Pet Stores
  • Pet Friendly Hotels
  • Other Pet Friendly Events/Retailers

Ensuring your dog receives the Bordetella vaccination is smart for effective prevention of kennel cough.  The vaccine should be administered according to your dog's age. Use the following schedule to determine when your dog should receive their Bordetella vaccine:

  • Puppy – The Bordetella vaccine can be injected between the ages of 6 and 8 weeks, but a second dose should come 2 to 4 weeks later.
  • Adult Dogs (16 weeks of age or more) – The vaccine can be injected twice, 2 to 4 weeks apart.
  • Adult Dogs – Booster shots of the Bordetella vaccine should be given every 6 to 12 weeks.

Many retailers offer vaccines to purchase and administer on your own. While these contain the same vaccinations used in your veterinarian's practice, administering these injections requires skill and experience. It is best to consult your veterinarian for your dog's vaccinations and medical care.

After your dog receives the Bordetella and other vaccinations, watch them carefully. If your dog seems fatigued, depressed, or irritable or shows lameness or any signs of an allergic reaction, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Caring for your dog may seem overwhelming, but offering them a healthy and happy home is essential. By understanding the kennel cough disorder, you will see the importance of the Bordetella vaccination. For more information about this vaccine, contact a company like O'Sullivan Animal Hospital Vet.