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What is Canine Cough? 


Canine Cough is tracheobronchitis. It is often improperly referred to as “Kennel Cough” as it is often spread in enclosed areas where dogs come in contact with each other. It can be viral or bacterial. The most common organism associated with Canine Cough is a bacteria called Bordetella bronchiseptica. This highly contagious upper respiratory illness can be spread via the air or through direct contact. It can spread from dog to dog through greetings, from water dishes, or through germs on surfaces. It is very similar to a chest cold in humans. The incubation period is 3-7 days. The illness is not usually very serious. Most dogs can get over it on their own. Just as with a cold in humans. In some rare cases a secondary infection can occur so you should closely monitor your dog. Canine Cough is usually a seasonal illness. Your dog may be exposed anywhere; at the dog park, going on a neighborhood walk, while boarding, in a daycare center, at your veterinarians office, dog shows, obedience classes, you can even bring it home to your dog on your clothing! Dogs build up their immunity against Canine Cough through exposure to the illness. Dogs who frequently attend daycare may not be as susceptible to it. A dog who stops in once a year for boarding will be at a greater risk for picking up the illness. Puppies, senior dogs and dogs with compromised immune systems are also at a greater risk. 


Does canine cough occur only in pet care facilities? 

No. Much like our common cold, these viruses can occur anywhere, and can travel for considerable distances through the air and on contaminated surfaces. Dogs can even be exposed at home or on a walk through the park. However, it is more likely to take place at locations where there is a concentration of dogs; such as in dog parks, veterinarian offices, pet stores, or at facilities that offer daycare/boarding/grooming. 




The best way to protect your pet is by vaccinating for canine adenovirus, distemper, parainfluenza, and bordatella. These components are all included in the DHLPP or DA2PPV and Bordatella vaccinations. However, the Bordatella vaccine is not 100% effective. As there are several different strains of Canine Cough, and Bordetella only protects against one. Just as the flu vaccine for humans does not protect against every strain of the flu. For more information regarding vaccinating your pet, please ask your veterinarian. Also, inform your veterinarian that your pet will be participating in group play with other pets so they can make sure your pet is properly vaccinated. 


Why doesn’t Bark Lodge require all dogs be vaccinated? 


Although we strongly recommend dogs be vaccinated against Bordetella we do not require it. Because the vaccine is not 100% effective on all strains of the virus, requiring the vaccine will not guarantee protection for our clients. As with all medical illnesses and concerns, we recommend you consult your vet about any vaccinations and medications regarding their health.


Can my dog come to visit Bark Lodge if he/she has a cough? 


No. If your dog has symptoms of canine cough please keep them at home. We do not want anyone else’s dog to be exposed. We recommend keeping them at home until 5 days after their last cough.


How is it treated? 


Just as humans with a cold, Canine Cough is not “cured.” It must run its course. Antibiotics can be prescribed to prevent a secondary infection.

However, these medications do not attack the illness itself. Monitor your dog, they should show signs of recovery after approximately 5 days. Make sure they are eating and drinking normally. If you notice signs of breathing difficulty or lethargy bring them to your vet.



• A persistent dry cough, or dry hack 

• It may sound as if your dog is trying to clear his/ her throat 

• The cough can be triggered by excitement or exercise 

• They may cough phlegm 

• Nasal discharge 

• Fever in some cases

What does Bark Lodge do to protect my pet from Canine Cough? 


At Bark Lodge we have a ventilation system in place that cycles the interior air with fresh outside air. We clean our boarding rooms/daycare rooms, all of our walls, floors, **toys, bowls with a veterinary grade disinfectant that is proven to kill over 500 strains of bacteria, viruses and fungi. All of or boarding rooms are made of PVC panels, and can be easily cleaned. Dogs exhibiting signs of Canine Cough are kept away from other dogs. Parents are immediately called and asked to pick up their dog if they are showing symptoms. However, no amount of supervision, sanitation, or personalized care is 100% effective in protecting your pet from catching Canine Cough. 

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