Boarding for Summer Vacation: What is Kennel Cough

Dr. Sabrina Kordis, DVM
Partner Veterinarian CityVet Alliance

As summer approaches and vacation plans begin to take shape, many pet owners will be considering boarding options for their beloved dogs. An essential aspect of preparing for your pet’s stay at a boarding facility is understanding the risks of kennel cough.

What is Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease among dogs. It is often compared to a cold in humans and is most commonly caused by the Bordetella bronchiseptica bacterium, although other viruses and bacteria can also contribute to the condition.

How is Kennel Cough Spread?

The disease spreads through:

  • Airborne droplets when infected dogs cough or sneeze.
  • Direct contact, such as touching noses.
  • Contaminated objects like water bowls or toys.

Kennel cough is aptly named because it spreads rapidly in environments where many dogs congregate, such as boarding facilities, dog parks, and grooming salons.

Symptoms and Risk Factors

The primary symptom of kennel cough is a persistent, forceful cough that often sounds like a “honk.” Other symptoms may include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Eye discharge
  • Lethargy

Puppies, elderly dogs, or those with weakened immune systems are at higher risk of developing severe complications.

Choosing a Boarding Facility

The importance of selecting a reputable boarding facility cannot be overstated. Here’s what to look for:

  • Facilities that require proof of vaccination, including the Bordetella vaccine.
  • High standards of cleanliness and proper ventilation to minimize the risk of infections.

If you’re planning to board your dog this summer, CityVet can assist in finding the best place that meets these health and safety standards. We recommend visiting potential facilities to ask about their vaccination policies and how they handle outbreaks of illnesses like kennel cough.

Acting on Symptoms

If you notice your dog showing signs of kennel cough before or after a stay in a boarding facility, it’s important to act quickly. Contact CityVet to schedule an appointment. Our team is ready to provide the care your dog needs to recover swiftly and safely.

Remember, prevention is key when dealing with contagious illnesses like kennel cough. Choosing the right boarding facility and staying vigilant for symptoms helps ensure your dog stays healthy and enjoys their summer just as much as you do!

For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit us at CityVet.

Enjoy your summer vacation, and rest assured that your furry friends are in good hands!