A high number of kennel cough cases have been reported in the UK in recent months.
According to the Blue Cross, there has been an increase in reports in London and Hertfordshire in particular.
TeamDogs has spoken with a pet behaviourist to explain how kennel cough might impact your pet – and how you can help treat it.
Kennel cough is a respiratory infection caused by a number of bacteria and viruses.
Just as in chest infections in humans, it is normally a combination of both that affects the respiratory system resulting in a cough.
The Blue Cross says the most obvious symptom is a forceful, hacking cough.
Read more here:Meet the puppy who loves to cuddle other dogs he meets on walks
Kennel cough is the respiratory infection caused by a number of bacteria and viruses. (GETTY)
The cough can be dry and hoarse or productive, in which case it can be followed by a gag, swallowing motion or the production of mucus.
In most cases, dogs with kennel cough will appear healthy apart from coughing. But others might have a runny nose, sneezing or eye discharge and they should retain their appetite.
It can often sound like your dog has something stuck in their throat but majority of the time no veterinary treatment is needed.
Pet behaviorist Harsh Goyal told TeamDogs: “ Kennel cough is a common name for Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC).
“It spreads from the Parainfluenza virus when canines get exposed to other breeds in daycare facilities, public dog parks, and training groups.
The Blue Cross says the most obvious symptom is a forceful, hacking cough. (GETTY)
“Although their constant coughing noises can make any dog owner feel dreadful, most of the time, dogs’ antibodies recover themselves without undergoing any veterinary treatment.
“If the disease goes serious, it can be treated by cough medicines that target Bortedella bacteria.
“It’s recommended to visit your vet if things got serious and your pet feels unwell. Vets can also advise you to go for vaccinations that will minimise the risk of further coughing infections.”
He also recommends using a no pull harness as this helps in reducing the coughing.
Are you TeamDogs?
TeamDogs is a community for dog lovers who want to get the most out of their relationship with their best pal.
Make sharing the cutest photos of your dog your first job on the website and after you’ve done that, leave a tip to help fellow dog owners live their best lives as a proud pooch parent.
Search through hundreds of recommended walks, treats, toys and places to stay when you’re on an adventure together.
From dog-friendly pubs to product reviews and the latest news, you can sniff it all out at TeamDogs.
It can take around three-four weeks for your dog to recover completely from coughing, and in serious cases, it can take upto six or seven weeks.
Although many dogs recover without veterinary treatment, others like puppies, elderly dogs or those with existing medical conditions can be susceptible to complications from kennel cough such as pneumonia.
To aid recovery for all dogs, make sure your home is well ventilated and avoid using a collar and lead as any pulling might aggravate the windpipe further.
If treatment is given, antibiotics can kill the bordetella bacteria – the most common present in kennel cough cases. Cough suppressants and anti-inflammatories can also be given to make your pet a bit more comfortable as they make a natural recovery.
It is advised that dogs can catch kennel cough more than once as there are many different strains.
However, if your dog has contracted the Bordetella bronchiseptica strain, usually they will be immune to reinfection for the next six to 12 months.