Most cases of kennel cough are rather mild and we can just let it run its course.
If your dog’s coughing is accompanied by other more serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, lethargy, fever, you should take him to the vet for treatment.
If your dog is suffering from a mild case of kennel cough and he is active and alert, consider using some of the following home treatment for kennel cough. It can help relieve the discomfort caused by the dry hacking cough that is typical of kennel cough.
OTC Cough Suppressants
Cough suppressants are usually not recommended for coughs such as kennel cough, because they will delay the overall healing of the disease.
But if your dog is having dry, hacking coughs at night which are making it difficult for everyone to rest, limited use for a short period of time can help relieve the discomfort.
Cough medicines that contain the cough suppressant dextromethorphan (such as Robitussin-DM, Benylin Expectorant) are available over the counter.
Recommended dosage is one teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight every 6 hours.
A Natural Product for Kennel Cough
If you prefer to go natural, here is an excellent product that can be used for mild cases of kennel cough in dogs:
This all-natural product contains herbs such as mullein, slippery elm, licorice, and more. All these herbs are effective in managing and controlling symptoms of kennel cough.
Simple Kennel Cough Home Treatment
Here are some home remedies that you may want to try if your dog has mild kennel cough:
Hydrogen Peroxide and Honey
There are quite a few anecdotal reports that claim that hydrogen peroxide and honey can help ease the dry, hacking coughing caused by kennel cough. Add 3 drops of hydrogen peroxide (food grade) to a teaspoon of honey mixed into a large glass of water.
Let your dog drink up the water as soon as possible.
Hydrogen peroxide loses its potency after a few hours in water, so you need to give your dog a fresh new bowl of honey water with hydrogen peroxide every few hours.
If you have raw honey or Manuka honey (from New Zealand), try adding one teaspoon or so to a warm cup of water and give it to your dog. Honey can soothe the throat and is antibacterial as well.
Note on Manuka Honey UMF
Manuka honey comes in different grading levels called UMF (Unique Manuka Factor). This UMF grading system appraises the natural properties found in Manuka Honey, and assures purity and quality. The higher the grade, the better the quality. Get one that has an UMF of at least 15.)
If your dog refuses to drink it, use a medicine dropper and administer a few drops of the solution directly into his mouth every hour or so.
Some dog owners have reported good results in using coconut oil as home treatment for kennel cough. It’s not surprising because coconut oil has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties.
You can give about 1 teaspoon of coconut oil per 10 pounds of body weight in a day. An easy way is to give the oil with your dog’s food. If your dog has never had coconut oil before, start off by giving him a small amount (i.e. less than 1 tsp/10 pounds) to avoid loose stool or diarrhea. Then increase gradually.
If your dog has never had coconut oil before, start off by giving him a small amount to avoid loose stool or diarrhea.
Vitamin C / Echinacea
Vitamin C boosts your dog’s immune system so he can recover faster from diseases. Try giving your dog a daily dose of vitamin C. Dosage is 500 mg for bigger dogs and 250 mg for smaller dogs. An herbal tincture of echinacea can also be used to boost immunity.
Moisture / Essential Oils
If your dog has a dry cough, put a humidifier or vaporizer near his bed. This will help fill his airways with soothing moisture. If you have essential oils, adding a few drops to the vaporizer can help ease the cough as well.
Essential oils that can help dogs with kennel cough include lavender, eucalyptus, and niaouli since they all have antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Kennel Cough Prevention
The best way to prevent kennel cough is to strengthen your dog’s immune system.
Add a multiple vitamin supplement to your dog’s diet. In particular, vitamins C and E are essential for boosting the immune system.
The herb echinacea is also well-known for its power in immune boosting.
Here is a natural herbal formula for your dog’s immune system:
This natural herbal product contains the immune boosting herbs such as Echinacea, elderflower, and goldenseal. It is extremely effective in boosting the immune system and supporting the liver. As a result, the body can become strong enough to fight off infectious diseases such as kennel cough.