22 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Kennel Cough

Home Remedies for Kennel Cough
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Kennel cough (also known as Bordetella) is an infection of a dog’s the upper respiratory system that may last for 10-20 days. It is easily curable at home. The main symptoms of kennel cough are intermittent coughing which increases at night, difficulty in eating food, runny eyes and nose. Vomiting mucus after coughing, eye discharge, and yellow or clear nasal discharge, fever and the lethargic appearance of the dog are some other symptoms of kennel cough.  If you want to know how to get rid of kennel cough then we’ve got you covered. Our home remedies for kennel cough will prevent it from spreading and will cure the disease in no time.

home remedies for kennel coughWhat is Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough is a canine respiratory infection typically caused by a bacterium called Bordetella bronchiseptica. However, sometimes kennel cough can be caused by the canine parainfluenza virus. Both of these pathogens attack the respiratory tract and cause inflammation. [1]

Kennel cough is also known as Bordetellosis or canine infectious tracheobronchitis. Whichever term you choose to use, this type of a cough can make your dog suffer. [2]

The most common symptom of a kennel cough includes a dry, consistent cough. Most of the time, it is forceful and quite irritating to the dog.

A kennel cough sound is quite distinctive. It typically will sound dry or may be filled with mucus. Other signs include runny eyes, vomiting mucus, and nasal discharge. There may be a reduction in appetite and the energy level of your dog. [3]

If your dog has fallen a victim and you are searching for kennel cough antibiotics, we have a better solution. Try the following natural home remedies to get rid of kennel cough now.

How is kennel cough spread

Kennel cough is highly contagious and is quickly spread between dogs who are in close quarters. As the name suggests, dogs held in kennels or animal shelters are more likely to catch the cough.

Symptoms appear quickly after infection. Indeed, Kennel cough can spread through a kennel in less than a day.

Kennel cough is transmitted by virus or bacteria, and similarly to a human cough or cold, kennel cough is spread through infected airborne water droplets produced by the dog when it sneezes or coughs.

The kennel cough pathogens can survive for several hours outside the body and surfaces that come into contact with an infected dog can remain contagious and will spread the disease.

How long does kennel cough last?

Kennel cough is very rarely fatal and most dogs will recover from the condition in 2 to 4 weeks. Vulnerable dogs such as puppies and elder animals, or those with weakened immune systems may take a few weeks longer to recover.

Kennel cough recovery time can be shortened by a week or so if kennel cough antibiotics are administered. However, if the cause of the cough is viral, antibiotics will have no effect on recovery time.

How to prevent kennel cough from spreading

The best method to prevent kennel cough is by vaccination for the Bordetella bacterium, the most common cause of kennel cough. The vaccination needs to be maintained and may even be required if you wish to leave your dog with certain kennels.

As to how long is kennel cough contagious, it should be known that a dog can remain contagious for several weeks after infection. This is true even if a dog has recovered from all symptoms.

So to prevent infection in your dog, ensure that there are no communal water bowls for dogs, and dogs who have recently been infected should be kept apart.

As dogs can be contagious but also show no symptoms, try to keep unvaccinated dogs away to prevent the spread of the disease.

how to get rid of kennel coughHome Remedies for Kennel Cough

  1. Try Steam Inhalation

steamMaking your dog inhale steam is better than using kennel cough antibiotics. The warmth of this steam can open the blocked bronchial tube. It will also get rid of all the extra phlegm from the dog’s throat. [4]

Take your dog to the bathroom and turn on the hot shower. Close the door and let the steam build up for some time. Allow your dog to take this steam for 20 minutes. Repeat every day.

  1. Use Honey

Honeyhoney for kennel cough is a popular choice for treating kennel cough in dogs. It has strong antibacterial properties which can kill the bacteria responsible for it. [5]

Honey can also reduce the nasal discharge that occurs along with kennel cough. Its immune-boosting properties will also strengthen your dog’s immune system.

To use honey for kennel cough, give half a teaspoon of honey to your dog thrice every day. You can also mix one teaspoon of lemon juice in two teaspoons of honey. Add this mixture to half a cup of warm water and give it to your dog twice every day.

  1. Rely on Coconut Oil

coconut oilIn the recent years, coconut oil has gained a lot of popularity as a canine cough suppressant. It is rich in medium-chain fatty acids which can kill the causative bacteria in dogs. [6]

Be sure to give one teaspoon of coconut oil per 10 pounds of your pet’s weight. Most of the dogs seem to like the taste of coconut oil so, it can be fed using a spoon.

You can also mix one teaspoon of coconut oil in one teaspoon of honey and give it to your dog thrice a day.

  1. Get Food-grade Hydrogen Peroxide

hydrogen peroxideIt may not be easy to find food-grade hydrogen peroxide but it is definitely worth the effort. Hydrogen peroxide can not only suppress a dog cough but can also kill the agent responsible for it. [7]

Food grade hydrogen peroxide is concentrated at least 15 percent or higher and is safe to use.

Take one teaspoon of raw honey and dissolve it in 6 ounces of warm water. Add three drops of food-grade hydrogen peroxide in it. Take a piece of bread, dip it in this solution and feed it to your dog twice every day.

Alternatively, use diluted hydrogen peroxide for sterilizing water bowl of your dog.

  1. Go for Vitamin C

vitamin cIf your pet is struggling with kennel cough, do not forget about the significance of vitamin C.

Vitamin C can speed up the recovery process and can boost the immune system owing to its high antioxidant ratio. [8] Give 500 mg of vitamin C to your dog every day. Reduce the dose to half the amount in case you have a small dog.

If you have doubts about giving supplements to your dog, consult a doctor.

  1. Ask for Oil of Oregano

Oregano oioregano oill has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. It can be a great remedy to treat cough in dogs as well as in humans.

Oregano oil has potent phenols such as carvacrol and thymol which can kill the bacterial agent causing kennel cough in your dog. [9]

To follow this remedy, add 2 to drops of oregano oil in your pet’s food every day. You can also mix one drop of this oil in one teaspoon of coconut oil. Apply this mixture on the throat and neck of your dog.

Another simple way of using oregano oil is by putting a few drops of it in your humidifier. This will moisten the atmosphere and soothe your dog’s throat.

  1. Feed Probiotic Foods

probioticsProbiotic foods such as yogurt have a high nutritional value, not only for humans but also for their four-legged friends. [10]

These probiotics can help fight the bacteria in your pet’s body and make them feel better soon. They are also an immune booster and can prevent recurrences.

Include yogurt in your pet’s daily diet to treat kennel cough. You can also consult a vet for using probiotic supplements.

  1. Make Licorice Tea

licorice teaHerbal teas can be a great way of soothing your dog’s cough. Licorice root is an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent at the same time.

This means it can not only fight the bacterial infection but can reduce inflammation too. [11]

Add one teaspoon of licorice root powder in two cups of boiling water. Let the solution boil for some time, then simmer it for 5 minutes. Cool it down and strain it.

Mix two teaspoons of this tea in your dog’s meal every day for a week. You can easily store the rest of the tea in your fridge for 5 days.

  1. Prepare Chicken Soup

soupThis remedy seems strange but is effective for kennel cough prevention and treatment.

Chicken soup is a highly nutritious food. The antioxidants in it can fight all respiratory infections and fasten recovery. Additionally, it can also give a boost to your dog’s weak immune system

Feed homemade chicken soup to your dog in small amounts. Repeat this remedy several times a day. Don’t forget to add some cinnamon powder on the soup for added benefit.

  1. Increase Moisture in Air

humidityTo make your dog healthy again soon, keep the air inside your home moist. A high moisture level prevents the throat from becoming dry and reduces cough attacks.

Use a humidifier or your air conditioner if it has a built-in humidifier mode. This will ease down the breathing struggles and let your dog sleep peacefully.

  1. Go for Cinnamon

cinnamonCinnamon is a popular antibacterial agent for fighting different infections of the body. Because kennel cough is caused by a bacteria, cinnamon can be highly effective against it. [12]

Measure half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder and sprinkle it on your dog’s meals every day. Do it twice every day until the symptoms subside.

  1. Give Garlic Pill

garlicAs it is already known, garlic is a potent antibacterial agent. It can find all types of bacteria, especially the type that causes kennel cough. [13]

Buy 500 mg garlic tablets and add it to your dog’s meals every day. Be sure to consult a vet before following this remedy.

  1. Make an Essential Oil Spray

Essential oils for kennel cough are one of the most popular remedies for dog cough. These oils can help clear the nasal cavities and unblock the bronchial tubes in dogs.

Additionally, essential oils soothe an irritated throat and reduce the cough attacks. Their anti-bacterial properties can also kill the causative bacteria once and for all

Take a spray bottle and add ten drops of tea tree oil, lavender oil, oregano oil, and chamomile oil each. Fill the rest of the tube with plain water.

Use this spray on your dog’s bedding and around your dog to make them breathe easier.

  1. Find Echinacea

EchinaceaTreat kennel cough in your dog with echinacea which not only kills bacteria but also boosts immunity. You can either use echinacea flowers or tablets to help your dog recover faster.

Get 50 mg of echinacea tablet and mix it with your dog’s food once every day. [14]

You can also boil echinacea flowers in water to form a herbal tea. Add two teaspoons of this tea to your dog’s food daily.

  1. Try Slippery Elm

slippery elmSlippery elm is a herb that can reduce throat soreness and irritation. It has been used to treat human respiratory disorders and can be useful for your dog too.

Get the dried form of slippery elm and sprinkle a bit of it on your dog’s meals every day. Keep doing it until the cough is gone.

  1. Find Anise Hyssop

aniseedAnise Hyssop belongs to licorice family and can cure kennel cough in dogs. It can stop the mucus production and soothe down an irritated throat in humans. The same effects can be observed in your dog.

Take Anise Hyssop in dried form and mix it in warm water. Fill this solution in a syringe and release it in your dog’s mouth. Massage the throat of your dog to help them swallow it.

Repeat it thrice every day.

  1. Give them Time to Rest

dog restHelp your dog get better by ensuring that they get sufficient amount of rest. Limit their daily activity as they recover from kennel cough.

Make sure that you provide them with a warm, dry place to rest. You can use pet-safe heating pads to provide your dog with a cozy place to sleep. Run a blanket through the dryer and use it as a warming wrap.

  1. Remove Irritants

no chemicalsIf you think that a particular agent is causing an increase in your dog’s cough, remove it at once. An air cleaner can be a perfect way to remove all the dust particles, allowing your dog to breathe more easily.

Do not allow your dog to go in tall grass as they can inhale the seed heads which can further irritate their throat.

  1. Massage your Dog

dog massageMassage can reduce a cough and breathing problems in your dog. In fact, it is a lot better than kennel cough antibiotics.

Use stroking patterns going in a downward direction to massage your dog’s throat. Start from the throat, just over the windpipe and move over to the chest area.

Also massage between both shoulder blades and back of your dog in a gentle, back and forth motion. This will reduce the intensity of cough in your dog.

  1. Use Cod Liver Oil

fish oilCod liver oil is rich in essential fatty acids. These fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce the symptoms of kennel cough in dogs. [15]

Include half a teaspoon for smaller dogs and one teaspoon of this oil for larger dogs in their daily diet.

  1. Get Sage Leaves

sageSage leaves can help your dog breathe more easily. These leaves have anti-inflammatory effects that open the blocked airways and reduce cough. [16]

Mix one teaspoon of sage leaves in two cups of hot water and let it boil. Cool down and strain this solution. Mix two teaspoons of it in your dog’s food every day.

  1. Find Astragalus

AstragalusAstragalus is a Chinese herb traditionally used to cure the kennel cough and strengthen immunity. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can heal damaged tissue.

The regular intake of this herb will regenerate bronchial cells and regulate normal breathing. [17]

Prepare astragalus tea by boiling this herb in water and mixing two teaspoons of it in your dog’s food daily.


  • Clean the water and food bowl of the pet regularly.
  • Keep other pets away from the infected dog and let it stay in isolation for a while.
  • Keep your pet in the healthy, warm, and moist environment.
  • Motivate the pet to drink more and more water.
  • Get your dog vaccinated by the vet as soon as possible to prevent any further infection.


  • Don’t let your dog walk on humid or wet floors.
  • Do not put on the dog collar for a while.
  • Don’t smoke in the house till the problem is gone.
  • Do not use any toxic cleaner on the floor as it may harm the pet.


  1. A very important and informative article on the pet’s kennel cough. There are medical clinics for animals which can help to understand the actual or possible reason for such disease and the remedies for fast recovery.


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