Anyone who uses doggie daycare, boards their pup, or has visited their local animal shelter has heard the telltale honking cough of Bordetella bronchiseptica, or kennel cough. Luckily you don’t need a DVM degree to protect your pal from this highly contagious bug–just take the following steps.
Start with a healthy diet. “Dry and canned pet foods tend to promote inflammation in the body,” explains holistic veterinarian Robert Silver, DVM. A home-cooked or raw diet is ideal, but if you use processed food, opt for natural or organic varieties that are high in protein with fewer and simpler ingredients.
Supplement. Immune-boosting supplements like probiotics, digestive enzymes, and fish oil will lay a strong foundation for fighting off infection.
Limit exposure. Keep Rover away from dog parks and day cares if other dogs have recently been sick.
Treat immediately. If your buddy starts showing signs of kennel cough, take him to the vet right away. According to Silver, depending on the severity of his symptoms, your vet may opt for gentle homeopathic remedies or recommend immediate antibiotic and narcotic treatment.
Vaccinate or not? While all day cares and kennels require it, vaccination cannot cover every strain of the virus, and in some cases it can induce illness or cause your dog to become contagious for several days.
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