There’s nothing worse than your dog getting sick and you have no idea what’s really going on because your pet simply can’t talk to tell you what’s wrong.
Well, if you’re dog has started coughing either at a regular or off and on consistency, or continuously through out the day (and/or night), or they’ve got a cough that’s been getting more bothersome you may not have to rush your pet off to the vet and get hit with a heavy vet bill just yet. If their condition is due to kennel cough, the most widely contracted disease among dogs worldwide, there are numerous, effective home remedies and affordable kennel cough treatments you can try that can cure your dog’s ailments and sooth their symptoms very similar to the way we treat the human cold.
However, before opting to try and cure your dog on your own, it’s important to your dog’s well being to determine a few important details first:
Is your dog mildly ill, (simple kennel cough is really no more serious then the cold is to humans) or could your dog be more seriously ill and actually need veterinary care? While kennel cough is not an emergency health issue, if your dog has been coughing persistently for more then 10 days an appointment at the vet is strongly recommended.
For example, is your dog showing signs of other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, sneezing and excessive nasal discharge, loss of appetite or lethargy (weakness and inability to be maintain a normal degree of activity and exercise)? These are all signs of diseases and conditions that are far more serious for your dog’s health then kennel cough.
If the answer is yes to either of these considerations, then you should definitely take your dog to the vet as these symptoms can be caused by much more serious, even life threatening conditions in your dog.
If the answer is no to both however, here is a selection of some of the time tested alternatives for the kennel cough treatments that you can give your dog if he or she isn’t suffering from acute symptoms, there a great range of them to choose from and a number of types to from which to select, including:
- and aromatherapy
Kennel Cough Supplements
Just like when we have a cold some of the common supplements we use to get over our symptoms and re-claim our health can be used to treat your dog’s kennel cough as well.
- Vitamin C for example which acts as an anti-viral, can be given to a dog, the amount you give your dog depends on their weight, but a dose of 500 mg a day or 2 to 3 smaller tablets for normal size dogs and half of that for smaller dogs is an average amount to give. Do this for as many days as they are still sick.
- Vitamin E is a good one to give your dog to support their immune system function. Echinacea is another effective supplement you can give your dog to both prevent the occurrence of and help your dog recover from their illness.
- Made from the first milk of cows and rich in immune molecules Colostrum is another supplement for the prevention and treatment of kennel cough. Doctors recommend a 500mg dose of colostrum for every 25 pounds of your dogs weight, given 1 to 2 times a day depending on their level of illness or risk.
- Acidophilus and other types of friendly bacteria are also recommended for helping your dog’s health get back on track, particularly after they’ve had to take anti-biotics which, while helping to eliminate bacterial infections, can weaken the immune system by killing of the good bacteria in the gut that your dog’s natural immune system relies on.
Although some people can add a yogurt to their dogs diet to provide them with these friendly bacteria, there are also probiotic formulations you can purchase at the local pet supply store or animal hospital which are designed especially for dogs.
Herbal Kennel Cough Treatments
Treating your dog with herbs can take several forms, you can either make a tea from dried herbs, add the dry tea leaves or powders to your dog’s food if they will take it (some herbs add flavor to the food while others may make it less palatable.
You can also purchase herbal tinctures (herbal extractions added to a base of alcohol) or syrups (where herbs or their extractions are added to a sugary or honey based syrup).
Note: it’s usually a good rule of thumb when making teas to use 1 tsp to 1/2 tbsp of an herb to a cup of boiling water, let the tea cool, covered (as not to let the essential oils evaporate) and then give to your dog by the tablespoon full 2 to 4 times a day.
However, this does not hold true with wormwood, when making worm wood tea only use a pinch to no more than 1/4 tsp to a cup of boiling water as it’s very potent and very bitter.
If you choose to give your dog any of these herbs dry, (again with the exception of wormwood which you’d only give the tiniest amount to your dog) a good pinch (1/8 tsp or less) up to a 1/4 tsp in their food, depending on their size, with a treat or with a spoon of honey 2 to 4 times a day is good amount.
The most effective herbs to treat kennel cough are also those which can be used to treat coughing, disease and other upper respiratory ailments in humans as well, these include
- Licorice root, an excellent herb used in China for thousands of years as a natural expectorant, anti-asthma, anti-viral and anti-bacterial.
- Astragalus, another Chinese medicinal herb used to boost immune function, regenerate bronchial cells and support lung function.
- Slippery Elm, an herb used to draw mucus out of the system and soothe the irritation in sore throats.
- Olive leaf and garlic are both have powerful antioxidant, anti-viral and antibacterial properties to help your dog kick their kennel cough.
The rest of the respiratory health herbs you can try and give your dog are these other antiviral, antibacterial herbs:
- Wild cherry Bark
- Sage leaf
- Black seed
- Mustard seed
- Kelp (seaweed)
- Marshmallow root
- Wormwood (don’t use for more then 10 days at a time though as it can have toxic side effects)
Nutritional / Food Forms Of Kennel Cough Treatments
Bring on the chicken soup if your dog has got this dog version of a human cold, it helps dogs the same way.