Kennel cough is a common and highly contagious upper respiratory infection in dogs. It is a viral infection similar to the common cold in humans and can cause a dry, unproductive cough in dogs. Kennel cough is common in places where dogs are held in close quarters such as kennels and shelters. Although there is no cure for kennel cough, the symptoms can be treated with natural remedies to help heal the inflamed tissue in the dog's throat and speed up recovery. The remedies include herbs and other natural ingredients that are safe for dogs to ingest.
Use cough medicine for dogs. Commercially manufactured cough medicines for dogs are all natural homeopathic medicines that will soothe your dog's throat and mucus membranes and boost its immune system at the same time. The medicines are given to your dog orally in liquid drops and contain herbs with healing properties like eucalyptus and echinacea.
Make an herbal tea. Combine one tablespoon of a soothing dried herb such as licorice root, peppermint, eucalyptus or sage leaves with two cups of cold water and bring to a boil. Remove the tea from the heat, let it cool and give the dog two tablespoons of the tea before meals.
Give your dog 1/2 to 1 tsp. of honey about three or four times a day. Honey is a great natural remedy for coughs because it coats and soothes the throat and it also has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Feed the honey to your dog straight or mix it into the dog's wet food.
Give your dog vitamin C supplements. Although vitamin supplements won't instantly soothe your dog's throat like cough medicine will, vitamin C will heal the tissue in your dog's throat quickly and help prevent further irritation. Crush one to two tablets and mix them into the dog's food or water daily.
Humidify the air. Water vapor and steam from a humidifier will help soothe your dog's dry and irritated throat. The mist will help hydrate the throat tissue which will calm the dog's cough, allow the throat tissue time to heal and let your dog breathe easier.
Mist the air with a spray made from soothing herbal oils. Mix four to eight drops of lavender or eucalyptus oil with one cup of warm water in a spray bottle and mist the air in the room that the dog is in. The dog will breathe in the mist, which will soothe the dog's irritated throat and calm the dog's cough.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.