How to Treat Kennel Cough in Newborn Puppies

By Nicole Vulcan

Kennel cough in dogs, thought to be caused by a number of viruses and bacteria, often happens in environments where a lot of dogs live together. Symptoms of the illness include a dry cough and a runny nose. If you have a litter of newborn puppies that start showing signs of kennel cough, it is possible to try to treat them at home, though in many cases the cough will eventually clear up on its own. Since the puppies are brand new, try the least invasive treatments first, and rely on the fact that newborns will most likely still be receiving vital immune-boosting milk from their mother.

Remove the puppies from any other dogs living in the home. This prevents the puppies from spreading the kennel cough to other dogs. Clean the area where the puppies will live with a clean towel and detergent soap. Allow the area to air out before placing the puppies in that location.

Place a humidifier in the puppies' sleeping area to help with the dry cough they are experiencing.

Give the puppies a small amount of honey to soothe their throats. Use a small dropper to place the honey in the throat. Not only will it help with the kennel cough, but the honey will also provide vitamins, minerals and antibacterial properties that can benefit the puppies' health. (see reference 4)

If the puppies are not drinking and are becoming dehydrated, also use the dropper to nourish them with water.

Boost your puppies' immune systems with an herbal treatment such as Plantago lanceolata, Bryonia C6 or echinacea. Place a very small dosage in the puppies' water or food. Since some echinacea treatments may include ingredients that may not be safe for dogs and puppies, talk with your vet or an animal herbalist about local brands that will work for your situation. (see reference 3)

Talk to your veterinarian about other remedies such as antibiotics or a small amount of pediatric Robitussin. It's not a great idea to give newborn puppies medications, especially without the supervision of a vet, so get some expert advice before you administer any of these treatments to a newborn pup.