Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection in dogs. Dog’s can catch kennel cough from one another anywhere dogs come together in groups. Borders, shelters, dog parks, and doggie daycares are some places dogs can catch kennel cough.
Because kennel cough is caused by a broad spectrum of highly contagious viruses and bacteria, dogs can catch kennel cough anywhere another infected dog has been. For this reason, it is unwise to walk your infected dog in places where she may come in contact with other dogs. Furthermore, because it is an infection of the respiratory system, walking a dog with kennel cough for longer than fifteen minutes could make symptoms worse, even if you walk slowly. Also, using a collar rather than a harness can irritate her throat and intensify her cough.
Do Dogs With Kennel Cough Need Rest?
Dogs infected with kennel cough definitely need rest to recuperate. Because kennel cough is a disease of the respiratory system, too much physical activity can prolong your dog’s illness. If your dog is normally energetic and playful, keeping her calm and rested can be difficult, but extended periods of play or vigorous activity can increase a dog’s rate of respiration, which can irritate her airways and intensify her symptoms.
Exercising A Dog With Kennel Cough.
Dogs with kennel cough still need activity to keep them happy and fit. Finding a balanced routine of mental and light physical activity can be challenging, though. This is especially true when your dog is used to long walks or runs and high-impact play.
Finding ways to keep your dog entertained and exercised while they are down with kennel cough can be frustrating for you and your dog. Even though a dog with kennel cough needs rest, however, they also need stimulation, so try getting creative. Instead of playing fetch, for instance, try hide and seek. Playing hide and seek, hiding treats or toys, or finding other ways to exercise your dog’s brain can provide just enough physical activity and mental stimulation to keep your dog happy and fit without prolonging their recovery.
There are a number of stimulation products marketed for older dogs that can be useful for a dog with kennel cough, regardless of her age. Here are a few suggestions.
● Snuffle mats, or snuffle balls.
● Seek-a-treat toys.
● Dog teaser puzzles.
● Tippy treat toys.
Low-key interactive play is a great way to help your dog recover. Slow walking your dog around the house or in your yard (provided it is a private yard) is a good way to help your dog get some exercise. Use a harness and take it slow so as not to irritate your dog’s cough, and remember to limit outdoor time when the air is cold, dry, or dusty, as these conditions are hard on a dog’s airways.
How Soon Can I Walk My Dog After Kennel Cough?
While some cases of kennel cough may last longer or require more intensive treatments, kennel cough typically resolves within a few weeks. However, just because your dog is looking, feeling, and sounding better doesn’t mean she is ready to jump back into her daily routines.
Dogs who appear better may not be completely free of infection. Furthermore, if your dog has been down for a while, she is going to need time to build up her muscle tone and her activity tolerance. For these reasons, it is wise to avoid walks, especially long or brisk walks and walks in places where other dogs walk for a week or more after the cough subsides.
Ease into exercise.
Knowing when to start exercising your dog after a kennel cough infection can be challenging. If your dog’s cough has completely subsided, starting slowly and easing into an exercise routine is the best practice. If your dog begins coughing when you increase her activity, she is not ready.
Kennel cough can sometimes cause prolonged inflammation of a dog’s airways. If your dog has been cough-free for a week or more and she begins coughing again after exercise, it’s wise to consult your vet. A course of steroids or anti-inflammatory medication may be needed to treat any lingering effects of kennel cough.
Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection in dogs. Dog’s can catch kennel cough from one another anywhere dogs come together in groups. Kennel cough can be contracted anywhere an infected dog has been, so you should not walk your infected dog in places where she may come in contact with other dogs.
Dogs infected with kennel cough need rest. Too much physical activity can prolong your dog’s illness. While keeping her calm and rested can be difficult, extended periods of play can irritate her airways and make her cough worse. Find low-impact, creative ways to stimulate your dog’s mind and body. Use a harness and take slow, short walks around the house or in a private yard, and limit outdoor time when the air is cold, dry, or dusty.
If your dog’s cough has completely subsided, start easing into an exercise routine. If she begins coughing when you increase her activity, she is not ready. If your dog has been cough-free for a week or more and she begins coughing again after exercise, she may need medication to calm lingering inflammation. These medications can be provided by her veterinarian.