Kennel Cough FAQs

Kennel cough is a respiratory disease that can affect dogs and is highly contagious. Learn more about this disease and how to manage it with the answers to some of the most common questions provided by our team at New Hope Animal Hospital in Durham.  

dog cough

What is kennel cough, and what causes it?

Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that often spreads from one dog to another. It is frequently transmitted in places such as boarding facilities, dog parks, and other areas where large groups of dogs tend to be. Although it is usually passed through direct contact, dogs can contract it by touching contaminated surfaces.

What are the symptoms?

The most noticeable symptom of kennel cough is a strong cough that is often described as a honking sound. Other symptoms include a runny nose, loss of appetite, a low-grade fever, lethargy, and sneezing.

How long is my dog contagious?

While some dogs recover from kennel cough within a week or two, they can still be contagious for at least two weeks after seeming better. It is essential to keep them away from other dogs until after this contagious period is over.

I thought my dog was vaccinated against kennel cough. How could he have gotten sick?

Although vaccinations are the best way to prevent illnesses in dogs, there is no 100% guarantee that they will not contract them. In some cases, if a dog's immunity is low, it can be difficult for their body to fight off infections.

How is kennel cough treated?

Resting for a week or two can help many dogs recover from kennel cough. However, it is crucial to visit your veterinarian to ensure that your dog only needs rest and to confirm that kennel cough is the actual issue. In some cases, your vet may prescribe medication to alleviate symptoms and prevent additional infections from taking advantage of your dog's weakened immune system.

What steps should I take at home?

Following your veterinarian's instructions is crucial. Generally, during the contagious period, you need to keep your dog away from other dogs and may need to skip walks during this time. While rare, humans can contract kennel cough. To prevent this, be extra cautious with hygiene, ensuring that you wash your hands thoroughly after petting or cleaning up after your dog. If you have small children, it is wise to limit their contact with your dog until it is no longer contagious.

Visit Our Veterinarian in Durham, NC

If you are concerned that your dog has contracted kennel cough, let our team at New Hope Animal Hospital help. Call (919) 490-2000 to ask any questions or to schedule an appointment today.

Contact Us Today

We look forward to hearing from you.

Hospital Hours


9:00 am-6:00 pm


9:00 am-6:00 pm


9:00 am-1:00 pm


9:00 am-6:00 pm


9:00 am-6:00 pm





Our Location

Visit us today


Read what our happy pet owners have to say!

  • "Dr. Windram is such a great veterinarian! He always takes the time to follow up visits with a call, and is so patient with my high-stress, vet-anxious dog. I only wish I could get this kind of medical care for myself!"
    Terri R. (via Facebook)
  • "I've been going here for about 4 years with my dog. The staff is kind and loving towards the animals and very friendly and professional."
    Liz T. (via Google)
  • "Our dogs have gone here for nearly a year now and all the doctors and staff are friendly, knowledgeable and thorough. Great clinic all around."
    Kyle C. (via Google)
  • "Dr. Bush is the most amazing and thorough veterinarian I have ever encountered. She is a true professional and cares equally for both her patients as well as their owners."
    Marnie S. (via Google)
  • "My pets have been cared for by the folks at New Hope for years now. Best vet practice in Durham hands down!"
    Kelli G. (via Facebook)

Featured Articles

Newsletter Signup