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Kennel Cough Treatment — 4 Home Remedies for Kennel Cough

Ah, kennel cough. It's like the common cold for canines! So, can you treat kennel cough at home? Try these home remedies for kennel cough.

Julia Szabo  |  Sep 4th 2018


Are there any home remedies for kennel cough? Actually, kennel cough is not that different from any cough you’d get yourself as part of the ordeal we call the common cold — and it so happens that the home remedies for kennel cough listed below work beautifully on humans, too. Of course, contact your vet before you try any of these home remedies for kennel cough and call him immediately if your dog’s kennel cough persists or worsens.

1. Probiotics

A sick dog with an ice pack on his head.

Probiotics are among the home remedies for kennel cough. Photography by WebSubstance/Thinkstock.

Besides being excellent for oral and digestive health, probiotics make this list of home remedies for kennel cough since these beneficial bacteria do wonders to support the immune system. This is critical when treating kennel cough, which could easily progress to life-threatening pneumonia if left untreated. Be sure to give your dog a probiotic supplement made for dogs, such as Pet Dophilus by Jarrow.

And if your vet has prescribed a course of antibiotics for your dog (which is a common veterinary procedure in treating kennel cough), be sure to wait at least two hours after administering the antibiotic before giving the probiotic, or the two will cancel each other out and healing won’t happen.

2. Honey

The antibacterial property of this product of busy bees’ labors is truly astonishing, which is why honey lands itself on the list for home remedies for kennel cough. I give sick dogs one tablespoon twice daily until their coughs are cured; it also works to alleviate the nasal discharge that accompanies kennel cough.

For maximum benefit, be sure to select a homegrown honey that’s not produced in China, ideally a raw honey such as my favorite brand, Really Raw Honey, which comes topped with a “cap” of pollen, propolis, and honeycomb. Dogs love this chewy mixture — mine go nuts for it.

There are some dos and don’ts to giving your dog honey, though. See them all here >>

3. Coconut oil

Dogster has extolled the virtues of coconut oil for dogs before, and its amazing antiviral property is especially helpful as one of the home remedies for kennel cough, which is caused by the Bordetella virus. Give two teaspoons daily until the cough is cured.

Pour it over Spot’s food bowl or just let her lick it right off the spoon — being congested will suppress her appetite, but a whiff of this oil’s rich, fragrant aroma will get her mouth watering again.

4. Cinnamon

Cinnamon for dogs is another great dietary supplement. This essential spice-cabinet staple is safe to sprinkle liberally over your dog’s food bowl any time of year, but it’s especially good as one of the home remedies for kennel cough. Like coconut oil, cinnamon is also antiviral, so go ahead and shake half a teaspoon of it over Spot’s food. Look for Ceylon Cinnamon, which is especially fragrant.

Tell us: Have you helped your hound through a bout of kennel cough? What home remedies for kennel cough do you suggest? Please share in the comments!

Wondering what causes kennel cough in the first place? Find out the causes of kennel cough here >>

Thumbnail: Photography by WilleeCole Photography / Shutterstock.

This piece was originally published in 2012.

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