Dr. James - Veterinary Professional

Can I treat my dog at home?

As mentioned before, kennel cough requires a trip to the vet, who will likely send you home with antibiotics and a cough suppressant if kennel cough is diagnosed. However, the key in getting your dog healthy again is YOU! Treatment starts at the vet, but continues and ends at home. Your role as pet owner in treating kennel cough is critical. It is up to you to appropriately administer medications as directed by your veterinarian. It’s important to keep your dog rested and quiet, not letting him exert himself in any way. Also, it is up to you to help control the spread of infection by keeping your dog isolated from other dogs.

One thing you can do at home to help your dog recover from kennel cough is to place him or her in the bathroom filled with steam from a hot shower for about 15-20 minutes. This will help loosen the secretions and mucous in the lungs, making it easier for your dog to cough it up. Afterwards, coupaging the chest will help loosen secretions even more. This technique, also called percussion therapy, involves cupping the hand and gently but quickly tapping the dog’s chest wall. This can be repeated several times a day and is beneficial to perform while the dog is coughing. If you are unsure how to perform this therapy, ask your veterinarian to show you, or watch the video below. You’ll want to check with your veterinarian before beginning steam therapy or coupage.

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