Home Remedies for Kennel Cough

Humans aren’t the only ones who suffer from uncontrollable fits of coughing. Just imagine a dog with the same problem. Poor pooch – he or she is most likely fighting a case of kennel cough. Depending on the bacteria or virus that created this problem, bringing relief and using home remedies for kennel cough can ease symptoms and treat infection.


What is Kennel Cough?

Dogs can contract an infectious bronchitis (known as ‘kennel cough’), which brings on a distinct hacking cough that many people describe as ‘something stuck in my dog’s throat’ [1]. Comparable to a chest cold in humans, kennel cough can become a serious matter in young pups, elderly dogs, pooches with weakened immune systems, and severely untreated cases. Kennel cough usually lasts between one and two weeks. After the condition has passed, your dog will resume his normal level of activity and eating habits.

Causes and Symptoms

The following bacteria and viruses cause kennel cough:

• Bordetella Bronchiseptica – Recognized as the main cause of the condition, this kind of bacteria finds its way inside of a dog’s body by direct contact or is transmitted through the air. After the bacteria reproduce, your dog becomes sick and starts to show symptoms. An incessant cough is the result.

• Canine Parainfluenza-3 – As a primary virus associated with kennel cough, the epithelial cells of the respiratory tract of dogs is affected. Damage to the trachea may take place. If left untreated, your dog may develop another disease called tracheobronchitis. The Canine Parainfluenza-3 virus is the same virus that causes distemper in dogs.

• Canine Adenovirus Type 2 – The virus known to deeply penetrate the lungs of your pet is the same culprit behind the common cold in dogs and canine hepatitis. Luckily, this virus is less common.

Dogs suffering from kennel cough will exhibit a hacking cough (almost dry and vomit-like), phlegm, fever, lowered activity level, listlessness, and a gagging sound in the throat.

Kennel Cough Home Remedies

If you have more than one dog in your household, make sure to keep your companion with kennel cough in a separate room. This disease is extremely contagious and you don’t want to administer the following home remedies for kennel cough to more than one pet when you don’t have to:

a) Hydrogen Peroxide:

Sterilize water bowls using hydrogen peroxide. Next, apply three drops of 3% peroxide with two teaspoons of honey for every 8-ounce glass of water poured into the bowl for the dog to drink. Add the same amount of peroxide mixture to four ounces of water. Grab a dog toothbrush and gently brush their teeth. For some dogs, the coughing subsides. Brushing again helps control the cough when it arises once again.

b) Honey:

Tap into the antiseptic power of honey by giving your dog one teaspoon of honey three times per day. Make sure to use the ‘runny’ kind. You may also add raw honey to a warm cup of water. Entice your pooch to drink it, but if he or she refuses – use a medicine dropper to send the solution straight into their mouth. Administer a couple of drops every hour.

c) Peppermint:

Create a strong tea made out of peppermint leaves. You may also add honey. Using a medicine dropper, give your dog a couple of drops every hour until the coughing subsides.

d) Avoid Cough Suppressants:

It may be tempting to hush kennel cough with a cough suppressant, but this method actually increases the amount of phlegm produced. While strongly advised against, a mild pediatric cough medicine could be used if coughing becomes too heartbreaking and painful to bear.

e) Bring on the Heat:

Relief for dry kennel cough is found in humid environments. Situating a home humidifier or vaporizer close to your dog may help.

f) Lower Exercise Levels:

While your dog is battling kennel cough, it’s a good idea to reduce his or her level of exercise. Keep your pet inside to lower the risk of worsening their cough or spreading the condition to other dogs.

g) No Smoke:

When around your dog, shelter them from smoky environments, such as lit cigarettes.

h) Vitamin C:

Boost the immune system of your dog by adding a bit of vitamin C to their diet.


[1] http://www.marvistavet.net/html/body_kennel_cough.html


  • kathy

    2 drops twice daily of oil of oregano into a capsule . i used vitamin e oil & oregano in hot dog or evev toast . my girls get toast and peanut butter so i substituted that with honey she ate it all.. Also yogert is good for them as well .. and pedialite or simular to prevent dehydration .. syringe of any kind. HAPPY TRAILS

  • Timothy Barnes, CLU

    We recently introduced a “pound puppy” in the house. Apparently, she brought the “kennel cough” as well as her personality into the house and our 2 senior toy beagles are now coughing that unmistakable hack. My wife is trying the honey now to see how effective it is.

  • Heather Bushnell

    This was a great help!!!! One of the few and only sites that I could find for information on holistic type medicine for my dogs kennel cough.

  • stevie m

    Tesco`s honey, lemon and glycerine cough bottle works a treat £1.60 a bottle baaargain !!!!!!!

  • Jacky Japanese Spitz

    For the cure of kennel cough in dogs please give 2-4 doses of 5ml of “Schering Plough” “polaramine expectorant syrup”

  • lisa maust

    To get our dogs to drink more fluids, (doesn’t the doctor tell us to drink more fluids when we’re sick?) I made homemade beef soup with real beef bones from a butcher (ours sold them to me for $1.39/lb). I put 3-4 lbs in a huge pot with 1-2 gallons of water. Bring to boil (no salt!) then simmer for several hours, then chill. The dogs loved it and it helped bring up excess phlem. Then they loved chewing on the bones!

  • mary daniels

    Has anyone been told by their vet?
    “give your dog under 15 lbs= 1/2 tab of 25 mg(12.5)
    over 15 lbs= 1 tab=25 mg benedryl 2 x daily for 3 days
    My current vet says it is not effective for kennel cough? But it seemed to work? Does anyone know if it works, or did the dogs just get over it naturally in time?

  • Sherie Lacara

    I have heard that Benedryl is good for them if they have allergies

  • suzette

    I have read over & over how garlic, vitamin C, and honey work also!

  • chasity

    i recieved a neo mastiff w/ kennel cough and this is what i did b/c of not having money to go to the vet. i put my puppy in the bathroom while the shower was on and the steam seemed to help him breathe and get moe phelm up. i also gave my pup some honey flavored cough drops.in a few days he was much better.they say that steam will kill any bacteria so thats what i tried and it worked.

  • Alex G

    The honey and warm water works. My Akita puppy ended up with kennel cough and I came to this site for health tips. The peppermint tea is awesome as well to give to them. My puppy got well within four days. I did as well use honey cough drops.

  • alice

    I understand that the vacine only treats 3 strains of kennel cough & there are 250 strains of it. SO HOME REMODIES ARE WONDERFUL. KEEP THIS IN MIND

  • Shanti

    I’ve fostered a fair few dogs with kennel cough and swear by honey and steaming. The dogs always come into the bathroom when anyone is showering, for the steam, and you can create that environment for them if they’re really bad. Honey diluted in warm water works a treat. Of course, these are shelter dogs I’ve had, so being in an environment where they get one on one attention and love really helped too 🙂

  • JoAnn Linn

    I used 2 tablespoons of Tupelo honey,and gave it to my Eskie after he had coughed and hacked for about 4 hrs. I gave it to him straight, he loved it, and he stopped coughing right away! THANKS for this column! I was at my wits end and didnt know what to do.

  • Genesis488

    My four year old Akita was impounded for about a week because we couldn’t get her out sooner, so when we finally got her out she had a runny nose, wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t play, and most importantly she kept making that weird noise! I am very worried about her health since I don’t think my sister has ever taken her to get her immunizations.. We have been giving her antibiotics and I give her milk, but since she’s so big and fury I don’t know if she’s hot or cold. And I want her to feel better, so, should I get her a bigger blanket.. or keep her in a coldish room??? Please help.

  • syrena

    i adopted a 4 year old 110lb great pyerenees. he has the cough. i tried honey. he wont take it, i palpatate his lungs like my family does when i get sick. i do not have money to take him to the vet after all the fees and things i had to get him…food…dishes…leash…collar. so i am going to try the pepermint tea and honey. what kind of dose do i use for his size?
    thank you so much

  • Nikki

    Hi I have a boxer that all of a sudden started coughing. It scared me! I thought she was choking but soon looked up symptoms an found out it was kennel cough. I found a home remedy that called for raw honey an peroxide. I sterilized her water bowel with the peroxide an then I put in three drops per 8oz of water on her bowel along with 4 drops of honey per 4 oz of water an I warmed it up. She drank it an immediately stopped coughing an went to sleep. I hated hearing her cough an wheeze it was scary an sad.

  • Chantel

    My Jack Russell Terrier has the dry heaves,he is sneezing and of course he is also coughing.
    When the grocery stores are open, I am going to try this honey remedy, it seems to be working for lots of people! Thank you all for your help and feedback!

  • Brenda and Richard

    My labs contracted Kennel Cough recently and we have always used the the natural local raw honey, 1 teaspoon 3x per day seems to do the trick. It is horrible listening the them honk and gag! My boy just woke up this morning with it. I have been washing bowls and blankets for the last couple of days as well as keeping the floors disinfected. Lots of work in a multiple dog home. The HONEY does work.

  • Angel

    I have a stray pup that I picked up about a week ago. His cough seems to be getting worse…I am going to try the honey and steam shower. Also warmed up some chicken noodle soup and am hoping this will help. If not, I will try the childrens cough medicine. So painful to hear this constant cough….no money for a vet

  • Three jacks

    We have three jacks and our daughter works at a kennel, She takes them to work sometimes and twice they have got it. one gets it then the other and then the last one, just as one gets over it the other starts. Like people pet owners hear there dogs cough and still take them to the dog daycare, People go to work and make everyone else sick. The answer is not to pump them full of drugs and shots that are full of who knows what, Stay home if your sick, same goes for your dog bortatella shots are a waste of time. The honey works just like it does for us. Last night one of mine just started and thats the worst, i gave him a few tic tacs, yes tic tacs. THe mint is strong enough that he and I actually got 3 hours of sleep