Can I walk my dog with kennel cough?

Your top priority as a responsible pet owner is to ensure the safety and welfare of your cherished four-legged buddy. What should you do, though, if your dog has kennel cough, a seriously dangerous respiratory disease? Is it okay to let them go for their customary walks or is it necessary to keep them inside till they recover? In this post, we’ll go into the specifics of kennel cough and offer in-depth analysis on whether it’s safe to take your dog for a walk while they’re ill.

What is kennel cough?

The infection that affects a dog’s respiratory system and causes inflammation of the larynx and trachea (voice box and windpipe) is known as kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis.

There are numerous different strains produced by various bacteria and viruses, just like the human common cold and flu viruses.

Kennels and doggie daycare centers are the most typical settings for kennel cough, which can persist in the environment for several weeks.

Can You Walk Your Dog with Kennel Cough?

The answer is No. It is not suggested to walk your dog while they have kennel cough since exercise might make their symptoms worse and increase their risk of spreading the infection to other dogs. Your dog can infect other dogs by exhaling respiratory droplets when they cough, sneeze, or sniff. Additionally, given that they have a weakened immune system, exercising your dog while they have kennel cough puts them at risk for developing secondary illnesses like pneumonia.

How does a dog catch kennel cough?

The airborne virus known as kennel cough is extremely contagious and spreads quickly among dogs. You can catch it by:

  • accidental encounter with a sick dog
  • A sniff of welcome
  • A short play
  • Using a dog that is diseased as a water source
  • inside a coffee shop
  • at the home of a buddy
  • the neighborhood park
  • the same path as an infected canine
  • When an infected dog sneezes or coughs on a fence post or a patch of grass in a park, the virus can linger on the surface and transfer from dog to dog.
  • Stress, freezing weather, exposure to dust and smoke, and, as the name would suggest, kennel stays are a few prevalent causes that raise a dog’s risk of contracting the cough.

Kennel cough symptoms: 

Despite being extremely contagious, the virus itself rarely causes harm and usually goes away on its own with little to no therapy. But there are numerous distinct strains, and some strains can be worse than others, just like the average cold.

The illness may be more harmful for your dog if they are a puppy, old dog, or already ill dog.

It has a chance of turning into pneumonia, so it’s crucial to pay close attention to symptoms and get in touch with your veterinarian if you think your pet has the virus.

Symptoms of kennel cough: Symptoms of kennel cough often appear 3 to 10 days after exposure, although they can take up to 14 days to fully manifest.

The most typical sign to watch out for is a bad cough. It may sound like your dog is retching or trying to clear their throat if the noise is persistent and dry.


The best course of action if your dog has kennel cough is to keep them inside and limit their activities until they are fully recovered. Make sure they have access to enough food, drink, and a cozy place to rest. It is strongly advised that you seek expert veterinary care if your dog’s symptoms continue or get worse.
How to avoid kennel cough
The best approach to avoid kennel cough in dogs is to make sure they get all of their shots, particularly the Bordetella vaccine. Do not bring your dog to kennels or dog parks where they might come into contact with sick animals. If you need to board your dog, pick a place that mandates vaccinations for all dogs and upholds stringent hygiene standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does kennel cough get worse with exercise?

A: Yes, exercise can worsen the symptoms of kennel cough in dogs. The increased activity level and exertion can lead to coughing fits and make it harder for the dog to recover. It is recommended to limit exercise and physical activity until the dog has fully recovered from kennel cough.

Q: Does being outside make kennel cough worse?

A: Being outside in cold or damp conditions can potentially worsen the symptoms of kennel cough in dogs. The cold air and environmental factors can irritate the respiratory system and exacerbate coughing. It is advisable to keep dogs with kennel cough in a warm and comfortable environment, away from harsh weather conditions.

Q: How much rest does a dog with kennel cough need?

A: Dogs with kennel cough need plenty of rest to recover. Rest allows their bodies to heal and helps reduce the frequency and severity of coughing episodes. It is important to provide a calm and quiet environment for the dog, limiting physical activity and avoiding situations that may trigger excessive coughing.

Q: How long should dogs with kennel cough be isolated?

A: Dogs with kennel cough should be isolated from other dogs until they are no longer contagious, which typically takes about 1 to 2 weeks. Kennel cough is highly contagious and can spread easily among dogs in close proximity. Isolation helps prevent the transmission of the disease to other dogs and allows the infected dog to recover without further exposure to the infection. It is best to consult with a veterinarian for specific guidance on isolation periods and when it is safe to reintroduce the dog to other dogs.

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