Kennel Cough Remedies – Natural Treatments

kennel cough remedies

Every dog owner wants to see their furry friend happy, jovial and comfortable. A kennel cough can take that away. Read on to discover helpful home kennel cough remedies that will come in handy getting rid of this common problem in dogs.

Kennel cough is the common term for an airborne upper respiratory tract infection known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis. It is like the common cold for dogs. Other names used to refer to the condition include Bordetella and Bordetellosis.

Kennel cough is notable for a persistent hacking cough. Kind of like your dog is trying to clear something trapped in its respiratory tract. This is often accompanied by other symptoms such as watery nasal discharge, and vomiting in mild cases (the dog often have a normal appetite) and pneumonia, fever, lethargy, and lack of appetite for more severe cases.

Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria is the most common cause of kennel cough. An infection is often accompanied by one or more other microorganisms including mycoplasma bacteria, canine adenovirus, canine reovirus, canine herpesvirus, parainfluenza virus, and canine distemper virus.

All these play a role in kennel cough and when multiple organisms are involved, the symptoms tend to be more severe.

Is Kennel Cough Curable And Is It Life Threatening?

Like common cold in humans, kennel cough is not curable. Though, most often, it runs its course and goes away in a matter of days without treatment. It’s uncommon, but sometimes dogs experience more severe cases which warrant the attention of a vet.

In the meantime, you can keep the dog comfortable using the kennel cough remedies outlined in the next section. Home treatments that support natural defences against bacteria and viruses will also help to speed up the healing process.

As for whether or not kennel cough is life threatening, severe infection has been reported but are nevertheless rare. When they occur, they tend to involve young puppies or very old, immunocompromised dogs.

Kennel Cough Remedies

Kennel cough is one of the most widespread dog illnesses as it is highly contagious. So the first thing you want to do is to isolate your dog from others if you think it has a case of kennel cough. You can then use one or more of the following kennel cough remedies to keep your dog comfortable as it recovers from the bout – usually in 3-6 weeks.

Raw Honey

Raw honey is a popular kennel cough home remedy for dogs. And because it is sweet, your dog will love it and thank you for it. The kennel cough healing ability of raw honey is attributed to its natural disinfectant properties. Any raw honey is effective but manuka honey is particularly powerful since it has more methylglyoxal (MG), the compound that gives honey its disinfecting and healing properties.

As for how to treat kennel cough in dogs at home, here are a few methods to consider:

  1. Feed your pooch 1 tablespoon of honey 2 to 3 times per day. For best results, however, ensure that the honey is raw.
  2. You can as well mix raw honey with warm water and give it to your dog or even mix it with herbal teas to create a homemade cough syrup.
  3. Mix 3 drops of food grade hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of raw honey. Pour the mixture into a glass of water, then give it to your dog. If your dog has not drunk the mixture in a couple hours making a new one as hydrogen peroxide loses its healing power with time.

Lemon and Honey for Kennel Cough in Dogs

Rich in immunity-boosting vitamin C, lemon is also among the most effective home remedies for kennel cough. For even more effective treatment results, mix it with honey as outlined below:

  1. Into a cup of water, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of raw honey.
  2. Stir thoroughly to obtain a well-blended mixture and then give it to your dog.
  3. Repeat twice daily until the cough lessens.

Coconut Oil for Kennel Cough

Coconut oil has also gained popularity fast in recent years as one of the best kennel cough remedies. It is loaded with medium-chain fatty acids that help to kill harmful pathogens in the dog’s body while reducing inflammation in the trachea and upper bronchi.

If given to dogs in excess quantities, s however, coconut oil can experience side effects such as loose stool and temporary fatigue. Here is a guideline on how to use this natural remedy to speed up healing of kennel cough:

  1. Give 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil per 10 pounds of dog’s body weight 2 times per day with a spoon. You can also add the coconut oil to food.
  2. Coconut oil makes for a great addition to the healing potency of honey. Simply mix equal proportions of these ingredients and feed your dog with the resulting sweet treat 2 times each day.

Essential Oils for Kennel Cough

The cough-relieving and nasal discharge fighting action of most essential oils also make them a great way to heal kennel cough in dogs naturally. Some essential oils such as tea tree, eucalyptus, and lavender also exhibit antibacterial and antiviral properties that can go a long way in getting rid of the symptoms.

How to Treat Kennel Cough in Dogs at Home with Essential Oils

  1. Mix a teaspoon each of essential oils of your choice, say tea tree, eucalyptus and lavender oil for example.
  2. Transfer the essential oil mixture into a spray bottle and spray it into the air around your dog and it will soon stop coughing and start breathing easier. If you have a vaporizer or humidifier, adding the essential oil in and positioning it in a suitable area near your pet can as well suffice.
  3. Spray the air around your dog frequently for the best results from this natural remedy.

Chamomile and Oregano oil also make for good additions to your oil mixture.

Garlic Natural Remedies for Kennel Cough

Garlic is also a home remedy for kennel cough, thanks to its natural antibacterial and antiviral properties. You should, however, be careful not to give excess garlic to your dog as this can be toxic. recommends giving your dog a 500mg garlic pill each day with a meal to help boost their immune system and thus aid in faster recuperation from Bordetella.


Cinnamon’s antiviral properties make it one of the successful entrants in the list of natural kennel cough remedies. To use this spicy remedy to treat kennel cough in dogs at home, simply sprinkle ½ teaspoon of cinnamon over your dog’s food once or twice daily.


Echinacea plant species, especially Echinacea purpurea, are yet another effective natural remedy for kennel cough in dogs. It helps to reinforce the body’s immune system and thus bolster the body’s ability to fight a cough and other symptoms. Echinacea is sold in the form of herbal tincture capsules. Check with your local pet store. suggests looking for Esberitox, an over the counter Echinacea product. Another product called Immune SURE also contains Echinacea as one of the ingredients.

Vitamin C supplements

Also, one of the best kennel cough remedies to use at home, vitamin C is helpful in boosting the immune system in dogs and thus facilitate quicker recovery from a kennel cough and other diseases. The recommends 250mg of vitamin C to small dogs and 500mg to larger dogs per day.

Chicken Soup

I agree it sounds more of a dog treat or dietary meal than one of the kennel cough remedies, but trust me it works. Chicken soup helps to improve your dog’s immune system and thus make it more capable of combating the symptoms of the kennel cough.

Homeopathic Remedies for Kennel Cough

In addition to the above natural kennel cough remedies, there is an ever growing list of homeopathic remedies that can help to treat the condition. Among the homeopathic treatment products to look out for when trying to give your dog relief from kennel cough symptoms are:

  • PetAlive KCDefense: Available on Amazon and other online sites this homeopathic remedy is formulated to facilitate easier breathing in dogs with a case of kennel cough while relieving the typical dry, hacking cough.
  • Newton Homeopathics Cough: Manufactured in the USA by Newton Homeopathics, this homeopathic treatment is formulated to relieve dry coughs while relieving breathing difficulties. It is helpful for mild cases of kennel cough.
  • HomeoPet Nose Relief: This homeopathic treatment formulation is not marketed directly for coughs but the symptoms associated with all types of upper respiratory tract infections. It will help to get rid of the tracheal and bronchial inflammation as well as the nasal discharge associated with kennel cough.