Can I Walk My Dog with Kennel Cough

icon May 19, 2023

Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a common respiratory infection in dogs. It is highly contagious and often spreads in environments where dogs congregate, such as kennels, dog parks, and boarding facilities. If your furry companion has been diagnosed with kennel cough, you may wonder whether it's safe to take them for a walk.

In this article, we'll explore the risks involved, considerations to keep in mind, and general guidelines for managing your dog's exercise routine during kennel cough.

What is Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough is caused by a combination of viral and bacterial agents, primarily Bordetella bronchiseptica, canine parainfluenza virus, and canine adenovirus. It manifests as a persistent, harsh cough that often sounds like honking. Other symptoms may include sneezing, nasal discharge, lethargy, and a slight fever. While it is typically a mild condition, kennel cough can lead to more severe complications in puppies, elderly dogs, or those with compromised immune systems.

The Contagious Nature of Kennel Cough

One of the primary concerns with kennel cough is its contagiousness. The infection can spread through the air or direct contact with infected dogs, contaminated surfaces, or objects. Given its highly contagious nature, it is advisable to take precautions to prevent the spread of kennel cough to other dogs in the community.

Can I Walk My Dog with Kennel Cough

Dogs may carry a kennel cough infection for two weeks before symptoms appear, during which time you may be walking your dog as usual . But it is not recommended. However, if your dog insists on going out for a walk, the following are precautions:

Considerations and Guidelines

Isolate Your Dog

To prevent the spread of kennel cough, it's important to isolate your dog from other canines during their recovery period. Avoid walking them in areas where they may come into contact with other dogs.

Leash Walks

If your veterinarian approves light exercise, opt for leash walks in quiet areas where your dog is less likely to encounter other dogs. Keep the walks short and avoid strenuous activities or situations that could trigger excessive coughing or stress.


Rest and Recovery

Kennel cough can be physically exhausting for your dog, as persistent coughing can strain their respiratory system. It's essential to provide ample rest for their recovery. Getting plenty of rest will help your dog get better quickly. This time walking can actually prolong their recovery, so it's best to let them settle in at home.

Relax Dogs

Use your time at home to prioritize a little emotional or mental well-being - whether it's through lots of cuddles, doggy massages, or spending some time in the sunniest part of the house to bathe, it's sure to make them (and you) feel more relaxed.



The best place to get or discuss treatment for any canine condition will always be with your vet. They will be able to best assess your dog's condition to see what is required to get them back on their feet with their tails wagging!

In most cases, dogs recover from kennel cough without needing any treatment. If you suspect your dog has caught the infection:

  • Keep them away from other dogs until their cough has gone

  • Encourage plenty of rest - this will help with their recovery

  • Remove their dog collar to avoid any extra strain on their respiratory system

For more severe cases, your veterinarian may prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or antibiotic kennel cough treatment to help reduce respiratory inflammation and reset the dog's body temperature.

Recommended medicines

Cough Relief Combination - Doxycycline Hyclate Tablets + Jiebai Granules + IGY Supplement

Dogs Cough Bundle-Doxycycline Hyclate Tablets+Jiebai Powder+IGY Immune


Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease in dogs that is caused by a combination of viruses and bacteria. Vaccines are available to help protect dogs from the most common viruses and bacteria that cause kennel cough.

There are two main types of kennel cough vaccines: injectable vaccines and intranasal vaccines. The injectable vaccine is given as an injection and is usually administered by a veterinarian. The intranasal vaccine is administered as a drop into the nose and can be given by the dog's owner.

It is important to note that while vaccination helps reduce the risk of kennel cough, it is not 100% effective.

Puppies are usually immunized with a nasal drip vaccination for kennel cough when they are about 30 days old.


While it's important to prioritize your dog's exercise needs, walking a dog with kennel cough requires careful consideration and precautions. The contagious nature of kennel cough means that minimizing contact with other dogs is crucial to prevent further spread. Always consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice on managing your dog's exercise routine during their recovery period. Prioritizing rest, isolation, and symptom management will aid in their swift recovery and reduce the risk of transmission to other dogs in your community.


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