Understanding Canine Cough: What Pet Owners Need to Know

Canine cough, known as kennel cough or acute canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease in dogs. It shares similarities with the common cold in humans but is exclusive to our canine companions. Symptoms include loud, high-pitched cough, loss of appetite, lack of energy, retching or hacking, and nasal discharge. These symptoms can persist for several weeks and may worsen with exercise.


Causes and Transmission

Dogs are more likely to be exposed in places like boarding kennels, training classes, doggie daycares, parks, and beaches, where dog-to-dog contact occurs through sniffing, sneezing, and sharing water bowls. The time from exposure to the onset of clinical signs typically ranges from 3 to 10 days.

Management and Treatment

While canine cough is not often fatal, it can be distressing for dogs and their owners. Veterinary treatment may be necessary to alleviate clinical signs, especially if the dog has other underlying conditions. Treatment may include cough suppressants to provide comfort during natural recovery or antibiotics to target bacterial infections. It's essential to monitor the dog's condition closely and seek veterinary advice if there's no improvement within a week of treatment.



Preventing canine cough involves a multifaceted approach. Vaccination plays a crucial role, although not all agents causing canine cough are available in vaccines. Vaccination reduces the severity of the disease and remains a cornerstone in managing it. 

As a responsible dog owner, it's essential to stay informed about canine health issues like canine cough. If your dog shows signs or has been in contact with infected dogs, isolate them at home and seek veterinary advice promptly. By working with veterinarians and practising good hygiene measures, we can help keep our furry friends healthy and happy. Remember, good health is the best gift we can give to our beloved companions.

Disclaimer: This is general information only. It is not intended as medical or health advice and should not be relied on as a substitute for consultation with a qualified healthcare professional who understands your pet's individual needs.

If you have an Emergency with your pet during our closed hours please see under Services  page   for a list Emergency clinics in Auckland.

Please do not go to the emergency clinic if it is not urgent/life threatening. ( Runny eyes/nose , coughing , limping , itching & etc can wait until the morning to be seen by our day vet ) 

If you are very worried or unsure if you are dealing with an emergency about your pet after clinic hours and you are a client with us you can reach Dr Chris on his emergency phone until 10pm or again from 7am each  day 

 - Dr Chris Laurenson - 027 544 4427 


Normanby Road Vet Clinic

Normanby Road Vet Clinic offers a range of friendly and professional vet services for cats, dogs and other animals. From vaccinations to microchipping and even surgeries, we can help your pets remain happy and healthy. Our clinic is easily accessible from all areas of Auckland.