First and foremost, the best protection against kennel cough and the most effective remedy if your dog catches it is a fully functioning immune system.
We can support immune function by ensuring our dogs have ample opportunities to rest, play and explore nature. In addition, we can feed a wholefood, nutrient-dense diet.
We can include foods full of the following nutrients:
- Vitamin C – helps encourage the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infection.
- Vitamin A helps maintain the structural and functional integrity of mucosal cells in innate barriers (skin, respiratory tract, etc). It also helps immune cells carry out their jobs.
- Vitamin B6 helps regulate inflammation. Inflammation is a necessary function of the immune system, but there must be just enough – not too much or too little. Always consult a holistic vet for dosages
- Zinc is a particular powerhouse when it comes to immune function, too.
- Vitamin D also helps protect against infection caused by pathogens.
It’s important to note that higher rates of infection are associated with existing health issues that involve:
- The gut
- Liver function
So not only do we want to ensure immune health, but we also want to look at our dog’s whole being – is everything running as it should?
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Natural remedies for kennel cough:
If your dog does catch kennel cough, there are some tried and tested ways that help to clear it up.
First of all, let your dog rest. Just like you would if you had a cold/flu, let them rest, too.
You may also want to try the following –
In one study, the echinacea was administered to 41 dogs with manifestations of upper respiratory tract infections, including pharyngitis/tonsillitis, bronchitis and kennel cough.
Overall efficacy showed significant improvement for 92% of 39 dogs after four weeks of treatment, and this was confirmed after eight weeks. Significant reductions in severity and the resolution of typical clinical symptoms were evident after four weeks.
Novel data show ginger and its isolated active components can act on airway hyperresponsiveness. In addition, ginger is known for functioning as an antiviral, anti-inflammatory and possessing antibacterial properties.
Traditionally, chamomile has been used for centuries as an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, mild astringent and healing compound. Chamomile is widely used to treat inflammation of the skin and mucous membranes and for various bacterial infections of the skin, oral cavity and gums, and respiratory tract. The same applies to our dogs. Dogs generally better tolerate tincture or tea.
Canident – tartar remover for dogs
Manuka honey possesses soothing properties and functions as an antiviral and antibacterial. There is increasing evidence that manuka honey inhibits a range of pathogens, and it has been found to disperse and kill bacteria living in biofilms, which are those matrixes that adhere to wounds, teeth, and mucosal surfaces (including those in the respiratory tract).
Slippery elm is particularly useful for restoring the mucosal lining in your dog’s throat – whether this has been disturbed through the mechanical act of coughing or the invasion of pathogens. A slippery elm and bone broth gruel can be incredibly soothing for the poorly pup.
Raw garlic has some great success in helping to treat kennel cough in dogs. It is well known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties. To feed – crush, allow to sit at room temperature for 5-15 minutes and mix well into your dog’s food. You can feed half a raw ground clove per 10 kg of body weight per day.
If you are unsure about administering these remedies, consult your holistic vet for guidance.
So, should you vaccinate your dog against kennel cough? Check out our article here