We’ve all heard about kennel cough, a dog’s sporadic raspy, dry coughing. Most fur parents are aware that this isn’t a condition to be taken lightly.
So, is kennel cough contagious to humans? Although rare, many pet owners don’t realize we can still acquire kennel cough. If not treated, it may cause discomfort and serious complications.
In this article, we’ll look at what kennel cough is and why it’s very seldom contagious to humans. We’ll also give expert advice on how to protect yourselves and your furry friends from possible infections.
What Is Kennel Cough?
Kennel cough is a respiratory disease in canines. It’s caused by several bacteria and viruses, like Bordetella bronchiseptica, canine parainfluenza, and adenovirus type 2.
Moreover, kennel cough symptoms may include hacking, dry cough, and vomiting.
However, kennel cough often clears up after a couple of weeks. But, in rare situations, it can progress to pneumonia.
Is Kennel Cough Contagious to Humans?
Generally, kennel cough isn’t considered a major threat to humans. Yet, we’re still susceptible to this disease in rare circumstances.
Based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports, Bordetella is the triggering factor of kennel coughs in dogs. This bacterium is responsible for the upper respiratory tract infection in humans.
However, these infections are usually minor. Often, people with weaker immune systems are infected by this disease.
In addition, symptoms in humans are different than those in dogs. Humans may suffer from sore throat, a runny nose, and a mild fever. While coughing, hacking, and sneezing is common in dogs.
Despite the likelihood of humans getting kennel cough, it’s still primarily a canine disease. In fact, there’s no evidence that individuals who acquire kennel cough suffer from life-threatening respiratory effects – though not impossible if not treated immediately.
How to Protect Yourself From Kennel Cough?
To avoid kennel cough, exercise proper hygiene and take measures if you encounter infected dogs. Below are a few precautions you can take:
1. Boost Your Immune System
A healthy immune system helps you keep safe from respiratory infections such as kennel cough.
Ensure you get enough sleep, eat healthy food, and stay active to boost your immunity.
2. Take Cough Suppressant
If you’ve developed a cough from the infection, we recommend using a cough suppressant such as Delsym or Robitussin to reduce the spread of viruses.
Alternatively, drinking ginger tea or warm lemon water with honey is an effective way to soothe your throat.
3. Get Vaccinated
While there isn’t a kennel cough vaccine available for humans, ensure that your pets are up to date on their kennel cough shots. This stops the disease from spreading to humans.
4. Practice Good Hygiene
Wash your hands frequently – particularly after touching an infected dog. Additionally, don’t share utensils and bowls with your pet to lessen the possible spread of disease.
5. Keep Your Pet’s Environment Clean
Clean your pet’s living space and bedding regularly to help avoid the onset of viruses and diseases like kennel cough.
So, is kennel cough contagious to humans?
Although kennel cough is infectious among dogs, the chance of human transmission is extremely unlikely.
In general, by avoiding animals who were in close contact with infected dogs, you can protect yourself from acquiring kennel cough.
Not only that, but also maintain proper hygiene and take precautionary measures when handling and caring for your furry friends.