Much like situations that can occur at children’s daycare or school with a common cold, Kennel Cough (a bacterial infection/virus) is airborne and your dog may be susceptible to this virus.

What is “Kennel Cough”?

Kennel Cough (also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis) is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Dogs commonly contract Kennel Cough at places where large amounts of canines congregate, such as boarding, grooming and daycare facilities, dog parks, training groups, and dog shows. Dogs can spread it to one another through airborne droplets, direct contact (e.g., touching noses), or contaminated surfaces (including water/food bowls). Although no dog is impervious to Kennel Cough pups under a year are more susceptible as they are still developing their immune system or pups in their senior years because their immune system is in decline. Kennel Cough itself is highly treatable in most dogs but can be more severe in puppies younger than six months and can be critical in immunocompromised dogs. If your pup is immunocompromised, we highly recommend avoiding circumstances where your pup may come into contact with other dogs.

What are the symptoms of Kennel Cough?

The symptoms can include a runny nose, chronic coughing, consistent wheezing, potential loss of appetite, or lethargy. Typically, mild cases of Kennel Cough are treated with a week or two of rest, however, a veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to prevent a secondary infection and cough medication to ease the symptoms. If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms you should contact your veterinarian.

It is important to closely monitor for any escalation in symptoms or if the symptoms have not begun resolving within a week of treatment so you can immediately engage your veterinarian. An escalation in symptoms or prolonged symptoms may be a sign of something more serious, i.e. pneumonia.  Symptoms of pneumonia include, lingering cough, fever, difficulty breathing, lack of appetite and consequent weight loss, sluggishness, nasal discharge, dehydration, and rapid breathing. Intolerance to exercise due to breathing difficulties may also be apparent.

What does Lucy’s do to minimize the risk of Kennel Cough?

We are extremely diligent with disinfecting to include daily sanitation of our facility parks, runs/suites/kennels, blankets, and food/water dishes.

We are testing in our 1604 location and our Thousand Oaks location the REME HALO® Air Purifier which uses UV light within the air ducts to reduce bacteria, viruses and mold spores.

We require strict adherence to our vaccine policy to include the Bordetella vaccine which is most commonly associated with Kennel Cough.  Although most cases of Kennel Cough are caused by Bordetella, some are caused by other agents, including the bacteria bordetella bronchiseptica, canine adenovirus type 2, canine parainfluenza virus, canine respiratory coronavirus, and mycoplasmas, so the vaccine may not prevent your dog from catching the disease.

If we identify a pup exhibiting any symptoms, we work to quickly quarantine them and notify the pup’s parents so they can be picked up and begin treatment with their vet.

We also screen all boarding clients with a questionnaire inquiring if their pup has exhibited symptoms associated with Kennel Cough in advance of their visit.

For more information on Kennel Cough, please click here AKC Kennel Cough or consult your pup’s veterinarian.

Please Note: If your pup has had any of these symptoms even if they have recovered, please inform your primary Lucy’s front desk team so they can track the occurrence. We also ask that you please don’t bring your pup for a minimum of three weeks from the onset of the clinical signs mentioned and one week after the symptoms have resolved.

For more information on Lucy’s policies and the acknowledged risk associated with boarding, grooming, or interactive daycare, please click on the Lucy’s Service Agreement.