18 Natural Home Remedies For Kennel Cough In Dogs

updated: 06/16/2019

Kennel cough, also known in the medical term as tracheobronchitis, mentions to the state of a dog coughing a lot at night, having runny eyes and nose, and having difficulty to eat. If your dog is getting the kennel cough and you are worried about his health condition, then you should read this article of these 18 home remedies for the kennel cough in dogs. First of all, it is a good idea to have a better understanding of this kind of disease so that you can choose the best proper home remedies for your dogs.


What Is Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough is one of the most common colds that dogs can catch. It is caused by bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica M that is the reason why the kennel cough is also known as Bordetella. This kind of disease is common all over the world. Each dog has the risk of catching the kennel cough at least once in his life[1] [2].

How The Kennel Cough Is Transmitted?

  • Through the air

When a dog catches kennel cough, he releases bacteria and viruses into the air. The bacteria and viruses travel in the air, and they are inhaled by other dogs.

  • Exposure to contaminated objects

Kennel cough may transmit if a dog is exposed to contaminated objects. If a dog having kennel cough drinks or eats in a bowl, and then another dog uses that bowl, he will be likely to catch kennel cough.

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  • Exposure to infected dogs

Because kennel cough is transmitted through the air, direct contact with the dogs catching kennel cough may increase the risk of catching kennel cough for healthy dogs.

What Are Common Causes Of The Kennel Cough?

There are many reasons why a dog catches the kennel cough[3]. However, the following causes are considered to be the most common ones for the kennel cough in dogs. By knowing the causes, you can prevent your dog from catching the kennel cough easily.

  • Living in the condition without much fresh air

If dogs often live in the living condition without much fresh air such as being exposed to many kennels and shelters, they are easy to catch the kennel cough. It is because the poor living condition contains a lot of viruses and bacteria that affect them so much. Once viruses penetrate into their body, they are vulnerable to many diseases, including the kennel cough.

  • Being exposed to cold temperature

Being in cold temperature, the upper respiratory system of dogs is likely to be affected. Their upper respiratory system and throat will be infected, resulting in coughing and irritating. The infected upper respiratory tract is considered as the main cause of the kennel cough in dogs.

  • Being around with smokes and dusts

Smokes and dust spread out in the air. Certainly, the air with a large number of smokes and dust increases the risk of catching viruses and bacteria. When dogs inhale the air of viruses and bacteria, viruses and bacteria affect their respiratory system, especially the upper respiratory tract. As a result, they may catch the kennel cough.

  • Contacting infectious dogs

It is not absolutely true that your dog may catch the kennel cough once he exposes to the infected dogs. However, if your dog communicates with the dogs with the kennel cough, he is likely to get contaminated from infected dogs because he may inhale contaminated air and he may catch the kennel cough due to using contaminated objects of infected dogs.

What Are Symptoms Of Kennel Cough?

You can easily realize if a dog is catching the kennel cough or not. If a dog catches the kennel cough after being exposed to the infectious factors, the symptoms take place from 2 to 10 days and normally last for 10 days. 

Here are the common signs and symptoms to know if a dog catches the kennel cough:

  • Dry and heavy cough as if something sticks in the throat, especially at night;
  • Runny eyes and nose
  • Some symptoms of illness, including nasal discharge, vomiting mucus, fever, and being in a lethargic state.
  • A lack or loss of appetite for food
  • Fever
  • Difficulty in doing exercise

I am sure that you have discovered some information about the kennel cough in dogs. It is time to find out what the best home remedies for kennel cough in dogs are.  

Top 18 Effective Natural Home Remedies For Kennel Cough In Dogs

1. Honey

One of the natural remedies that you can cure your dog of kennel cough is to use honey. We cannot deny the wonderful effectiveness of honey in fighting bacteria in the infection because of its antibacterial property[4] [5] [6].

Honey also contributes to decreasing nasal discharge in dogs and improving the immune system of your dog, which helps your dog combat any diseases.


  • Let your dog drink ½ or 1 teaspoon of honey.
  • Use 3 or 4 times every day until your dog doesn’t cough anymore.
2. Mixture Of Honey And Lemon

home remedies for kennel cough

As you know, lemon enriches with vitamin C, which is beneficial in strengthening the immune system of the dog[7] [8] while honey is very useful to kill harmful bacteria causing a cough[9].


  • Create a mixture by mixing two tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of lemon juice.
  • Then pour ½ cup of water.
  • Let your dog drink the mixture twice a day. If you want to speed up his recovery, you can increase the amount of honey in the mixture.
3.  Chicken Soup

When it comes to home remedies for kennel cough, some people find this remedy so strange but don’t skip it because it is effective. Often, when we have a cold, we usually eat chicken soup[10] [11]. So it is certainly effective to your dog if he has a cold as well.  Chicken soup contributes to decreasing uncomfortable symptoms of the infected throat and improves the immune system of your dog.


  • Cook chicken soup for your dog. Let it be not too hot to avoid burning its mouth and throat.
  • Let your dog eat a bowl of the soup 2 times every day until he doesn’t suffer from cough anymore.

Notes: Don’t add raw onions, salt, and raw garlic to the soup because these ingredients may be sensitive to dogs.

4. Coconut Oil

In recent time, coconut oil has been known as a wonderful and effective remedy to treat the kennel cough thanks to its antimicrobial property[12] [13] [14].

  • Take the dose based on the body weight of your dog; 1 teaspoon of coconut oil for every 10 pounds of his body weight.
  • Apply this remedy every day until your dog condition clears completely. The coconut oil may be dropped into your dog’s food or directly drunk by him through the spoon.
  • Use the mixture of 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to speed up recovery.
5. Steam Inhalation

Steam may be one of the easiest and effective home remedies for kennel cough in dogs. Steam is useful to clear phlegm from the throat of your dog[15]. Inhaling steam helps your dog find easier to breath and feel better and better.


  • Create a room with being filled up with hot steam. It is better to let your dog go in the bathroom and let the hot water shower turn on so that the room is filled up with steam.
  • Now let your dog inhale the steam in the room for approximately 15 or 25 minutes.
  • Repeat doing this twice a day.
6. Vitamin C

Don’t forget vitamin C if you are finding home remedies for curing your dog of the kennel cough because it helps to boost the immune system of your dog[16]. It is so useful to help your dog recover quickly.

Add vitamin C to your dog’s diet. You can give 500 mg for big dogs and ½ of that dosage for small dogs 3 times every day. Repeat this remedy until the infection ends up. Or it is an idea to consult a veterinarian about the most suitable dosage.

7. Healthy Foods

Vitamin C and vitamin E play an important role in healing the infection and boosting the immunity[17] [18] [19]. So, it is a good idea to provide your dog with healthy foods containing the high content of vitamin C and vitamin E, including oranges, pineapples, broccoli or cabbage, flax seeds, chicken, fish, eggs, etc.

8. Oil Of Oregano

home remedies for kennel cough - oil of oregano

Oregano oil is very good to combat fungi, bacteria, and viruses, which is an effective treatment not only for humans but also for dogs thanks to its antibacterial activity[20]. The oregano oil contains carvacrol and thymol, two powerful phenols that help to kill bacteria causing the kennel cough in dogs.

Method 1:

  • Add 2 or 3 drops of oregano oil to your dog’s diet. Use the remedy 3 times every day.

Method 2:

  • Take 1 drop of oregano oil and add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil for topical healing. Apply it to the neck and throat area of your dog to relieve discomfort caused by coughing.

Method 3:

  • Put a humidifier containing oregano oil at the place where your dog spends all his time so that he can inhale the oil to help your dog find easier to breath.
9. Raw Cinnamon

Like coconut oil, cinnamon also has antiviral activity[21], which is beneficial in killing bacteria, causing kennel cough. Therefore, you can use it to heal kennel cough for your dog.


  • Grind some cinnamon sticks
  • Take ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon and mix it with your dog’s food.
  • Follow the remedy twice every day until your dog recovers completely from kennel cough.
10. Garlic Pills

Garlic contains strong antibacterial properties[22] [22] that may fight nearly all bacteria, particularly the type that cause kennel cough. In addition, garlic is great for boosting the immune system of your dogs. Although you can give your dog garlic in odorless capsules or fresh garlic slices.


  • Add one garlic tablet of 500mg to your dog’s meal.
  • Repeat once every day until your dog doesn’t suffer from cough anymore.

Note: Garlic may cause stomach disorders in some dogs, particularly small dog breeds. Consult your veterinarian before applying this remedy.

11. Tea From Licorice Root

home remedies for kennel cough - tea from licorice root

Licorice root has glycyrrhizin, a glycoside that works as a natural corticosteroid without the side effects of weakening the immune system of your dog. Licorice boosts the anti-inflammatory processes of the body[23], making it an excellent herb to deal with many conditions such as kennel cough. You can use the tea made from licorice root to relieve the irritating throat of your dog. It also helps to speed up recovery from kennel cough.


  • Mix some tablespoons of dried licorice roots with water.
  • Boil the mixture for a few minutes.
  • Let the mixture cool a bit.
  • When the mixture is cool enough, add a little honey to one tablespoon of licorice tea you have prepared.
  • Let your dog drink the tea once a day before his meal.
  • Use this remedy every day until your dog doesn’t suffer from kennel cough anymore.

Note: To save time, you can store the remaining tea in the refrigerator to use every day. The tea can be used up to 5 days.

12. Spray Essential Oils

Some essential oils may be used as one of the home remedies for kennel cough in dogs. Inhaling some essential oils may help to clean nasal cavities for your dog, which eliminates bacterial agents for nasal infection[24] [25]. It also contributes relieving irritation for your dog’s throat, speeding up recovery from kennel cough. Therefore, you can use the mixture of essential oils to cure your dog of kennel cough at home. You need some oils such as lavender oil, tea oil, chamomile oil, oregano oil, and eucalyptus oil to do this remedy.


  • Pour ten drops of each above-mentioned oil in a spray bottle.
  • Fill up the bottle with water and then shake it well.
  • Spray the mixture on your dog with kennel coughs or living place and to the air surrounding your dog.
  • Do this 2 or 3 times every day to facilitate your dog’s breathing.

Note: It is not compulsory to use all the above-mentioned essential oils, but this remedy has the most effective when you combine all the essential oils mentioned above.

13. Anise Hyssop

You have known the effectiveness of licorice root on curing kennel cough as mentioned above. Anise Hyssop belongs to the licorice family; and of course, it has a similar effect on kennel cough thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties[26].


  • Crush Anise Hyssop and mix one tablespoon of Anise Hyssop with warm water.
  • Use a syringe to take the mixture and pour it into your dog’s mouth.
  • Massage your dog’s throat to help him easily take the mixture in.
  • Apply the remedy 2 or 3 times every day until your dog completely recovers from kennel cough.
14. Echinacea Tablets

Using Echinacea tablets is one of the effective remedies for kennel cough in dogs because it helps to relieve and fight against the kennel cough thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, the multiple immune-modulatory activities of Echinacea may help to strengthen the immune system of your dog[27].


  • Add one Echinacea tablet of 50 mg or higher to your dog’s meal twice every day.
  • Repeat every day until your dog completely recovers from the kennel cough.

Note: The dosage of Echinacea tablets depends on your dog weight. So it is better to get advice from your vet to have a suitable dosage for your dog.

15. Slippery Elm

home remedies for kennel cough - slippery elm

Slippery elm helps to reduce inflammation and lubricate the digestive tract of your dog[28]. Also, it aids in improving the upper respiratory system, which makes it great in relieving discomforts from painful coughing related to conditions such as kennel cough and bronchitis[29]. You can use Slippery Elm in the dried or tablet form.


  • Add Slippery Elm tablets or dried Slippery Elm to your dog’s food by crushing it.
  • Use the remedy for each meal of your dog.
16. Steam Vaporizer

Kennel cough is an airborne bacteria disease. The bacterial infection may cause an inflammation of your dog's upper respiratory system resulting in a dry cough, sneezing, and runny nose. Give your dog a steam vaporizer treatment to help him/her breathe easier[30].

  • Firstly place a steam vaporizer in the bathroom and let your dog go inside.
  • Direct the vapors to your dog’s head. Let your dog inhale the vapors for approximately 20 minutes.
  • Repeat it twice or 3 times every day to have a better result.

Note: Don’t put the warm steam vaporizer too close to your dog to make sure that your dog is safe in the bathroom.

We hope that you have gone through all of our 18 home remedies for the kennel cough that you can easily use at home to help your dog not to suffer from the discomfort of the kennel cough anymore. However, besides applying the 18 home remedies for the kennel cough mentioned above, in order to help your dog recover from the kennel cough quickly as well as prevent others being contaminated from your dogs, you should notice some Do’s and Don’ts as below.

Some Dos:

  • Keep your infected dog isolated from your children and other healthy dogs and pets.
  • Always keep the environment clean and fresh.
  • Regularly clean your dog’s food and water bowls.
  • Let your dog drink fresh water as much as he can.
  • Control your dog’s activity at a suitable level so that he can have time to rest for quick recovery.

Some Don’t

  • Don’t smoke at home while your dog is catching kennel cough.
  • Don’t spray toxic cleaners because the chemicals may make your dog’s state worse.

The above mentioned home remedies for the kennel cough in dogs are suggested to reduce the symptoms of the kennel cough. Choose some of them and alternate them in your treatment to see how effective they are. If you have any contributing ideas about our article of “18 Natural Home Remedies For Kennel Cough In Dogs,” feel free to leave your words below this post. We will answer as soon as we could.

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