Submitted by Steve on 16:55, 11th Jun, 2021 | 0

Every Summer in Guernsey we see a rise in case of kennel cough in dogs.

This year is no different and kennel cough for those that don’t is an airway infection which causes a nasty cough in dogs. More severe cases can occasionally result in symptoms such as a high temperature or a reduced appetite.

Please call your vet for advice if you think your dog has kennel cough. Most dogs improve on their own, but some need treatment from a vet.

The rise in the Summer is largely due to dogs socialising more due to the longer days and more people venturing out for longer than they would during the colder, wetter, darker months.

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager said “We have recently heard of an increase in cases of kennel cough in dogs so the GSPCA wanted to put out some advice on what to do if you are concerned.”

“Like other viruses we are all concerned about they spread especially during close contact so it is really important that when you take your dog out to public places that the are vaccinated or you really think about socially distancing your dog from others.”

“We all know how bad we feel when we have a bad cold and cough and hopefully with this advice you can help you dog stay fit and healthy this summer.”

“Although you cannot cure kennel cough with first aid some simple measures can help, but those wanting to attend a GSPCA Dog First Aid Course we have dates set for this November.”

“To see more details on the GSPCA Dog First Aid course please visit .”

Dogs with kennel cough should be kept away from other dogs and public spaces (while they are showing symptoms and for two to three weeks afterwards), as this is where spread is most common.

The best way to prevent kennel cough is to vaccinate against it, especially if your dog mixes with lots of other dogs or spends time in kennels. Please speak to your vet for details.

Kennel cough is an airway infection that causes a dry hacking cough in dogs.

It is very similar to human colds, but kennel cough can be caused by a number of different germs (viruses and bacteria). It’s most common in areas where lots of different dogs gather and can survive in the environment for several weeks.

Kennel cough spreads by direct contact between dogs, in the air and on surfaces (such as food bowls and leads). Dogs with kennel cough should be kept away from other dogs and public spaces while they are coughing, and for two to three weeks afterwards.

Coughing is the most common symptom of kennel cough, but in more severe cases, it can cause symptoms such as a high temperature or a reduced appetite.

Symptoms of kennel cough usually take 3-14 days to develop and then last for 1-3 weeks. Most dogs develop a hacking cough and stay otherwise quite well, but puppies, older dogs, and poorly dogs can develop more serious symptoms such as:

  • A reduced appetite
  • Low energy or lethargy.
  • A high temperature or fever

There are many different conditions that can cause coughing so it’s a good idea to have your dog checked by your vet if they have a severe cough or have been coughing for more than a few days. When visiting your vet, make them aware that your dog has been coughing and wait outside until you are called to prevent spreading kennel cough to other dogs in the waiting room.

For contact details for the local vets please go to -

Most dogs with kennel cough can be treated at home without medication and recover within 1-3 weeks. However, if your dog has a severe cough or appears unwell your vet may recommend:

  • Anti-inflammatories - to reduce airway inflammation and bring down a high temperature.
  • Antibiotics - antibiotics are very rarely prescribed for kennel cough because most case are caused by viruses (which don’t respond to antibiotics), but if your dog is very young, old or otherwise unwell, your vet may prescribe them as a precaution.
  • Rest and TLC - exercise can make a cough much worse; keep your dog warm, comfortable and allow them to rest as much as they need.
  • A steamy room - some dogs with kennel cough can benefit from sitting in a steamy room (perhaps while you have a shower/bath). Never leave your dog alone in a steamy room or force them to stay in it if they aren’t relaxed.
  • Keep your dog away from others - remember your dog will be very contagious whilst they are poorly and can continue to spread kennel cough for 2-3 weeks after their symptoms have cleared. During this time, keep them away from other dogs and public spaces.
  • Vaccination is the best way to prevent kennel cough, and is especially necessary if your dog spends lots of time with other dogs or goes into kennels.

The kennel cough vaccine lasts 12 months - so should be repeated every year.

Like any vaccine, the kennel cough vaccine doesn’t give 100%, guaranteed protection, however, it does significantly reduce the chance that your dog will catch kennel cough and reduces symptoms if they do catch it.

Most reputable kennels and doggy day care centres will request that every dog has the kennel cough vaccination two to three weeks before staying with them.

Speak to your vet about adding kennel cough into your dog’s vaccine schedule.

It’s extremely rare for humans or cats to catch kennel cough. If you are concerned for yourself or someone you know, it is best to contact your doctor for advice.

Steve continued “There are many ways you can help support our vital 24/7 work and donate or raise funds for the hundreds of animals in our care.”

“With over 140 hedgehogs, 4 seal pups, dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, fish, reptiles and many birds we help over 3000 animals through the doors every year.”

“With so many animals in our care we would love you to join our sponsor scheme to help us each month.”

“Just a couple of pounds each month can make a massive difference in helping the animals in our care and to find out more please go to .”

“To make a donation you can go to .”  

“We couldn’t do so much without your support and here a few ideas of how you can help us help animals in Guernsey.”


Donate by calling  01481 257261, by post to GSPCA, Rue des Truchots, St Andrews, Guernsey GY6 8UD or online

Sponsored Event

Why not create your own sponsored event or challenge -

For lots more ideas why not visit our fundraising page

Wish List

Check out our wish list page from the smallest of items to our biggest of projects there are many ways to support us -

To visit our Amazon Wish list to see some of the items we need to help the wildlife please visit -

Legacies & Bequests

By leaving a gift to the GSPCA in your Will really helps us to improve the lives of animals into the future.  After providing for those you care for, please consider leaving a proportion of what remains to the GSPCA it is so appreciated and makes a real lasting legacy.

A gift like this to the GSPCA ensures our animals and those in Guernsey will always have someone to keep them safe. To find out more please 

Gift Aid on Donations over £500

To find out about the States of Guernsey tax relief information on gift aid up to 2020 on donations totalling between £500 and £5000 please see the details by going to

2021 gift aid is from £500 and up to £7500 and here are the details -

To download the form to claim for 2020 or before please follow this link

Become a sponsor and GSPCA member

Why become an Angel Pen Pal Sponsor and support our work each month please visit -

To become a Corporate Angel Pen Pal form for your business to sponsor animals in our care each year please click here  

Share our posts and follow us on social media

Many of you will have seen us on social media and your support liking and sharing our posts is really appreciated, and to visit our social media pages please go to





Subscribe to our Supporters Newsletter

To subscribe to our supporters newsletter and find out about upcoming events and news please go to

In line with States of Guernsey advice please DO NOT visit the GSPCA if have been outside of the Bailiwick of Guernsey in line with their advice or have any symptoms of Coronavirus and we continue visits to the Shelter for only essential reasons and to please call us on 01481 257261 or email before your trip to see if we can help without you coming to the Shelter. For the latest information and advice please visit

With huge challenges on our resources and a drop in income from boarding and donations please help us help animals in Guernsey with our #GSPCACoronavirusCrisisAppeal by donating online via -




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