Lets Discuss Kennel Cough

We want to discuss with you, what most facilities will not mention. This virus 

around, there is no way to totally prevent it and the better educated you are , the

your dog will be.
                                     Please watch the video at the end of our discussion,,,
                                                                  it is quite informative

Note : Although kennel cough is generally not life threatening we take it very seriously.  We routinely disinfect and make every effort to minimize any bacteria or viruses spreading throughout the day.  Unfortunately, we cannot control what dogs bring in from the outside world and it is very difficult to pick up any signs as dogs are more contagious right before showing symptoms. 


With kennel cough, dogs have the same level of energy and appetite.  If we suspect your dog may have kennel cough we will quarantine your dog and call you to pick him or her up immediately.  If you suspect your dog may be sick please err on the side of caution and do not bring your dog to the Resort for the safety of all our guests. If your dog has kennel cough it is our policy that he or she does not return for at least 10 days after the last cough. 


We certainly understand that this can be very frustrating for clients that are gone on vacation for 2 weeks or longer or even for a few days.  That is why it is imperative that you leave us with an emergency contact that will be able to come and pick up your dog if for any reason we feel they need to.  You as a pet owner, when asking someone to be a contact for your dog, must explain to them that a call could be placed to them days after your dog arrives and this could leave them looking after your dog for weeks, depending on how long you are gone for.  This is not Waggy Tail's fault.  We never make a call to have a dog leave the facility, unless it is warranted.  But when a guest has a communicable disease, it is not fair to the other guests that we allow the dog to remain and 'hope for the best', ,we are diligent in our practices as canine care providers, and parents must understand that.  


If your pup leaves within the first week or even into the second week of arriving at the Resort due to a communicable disease, then your dog has been harboring the virus since time of check in, especially if no other dog's are showing any symptoms.  Most respiratory infections require 7-10 days before symptoms show.  So during this time, your dog has potentially infected every dog at the facility by the time symptoms show up and we are able to determine that a virus is present.  This by no means is anyone's fault.  We have no idea where or what your dog has been doing before check in with us, all we can do is deal with signs and symptoms if they appear.  Just as with children,,,the day you plan for a huge holiday,,,they wake up in the morning of the day you leave with a 104 degree temperature - so what can you do??, things happen and if proper planning is done ahead of time, then there is less stress for everyone.  This can happen and it has.



At most facilities, you’ll see a requirement or suggestion for having your dog inoculated with the Bordetella vaccine, but not much else is mentioned.

Because of our dedication in keeping our facility as healthy an environment for your dog as possible, we thought some topics, such as this one, should be discussed. 



Kennel cough in dogs is similar in a way to a chest cold in humans. And unless there are other complicated issues present, the seriousness of the disease is about the same. One thing is for sure, it’s highly contagious in dogs. 

It’s an upper respiratory problem, which affects dogs around the world. It can easily be picked up anywhere. If your dog comes into contact with an infected dog’s cough droplets or spray, your dog will likely get the infection.

There are different types of upper respiratory infections all bundled under the term kennel cough but the most common one is the Bordetella BronchisepticaThe kennel cough symptoms usually show up 7-10 days after being exposed. And unless there are other complicating factors involved, usually last for about 10 days.
An infected dog will produce a really dry hacking cough and usually they’ll retch too. The coughing is frequent. It sounds like something is stuck in the dog’s throat. Sometimes there’s a watery discharge in the nose too. 

A dog with a mild case will continue to eat and be his normal self. You should be concerned if your dog’s symptoms worsen. If your dog is lethargic, feverish and loses his appetite he’ll need veterinary care. Left untreated in this case the dog could develop pneumonia. 



Of course the only way to prevent your dog from ever getting kennel cough or other infectious diseases is to not expose him or her to other dogs at all, anywhere at anytime. That means never taking them out of the house for walks, not letting them in your yard, because the virus is airborne, so it can be delivered into your yard once an infected dog nearby coughs or sneezes.  Never taking them to a groomer, or to a pet store, dog training classes, agility or even your Vet.  Someone in the waiting room could have a dog in the incubation stage and not even know it, but the dog has the potential of passing this virus along to yours just by allowing your dog to nose to this dog. 

Most likely your dog will be exposed to other dogs over their lifetime and that can’t be helped. Would you really want to keep your dog from ever playing with another dog? And having your dog boarded will definitely expose your dog to other dogs. That's just a fact.  Like daycare for children, socialization and interaction are so beneficial for proper development that there will be some bumps in the road at some point if you want the best for your children and dog.  

Preventing kennel cough in dogs is not 100% possible. However, vaccines do reduce the severity of the disease. That’s why we require you have your dog vaccinated.


We have seen the success rate in our quests that come and follow the guidelines set out by AAHA.  I feel it also helps that the guests are outside unless the weather is not nice, we have an HVAC Air exchange to the outside system,  we get on average 12 complete air exchanges, of the entire facility, per hour.  Our entire facility is done in Galvaloom to prevent virus and bacteria from proliferating, we seal our floors and we use a disinfectant specially made to deal with dog and cat viruses and bacteria strains.


Exciting for Waggy Tails,  we just acquired a state of the art no touch cleaning system from Kaivac in the States.  This revolutionary system allows you to wash, disinfect, power wash and then vacuum up all the potential viruses and bacteria that could be hanging around.  This machine is 6,000 times more effective than cleaning by hand and using a mop and bucket.  We are very diligent in our hand washing practices and we frequently take the disinfecting outside to our yards.  We have our yards covered in a thick layer of straw ( which does not mold ) and when picking up the fecal waste, we are able to grab surrounding straw and dispose of an area around the dropping instead of leaving remnants on the ground.