Kennel Cough Prevention Information
True kennel cough prevention is a difficult task, because your dog can pick up this virus literally anywhere. Although the name implies that the virus is found only in kennels, the reality is that any dog passing on the street could pass it along to your dog, so it's hard to pinpoint any specific prevention measure that's effective all the time.
The best way to prevent kennel cough is to keep your dog healthy through proper diet and exercise so that his immune system stays strong, allowing him to fight the virus as soon as it enters his system. Dogs are exposed to millions of bacteria and viruses every single day, and the only thing that keeps these hazards from killing your dog is his immune system. It also doesn't hurt to have some basic Dog First Aid knowledge so you can start treating any infections right away.
That being said, kennel cough prevention does come into play when you are planning to take your dog to a kennel, or if your dog just had a recent stay in a kennel. It will take a few days for the virus to take hold in your dog's respiratory tract, and if you can nip it while it's still weak you have a good chance of not getting any symptoms at all.
If you want to focus on preventing Kennel Cough Symptoms, the best route is to perform these measures both before sending your dog to a kennel and within the first two days of picking him up again. Giving him the preventative remedies before will boost his immune system so that he'll have an easier time fighting off any infections, and doing it immediately after will effectively flush out any viruses or bacteria that are trying to make their presence known.
The most effective kennel cough prevention is a full dose of garlic at every meal. As a precaution, remember that while most dogs can tolerate garlic with no ill effects, some dogs are allergic and will experience a whole array of negative side effects. Always make sure that your dog can handle garlic before giving him a full dose. Also remember that just because your dog doesn't want to eat it doesn't mean he's allergic to it!
The easiest and fastest way to administer garlic is to place an odorless garlic capsule in his food bowl at every meal. Mix it in with the kibble and he should just wolf it down without even noticing it. Start doing this for a week before you take him to a kennel and for the first week after you bring him home, starting with his first meal back at home.
Alternatively, you can exercise kennel cough prevention with fresh garlic cloves. This is a little harder to get your dog to swallow, but if you blend it up with some broth and a few boiled vegetables he shouldn't notice the extra taste at all. Use three to four cloves for maximum effect on a medium sized dog.
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