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If you think your dog has kennel cough, there are some home treatments that can help your pup both feel better, and increase their ability to fight it off. If you aren't sure what Kennel Cough is, read my previous article first.
Simple, at-home remedies for mild cases of Kennel Cough in otherwise healthy pets:
- Raw Honey - Half a teaspoon of raw honey (or more for larger dogs) twice a day. Honey provides immediate relief to a sore throat and also has antibacterial properties. Most dogs like the taste and you can just let them lick it off the spoon as a "treat". Raw, unpasteurized honey is healthiest.
- Steam Bath - Place your pet in a small room (i.e. bathroom) and fill a vaporizer with warm water and/or turn on the shower to very warm, fill the room with steam and sit with your dog in that room (not in the hot water!) for about 15-20 mins. Do this 2-3 times a day. The steam helps loosen mucus from the nasal cavity and bronchial tubes aiding with air intake.
- Herbal Support - Kennel Cough in dogs is akin to the human common cold, so just as we try to build up our immune system when we are run-down, the same applies to dogs. Using immune-boosting herbs such as Echinacea can help your dog's immune system better fight off this virus. Some studies have shown that Echinacea shortens the duration and severity of colds and other upper respiratory infections (URIs) when given at early-onset.
I like to use it in tincture form for easy dosing and I always use a tincture that combines both varieties of Echinacea - purpurea and angustifolia.
General dosing amounts: Small-Medium Dogs - give 12 drops of Echinacea tincture, three times daily; Larger dogs - give 25 drops of Echinacea tincture, three times daily. You can dilute in a bit of water if necessary and pour over food. If you are using a pet-specific product, follow package dosing guidelines.
If you prefer to use a powdered form, you can give 1g/10 kg body weight (or 45 mg/lb) of 1:3 Echinacea root powder once a day.
Either way, I like to choose products that are certified organic and wildcrafted for quality. You will find that a lot of Echinacea products combine the herb Goldenseal as well, and that is safe for use also.
We have had excellent results with this protocol here in our household of 3 dogs and I hope you will too!
Consult a trained Animal Herbalist for direction on appropriate immune-supportive herbs for your pet. Certain immune mediated diseases can be aggravated by Echinacea. Remember that even natural remedies can sometimes be contra-indicted for pets with certain medical conditions, so it is best to consult a professional. For those who would like to read more about a veterinary study performed on dogs with Echinacea - read here.
Up Next - a nourishing bone broth recipe for dog's with a lack of appetite...
Herbs for Pets - Gregorly L. Tilford & Mary L. Wulff