Exercise is essential for your dog to stay healthy and happy. But when kennel cough comes into play, you might wonder if physical activity is still good and necessary for him. So here’s everything you should know about exercising a dog with kennel cough.
In general, you should limit the exercise of a dog with kennel cough. Even if the dog still wants to be active, too much physical activity can worsen the symptoms and extend how long it will take to recover. Therefore, a dog with kennel cough should avoid exercise as much as possible and rest.
On the other hand, you probably don’t want to let your dog do nothing and get bored all day long. That’s why you should find ways to exercise him without interfering with the healing process. But first of all, let’s understand what kennel cough is and how it can affect your dog.
What Should You Know About Kennel Cough In Dogs?
Kennel cough is a respiratory disease in dogs that’s highly contagious and lasts for around one or two weeks. It’s generally caused by a bacteria or virus that gets trapped in their respiratory tract. Then, the infection results in inflammation of the larynx and trachea.
The most obvious and common symptom is a persistent and strong cough. It can also come with a runny nose, sneezing, lethargy, loss of appetite, and low fever. However, kennel cough isn’t the only health problem that can lead to such symptoms.
They might be related to a more serious disease. So you should consult a veterinarian to make sure what your dog really has is kennel cough. Other conditions might have different recommendations or limitations regarding exercise.
Most of the information in this section was retrieved from either this article from the AKC or this one from Pets WebMD. But in a nutshell, kennel cough is like a cold for humans in dogs. Now let’s see how it plays out when it comes to exercise.
Does Kennel Cough Get Worse With Exercise?
Too much exercise and excitement can aggravate the infection and symptoms of kennel cough. Intense or extended physical activity will use the energy that your dog needs to fight the disease and recover from it. Therefore, kennel cough can get worse with exercise and make it last longer.
Physical activity is also demanding on the respiratory system, which is affected by the disease. Thus, it’s better to avoid or limit it. Exercise will make your dog pant and stress the body even more. So it can increase inflammation and make the cough worse.
Should Dogs Rest With Kennel Cough?
Rest is essential for dogs with kennel cough because it will allow them to heal and recover properly. They will need as much energy as possible to fight the disease. Therefore, your dog should get plenty of sleep and avoid exercise. You can also find a comfortable and quiet place to rest.
Can You Walk Your Dog With Kennel Cough?
You can walk your dog with kennel cough, as long as you don’t overdo it, use a harness, and avoid contact with other animals. Walking is a moderate exercise, so it shouldn’t worsen the infection and symptoms. In fact, some people suggest that short walks can boost the dog’s immune system and help with recovery.
But walking too much can make the kennel cough worse. So you should keep it short and reduce the amount you usually do. One or two walks of between 5 and 15 minutes per day should be enough to keep most dogs with kennel cough active without being too much for them.
It’s also important to use a harness instead of a collar. The collar might irritate the tracheal and make the inflammation worse. So if you walk your dog with kennel cough, you should use a harness.
Can You Take Your Dog Out With Kennel Cough?
You should avoid taking a dog out if he has a kennel cough as much as possible to prevent the spread. You can still go outside for pee/poop and short walks. But try to avoid other dogs because kennel cough is highly contagious. So you can take your dog out when necessary, but not in public places.
How To Exercise A Dog With Kennel Cough?
Too much physical activity can be harmful to dogs with kennel cough. However, not all forms of exercise will worsen the disease and make it last longer. For example, mental stimulation and moderate walking are two appropriate ways to keep your dog active and busy during the recovery.
Exercise Ideas For Dogs With Kennel Cough!
Brain games, puzzles, and other toys can be great ideas to exercise with kennel cough. As we already said, short walks may also help your dog to recover faster. Besides that, there are many activities you can do, such as nose work, hide and seek, learning a new trick, and exercising on a wobble board.
How Much Exercise Should You Give To Your Dog With Kennel Cough?
You should provide your dog with no more than half of how much exercise he usually gets. But the less, generally the better. For example, a dog with kennel cough that normally has 60 minutes of daily exercise should now get a maximum of 30 minutes. It can include two short walks and controlled playtime.
However, the amount and type of exercise a dog with kennel cough will highly vary from one case to another. Some dogs will be more affected than others by the disease. Thus, how much exercise and rest they should get can highly differ.
My best advice would be to look at your dog, try things, and adjust on the way. If he has no energy and wants to lay down all day long, let him do so. But your dog might want to stay active. Thus, you will have to limit the exercise he gets, but you don’t have to stop it all.
Consult A Veterinarian!
If you think your dog has kennel cough, I highly recommend you talk with a professional. A veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics and give you personalized treatment recommendations. You can also ask him all the questions you have related to kennel cough and exercise.
Your vet will tell you what you can and can’t do with your dog. Then, you just have to follow his instructions, and everything should go well.
Last Thoughts About Exercising A Dog With Kennel Cough?
Finally, you can exercise your dog with kennel cough if you do it properly. Too much or intense physical activity can make it worse and last longer. However, short walks and moderate exercise shouldn’t interfere with or might even help the recovery.
So it’s true that a dog with kennel cough needs to rest more than usual and be less active. But it doesn’t mean he has to stop exercising completely. Talking with a veterinarian will also help you figure out how to keep your dog healthy and happy even when he’s sick.
Let’s Exercise That Dog With Kennel Cough, But Do It The Right Way!
Disclaimer: The information in this article is not medical advice. I’m just a normal dog owner that wants to share what I know about kennel cough and exercise. You should always consult a veterinarian to care for your dog’s health.