Can Humans Get Kennel Cough?

Can Humans Get Kennel Cough?

Yes, humans can get kennel cough, which is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the canine parainfluenza virus. The infection can be spread from infected dogs to humans through direct contact or respiratory droplets.

Although it is more common in dogs, humans can develop similar symptoms such as a persistent cough, sore throat, and nasal congestion. It is essential to practice good hygiene, especially when around infected or recently vaccinated dogs, to reduce the risk of contracting kennel cough.

Proper handwashing, avoiding close contact with infected dogs, and disinfecting surfaces can help prevent the transmission of the infection.

What Is Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that predominantly affects dogs. While it is rare for humans to contract kennel cough, there have been isolated cases reported, primarily in individuals with compromised immune systems.

Stay vigilant and seek medical advice if you suspect any symptoms.

Definition Of Kennel Cough

Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that affects dogs. It is similar to a common cold in humans and is caused by a combination of bacteria and viruses. The infection primarily affects the upper respiratory system, including the trachea and bronchi.

How Does Kennel Cough Spread?

Kennel cough is highly contagious and can easily spread from one dog to another. Here are the common ways in which this infection spreads:

  • Direct Contact: When an infected dog comes into close contact with a healthy dog, such as sniffing or playing together, the infection can spread.
  • Airborne Transmission: The bacteria and viruses causing kennel cough can be present in the air, especially where dogs congregate, such as in boarding kennels, dog parks, or veterinary clinics. When a healthy dog inhales these pathogens, they can become infected.
  • Contaminated Surfaces: The infection can also spread through contaminated surfaces, such as water bowls, toys, or bedding. If a healthy dog comes into contact with these items, they may pick up the infection.

Symptoms Of Kennel Cough In Dogs

When a dog is infected with kennel cough, it may show various symptoms. These can include:

  • Continuous Dry Cough: The most characteristic symptom of kennel cough is a persistent, dry cough that sounds like the dog is trying to clear its throat. The cough may be triggered by excitement, exercise, or pressure on the trachea.
  • Sneezing and Nasal Discharge: Some dogs may also experience sneezing and a clear, watery discharge from the nose.
  • Lethargy and Reduced Appetite: Infected dogs may appear lethargic and have a decreased appetite.
  • Mild Fever: In some cases, dogs with kennel cough may have a mild fever.

It is important to note that while most cases of kennel cough are mild and self-limiting, severe cases can occur, especially in puppies or dogs with weakened immune systems. If you suspect your dog has kennel cough or if the symptoms worsen, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Remember, prevention is key to avoiding kennel cough. Ensure your dog’s vaccinations are up to date, avoid exposure to infected dogs, and maintain good hygiene practices to minimize the risk of transmission.

Can Humans Contract Kennel Cough From Dogs?

Can humans contract kennel cough from dogs? While it is rare, humans can get kennel cough, but it is typically a mild and self-limiting illness that resolves on its own without treatment. It is important to practice good hygiene and limit close contact with infected dogs to reduce the risk of transmission.

Many pet owners may wonder if it is possible for humans to contract kennel cough from their furry companions. In this section, we will explore the research on the transmission of kennel cough to humans, factors that increase the risk of transmission, and common scenarios where humans can contract kennel cough from dogs.

Research On Transmission Of Kennel Cough To Humans

  • Research suggests that while rare, it is possible for humans to contract kennel cough from dogs.
  • Studies have disclosed a few instances where transmission occurred between humans and dogs, but the chances are relatively low.
  • The main concern lies in the fact that humans can serve as carriers of the bacteria or viruses responsible for kennel cough, potentially infecting other dogs.

Factors That Increase The Risk Of Transmission

  • The risk of transmission is highest in individuals with a weakened immune system, such as the elderly or those with underlying health conditions.
  • Close contact with an infected dog, especially through activities such as cuddling, kissing, or sharing items like food bowls and toys, can increase the risk of transmission.
  • Poor hygiene practices and inadequate handwashing after handling an infected dog also contribute to the risk.

Common Scenarios Where Humans Can Contract Kennel Cough From Dogs

  • Dog groomers, pet sitters, and veterinarians are at higher risk due to their frequent exposure to dogs with kennel cough.
  • Individuals living in close quarters with infected dogs, such as in multi-dog households or animal shelters, face an increased risk.
  • Dog owners who engage in activities that involve close contact with other dogs, such as dog shows or training classes, have a higher likelihood of exposure.

It is essential to remember that the transmission of kennel cough from dogs to humans is relatively uncommon. However, taking necessary precautions, such as maintaining good hygiene practices, following veterinarian recommendations, and promptly addressing any signs of respiratory illness in both humans and dogs, can minimize the risk of transmission.

Preventive Measures For Avoiding Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection that primarily affects dogs, but humans can also contract it. To prevent transmission, it is important to avoid close contact with infected animals, practice good hygiene, and ensure your dog is up to date with vaccinations.

Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious respiratory disease, is a highly contagious respiratory infection that affects dogs. While it is primarily a concern for our furry friends, it is natural to wonder if humans can get kennel cough as well.

While it is uncommon, it is still possible for humans to contract the infection. To minimize the risk and protect both your canine companion and yourself, it is essential to take preventive measures. Here are some effective strategies to consider:

Vaccination For Dogs

Vaccination plays a crucial role in preventing kennel cough in dogs. By ensuring that your furry friend receives the necessary vaccinations, you can significantly reduce the chances of them contracting the infection. The most commonly used vaccine for kennel cough is called Bordetella.

Administered as an injection or nasal spray, this vaccine provides protection against the bacteria and viruses responsible for kennel cough. Be sure to consult your veterinarian to determine the most suitable vaccination schedule for your dog.

Hygiene Practices For Dog Owners

As a responsible dog owner, practicing good hygiene is fundamental in preventing the spread of kennel cough. Here are some essential hygiene practices to adopt:

  • Regularly wash your hands: Thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after handling or coming into contact with dogs, especially those with kennel cough.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces: Kennel cough can live on surfaces for a short period, so it is crucial to clean and disinfect objects and areas that may be contaminated.
  • Don’t share personal items: Avoid sharing personal items, such as towels or bedding, with dogs who have kennel cough.

Tips For Minimizing The Risk Of Transmission To Humans

While the risk of humans contracting kennel cough is low, it is still important to take precautions. Here are some tips to minimize the risk of transmission:

  • Limit close contact: Avoid prolonged close contact with dogs exhibiting symptoms of kennel cough.
  • Wear a protective mask: If you must care for a dog with kennel cough, consider wearing a protective mask to reduce the risk of inhaling respiratory droplets.
  • Boost your immune system: A healthy immune system can help protect you from various infections, including kennel cough. Eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep to support optimum immune function.

Remember, while the risk of humans getting kennel cough is minimal, it is always better to be cautious and take preventive measures. By vaccinating your dog, practicing good hygiene, and minimizing close contact, you can greatly reduce the risk of transmission and ensure the health and well-being of both your four-legged friend and yourself.

Can Humans Get Kennel Cough?


Treatment Options For Humans With Kennel Cough

Kennel cough, a respiratory infection typically associated with dogs, can rarely affect humans too. While humans can get kennel cough, it is usually a mild illness that resolves on its own. Treatment options, such as rest and over-the-counter medications for symptom relief, can help manage the symptoms in humans.

Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory illness that primarily affects dogs. However, it is possible for humans to contract kennel cough in rare cases. If you find yourself experiencing symptoms similar to kennel cough, it’s important to seek treatment.

Here are some options to consider:

Symptoms In Humans:

  • Persistent, dry cough: A hallmark symptom of kennel cough in both dogs and humans is a persistent, dry cough that may be accompanied by a “honking” sound.
  • Sore throat: The irritation caused by the infection can lead to a sore throat in humans, making swallowing and talking uncomfortable.
  • Nasal congestion: Some individuals with kennel cough may experience nasal congestion and a runny nose, similar to a common cold.

Medical Interventions:

  • Antitussives: These are medications that can help suppress coughing by relieving irritation in the throat and airways.
  • Expectorants: If you have mucus buildup in your respiratory system, expectorants can help thin the mucus, making it easier to cough up and clear your airways.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These medications can alleviate symptoms such as a sore throat and reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract.

Home Remedies And Self-Care Measures:

  • Rest and hydration: Getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated is essential for your body to recover from kennel cough.
  • Avoid irritants: Stay away from smoke, allergens, and other irritants that can exacerbate your symptoms and prolong the healing process.
  • Honey and tea: A warm cup of herbal tea, particularly those with soothing properties like chamomile or ginger, can help relieve throat irritation. Adding a spoonful of honey may provide additional relief.
  • Steam inhalation: Breathing in steam from a hot shower or a bowl of hot water can help open up your airways, making it easier to breathe.

Remember, while rare, contracting kennel cough as a human can happen. If you suspect you have kennel cough, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options. By taking the necessary steps, you can recover from kennel cough and get back to feeling like yourself again.

Frequently Asked Questions On Can Humans Get Kennel Cough?

What Happens If A Human Gets Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough in humans can cause a persistent cough, similar to a cold, but is not serious.

Can Humans Get Kennel Cough From A Dog?

Yes, humans can get kennel cough from dogs. It is a contagious respiratory illness.

How Contagious Is Kennel Cough To Humans?

Kennel cough is not typically contagious to humans.

Can You Pass Kennel Cough Through Humans?

Kennel cough is not typically transmitted to humans.


Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that mainly affects dogs. However, the question remains: can humans get kennel cough? While it is rare for humans to contract this illness, it is not impossible.

The bacteria responsible for kennel cough, Bordetella bronchiseptica, can occasionally infect humans, particularly those with weakened immune systems. It is important to note, though, that the symptoms in humans are usually mild and self-limiting. Nonetheless, taking precautionary measures to prevent transmission is crucial for both humans and dogs.

This includes avoiding close contact with infected animals, practicing good hygiene, and maintaining a healthy immune system. By doing so, you can reduce the risk of contracting kennel cough and ensure the well-being of both your furry friends and yourself.

Stay informed, stay aware, and prioritize the health of your pets and those around you.

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