Kennel Cough in January?

I’m sure that you all have noticed that our ‘normal’ Montana winter weather has been anything but that.

Where is January at?!

It’s been much warmer than usual, and we’ve had more rain than snow. Since there is more moisture during this time of year, it is creating the perfect environment for ‘kennel cough’ (Bordetella) to survive in the environment longer and become more prevalent than normal. This is one reason why it is more common to have outbreaks in the Spring and Fall months.

Bordetella is spread via airborne transmission (cough or sneeze), and by direct dog/dog contact and is highly contagious. The incubation period is 2 to 14 days, so that means once a dog is exposed it can take that long to show signs. A dog may cough for several days or up to two weeks. We advise people to keep their pet isolated from other dogs for a week after coughing has stopped.

We recommend vaccinating your dog based on his or her level of risk for contracting Bordetella

Does your dog go to doggy daycare or a boarding facility?

Does your dog go to the groomer?

Do you take your dog to the park?

Do you have dogs on the other side of your fenced yard?

Does your dog spend any time with other dogs?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, your dog should be vaccinated


We use the oral (in the mouth) Bordetella vaccine which provides the most rapid protection.

“This allows local immunity to develop on the mucous membranes of the nose, throat, and windpipe where the infectious agents first attack” – Life & Learn ‘Kennel Cough or Tracheobronchitis in Dogs’

Dogs should be vaccinated at least a week or two prior to boarding. It takes several days for their body to respond to the vaccine and prime their immune system


You can visit the Life & Learn website to read more about ‘kennel cough’ (Bordetella) by clicking the link on our website.

You can also click HERE for another helpful article.

If you are bringing your dog in for an appointment and they are coughing, please leave them in the car. You can either come inside without your pet or call our receptionists to let them know you are here for an appointment. Since it is highly contagious, exams should be done outside or in an isolated area in the clinic.