Protecting Your Puppy From Bordetella

20 February 2019
 Categories: , Blog


When it comes to disease prevention in puppies, owners typically focus on serious diseases like parvovirus and rabies. It's certainly important to protect your puppy from these deadly diseases; however, that does not mean that preventing less-serious illnesses is not also important. Bordetella, also known as kennel cough, is a disease that can lead to coughing and general respiratory illness in dogs. It won't kill your puppy, but it will make them miserable. Below are ways on how to protect your puppy.

Get your puppy vaccinated.

Vets do not always automatically vaccinate puppies for Bordetella. It is not a core vaccine like rabies or parvovirus since it is not deadly or transmissible to humans. However, if you ask a local veterinarian or check out a local animal hospital, such as Apple Valley Animal Hospital, for the shot. Generally, your dog will need an initial vaccine, followed by a booster a few weeks later. These shots can be given during your puppy's standard appointments for their other vaccines and checkups.

Keep your puppy away from others until he or she has been vaccinated.

Vaccines take a few weeks to have an effect. Your puppy's immune system needs time to react to the presence of the Bordetella virus and then build immunity to that virus. As such, you should keep your puppy away from other dogs for about a month after he or she received the Bordetella vaccine. This means no taking your puppy to the kennel or the boarders quite yet. If you take training lessons with your puppy, they should be solo lessons for now, leave the group training sessions for later. 

Don't buy used items.

Bordetella can remain viable on the surface of pet beds, dog bowls, and other items for a few weeks! As such, you should avoid buying used items for your dog unless you are able to completely sanitize them with bleach and water before introducing them to your dog. Avoid bringing used sofas and other "human" items into your home until your puppy is fully vaccinated too. These could also be harboring the virus if the previous owners had a dog.

Avoid dogs that are coughing or sick.

This applies throughout your puppy's life, but especially before he or she has had time to react to the vaccine. If you see any dogs while you're out walking that are coughing or sneezing, steer clear of them. Don't let your dog, at any age, enter a kennel if any animal inside appears sick. Vaccines don't always offer 100% protection, so this extra preventative measure is important.