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Can Dogs Develop Kennel Cough After Getting Vaccinated?


Dear VetBabble,

Can a dog develop kennel cough following vaccination?

It is a common concern for pet owners that their beloved companion may experience side effects or complications from vaccinations. In particular, many wonder if there’s a possibility of their dog developing kennel cough following vaccination. While it is unlikely that a dog will develop kennel cough directly from the vaccination itself, there are factors that can increase the risk of contracting the illness. In this article, we will discuss the relationship between kennel cough and vaccinations, as well as provide information on how to prevent and treat kennel cough in dogs. Let’s dive into the topic!

Understanding Kennel Cough and Its Connection to Vaccines

Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease that mainly affects dogs and is caused by a variety of bacteria and viruses. Symptoms include a persistent, hacking cough and other cold-like symptoms. To learn more about the difference between a cold and kennel cough in dogs, check out Does My Dog Have a Cold?

The concern that vaccinations may cause kennel cough stems from the fact that some vaccines contain a live, weakened form of the Bordetella bronchiseptica bacterium, which is one of the main causes of kennel cough. However, it is important to note that the weakened form in the vaccine is not strong enough to cause illness in a healthy dog. Thus, it is unlikely that a dog will develop kennel cough from the vaccine itself. For more information on kennel cough and how to treat and prevent it, refer to Bordetella: How to Treat and Prevent Kennel Cough in Dogs.

It is worth noting that a dog may still be at risk of contracting kennel cough from other dogs while visiting the veterinarian for vaccinations. In a waiting area, close proximity to other dogs can increase the likelihood of exposure to the illness. To further understand the various types of coughing in dogs and their respective diagnoses and treatments, consult Coughing in Dogs: Types, Diagnoses and Treatment.

Preventing and Treating Kennel Cough

Understanding the risks and taking the appropriate precautions can help reduce the likelihood of your dog contracting kennel cough. Vaccination is one of the most effective methods of prevention. Speak to your veterinarian about which vaccines your dog needs and when to get them to ensure your dog remains healthy and well-protected from kennel cough and other contagious diseases.

Additional preventive measures include maintaining good hygiene, avoiding contact with infected dogs, and ensuring that shared spaces, such as dog parks and kennels, are clean and well-ventilated. Keep in mind that while vaccinations can greatly decrease the risk of kennel cough, no vaccine is 100% effective, so always be vigilant in monitoring your dog’s health.

If your dog does contract kennel cough, contacting your veterinarian for appropriate diagnosis and treatment is crucial. In most cases, kennel cough is not life-threatening and dogs will recover with proper care. Treatment may include antibiotics, cough suppressants, and ensuring your dog is well-rested and hydrated.


In conclusion, it is highly unlikely that a dog will develop kennel cough as a result of receiving a vaccination. The risk of contracting the illness comes primarily from exposure to other infected dogs, particularly in shared spaces or during visits to the veterinarian. Taking the necessary precautions and keeping your dog’s vaccinations up-to-date are essential steps in maintaining their overall health and well-being. If you have any concerns about your dog’s health or vaccination schedule, always consult with your veterinarian for further advice.

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