Everything to Know About the Kennel Cough Vaccine

Like any pet owner, you want your dog to lead a long and healthy life. To make that happen, you have to give him all the important vaccines—and we mean all of them. One vaccine that often gets missed? The kennel cough vaccine. Here’s what you need to know about this important vaccination and whether or not it’s right for your dog.

The kennel cough vaccine provides protection against a common respiratory disease in dogs.

Kennel cough is a highly contagious upper respiratory tract infection that affects the nose and throat of dogs, causing severe coughing. It’s caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria, including bordetella bronchiseptica (also called kennel cough virus). The virus spreads through direct contact with infected dogs or with items they’ve touched like food bowls or toys. Kennel cough symptoms typically appear within two weeks after exposure, but sometimes take up to two months before they show up!

Should You Get the Shot?

Vaccination against kennel cough is required by law in some areas. It’s a good idea to vaccinate your dog, even if it’s not required. The vaccine can reduce the severity of symptoms and help prevent complications from developing.

The vaccine is available for both dogs and cats, but it’s most commonly given to puppies. The vaccine is most effective when administered to puppies between 14 and 16 weeks old; however, it can be given up until six months of age.

The vaccine protects against a type of virus called Parainfluenza 3 (PI3). This virus causes kennel cough in your pet. The disease can cause coughing, sneezing and other signs similar to those seen during the common cold in people: runny nose and eyes, fever, loss of appetite and lethargy (extreme tiredness). It can also lead to pneumonia or bacterial infection in some cases if not treated properly with antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs such as steroids

How Often Does My Dog Need This Vaccine?

It’s recommended that dogs receive the vaccine at least once a year. The shot is generally administered after 16 weeks of age, and dogs should continue to be vaccinated for at least two weeks after any exposure to kennel cough. After that, your dog may continue to be vaccinated every few years as long as he doesn’t have an illness or other condition that would cause it not to work as well (more on this below).

If your dog has been spayed or neutered recently, wait until she recovers from the procedure before giving her a kennel cough vaccine. This will give her body time to recover from these invasive procedures before introducing foreign substances into her system again by way of vaccination. Also consider waiting until after surgery if your vet recommends against vaccinating due to health concerns related directly or indirectly with those procedures (such as diabetes).

If your dog has already been exposed to kennel cough—for example, if she was boarded at an animal facility where other dogs were coughing—and hasn’t yet developed symptoms herself but needs immediate protection from infection in order for treatment options later on down the road not become limited by having waited too long since being exposed yesterday afternoon versus now today morning when you’re reading this article then go ahead and vaccinate right away!

What Are the Risks of the Kennel Cough Vaccine?

The kennel cough vaccine is a live vaccine, which means it contains a weakened form of the virus that causes kennel cough. The live viruses in the vaccine can cause mild side effects. Most dogs are able to handle them just fine, but some may experience more severe symptoms or other complications.

Dogs who have had an adverse reaction to this vaccination include:

  • They were previously vaccinated with another type of respiratory disease vaccine (such as distemper) and develop fever-related side effects after being vaccinated for kennel cough.
  • They are very young puppies and develop a fever higher than 103 degrees F after receiving the vaccination.

How Much Does This Vaccine Cost?

The cost of the kennel cough vaccine will vary depending on the manufacturer, vet and how many doses are required. The price of this vaccine is between $20 and $50 per dose. If your dog requires two doses, then the total could be anywhere from $60 to $100 for both doses.

The cost can be even more expensive if you have a puppy who needs multiple vaccines in its first year. In this case, an additional cost may be incurred as each puppy dose costs around $40-$50 depending on where you acquire it from.

If your dog has been previously vaccinated against kennel cough but has not had any boosters within 3 years, then another booster shot may need to be administered before traveling with Fido in order for him/her to get through airport security checkpoints without being quarantined upon arrival


The kennel cough vaccine is an important part of your dog’s healthcare routine. Although it doesn’t prevent all forms of the disease, it can help mitigate the symptoms. The frequency with which you should give your pet this vaccine depends on the age and health of your dog, as well as how often they go to the groomer or visit other dogs. As always, talk to your veterinarian about any questions or concerns you have regarding this vaccine and what kind of schedule would be best for your pup!