Can I Use Honey For Kennel Cough?

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

The antibacterial and antifungal properties of honey can be used to treat kennel cough. Honey sticks to the dog’s throat for a long time which gives it the ability to combat bacteria growing there.
Additionally honey contains antioxidants enzymes and flavonoids that support the dog’s immune system. In a sense honey helps the dog fight the infection on its own.

In this research you will know the answer to the query “Can I Use Honey For Kennel Cough?“.

Can you give honey to your dog if he or she has a sore throat or other respiratory problem? When your four-legged friend has a cough this is one of the first things you think of. Is honey useful for treating kennel cough? Honey is good for dogs as well so thats good news. 

We will discuss how much honey you should give to your pet and what other natural remedies or medicines you could use to treat kennel cough.

What is kennel cough?

It can be quite scary when your dog coughs but if its a kennel cough hes suffering from its easily treatable and would not have any long-term effects.

Known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis kennel cough is the common name for this condition. Inflammation of the larynx and trachea occurs due to this disease of the upper respiratory tract. The lungs are seldom affected by it.

Bacteria and viruses can both cause the disease. The primary cause of the disease is the Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria which is why it is often called Bordetella rather than kennel cough. 

If a dog has already been infected with a virus the bacteria find a good host in it such as:

  • Viruses that infect dogs
  • Virus that causes distemper in dogs
  • Virus that causes canine herpes
  • Virus of the parainfluenza
  • Viruses that infect dogs

Whenever one of these viruses infects the lining of the dogs throat it destroys the mucus that coats the trachea thus making it an ideal breeding ground for Bordetella bacteria.

What are the most common symptoms of kennel cough?

The first sign you’ll notice is the persistent cough. There is a lot of similarity between the dogs sounds and that of a goose honk. This might seem funny at first but then you realize how miserable the poor thing is because he simply cannot stop coughing.  His other symptoms are similar to those of a common cold including:

  • Sneezing
  • Having a runny nose
  • Having runny eyes
  • Appetite loss
  • Lethargy

The vet does not need to be rushed. You should try some easily available remedies if you think your dog has kennel cough. You should however take your dog to the vet if these remedies fail to work and he does not seem to feel any better within a few days. 

How long does it last?

Generally speaking kennel cough resolves itself within three weeks though it may seem like an eternity at first.

You may be able to speed up the healing process by taking antibiotics. For example a senior dog predisposed to other ailments might cough for more than six weeks.

In order to kill bacteria and prevent pneumonia veterinarians often prescribe antibiotics. With a young healthy animal kennel cough can be treated without antibiotics but with an elderly dog with a weak immune system we should not take any chances. 

Why might honey help kennel cough? Can I Use Honey For Kennel Cough?

The antibacterial and antifungal properties of honey can be used to treat kennel cough. Honey sticks to the dogs throat for a long time which gives it the ability to combat bacteria growing there.

Additionally honey contains antioxidants enzymes and flavonoids that support the dogs immune system. In a sense honey helps the dog fight the infection on its own. 

What kind of honey is good for kennel cough?

You need to make sure the natural remedy is as natural as possible if you want it to be effective. At the supermarket there are many products sold as honey that are not the real thing.

These products are full of sugar and do not provide any health benefits.

Raw honey should be given to your dog preferably something produced locally rather than imported from afar.

A jar of raw honey is usually accompanied by a honeycomb. If you’re able to get your hands on raw honey topped with pollen honeycomb and propolis you should definitely let your dog chew on these products.

Also known for its antibacterial properties propolis is often used to soothe sore throats in adults and children. 

When you’re wondering about what kind of honey is best for your dogs cough then look for manuka honey. 

How much honey should I use for kennel cough?

The amount of honey you should use for treating kennel cough depends on the size of your pet.

You can give one tablespoon of honey to your large dog every day if he is large. He should be given honey after a meal and after hes had a drink of water.

Rather than just washing it down with a few gulps of water the honey needs to coat his throat. The honey will have enough time to fight the bacteria in his throat if his water is removed for no longer than one hour.

Two teaspoons of honey should be given to a medium-sized dog daily for instance one in the morning and one in the evening.

Honey is not needed in excess of one teaspoon for a small dog.

Generally dogs enjoy the taste of honey but if your pet is particularly picky you can mix it with his regular food or hide it in one of his favorite treats.

In contrast the dog has little appetite when sick so be patient with your pet. Honey will be his favorite by the time he gets rid of the cough. 

What other natural remedies are there for kennel cough?

Besides these natural remedies here are some others you can use to ease your dogs symptoms.

Coconut oil 

Coconut oil is known for its antiviral properties so you can give it to your dog if he has kennel cough. Dogs either enjoy the taste or do not so its best to hide it in a treat if the dog does not.

If you have a small dog you should only give him one teaspoon of coconut oil per day. 


Kennel cough can also be treated with this natural remedy. Cinnamon has similar antiviral properties as coconut oil and you need to treat the viruses in his throat that have allowed bacteria to thrive.

Half a teaspoon of cinnamon should be sprinkled over his regular food. You may want to try adding a dash of cinnamon at first if you know your dog is a picky eater. Increase his dose if he does not object. If your dog is already lacking in appetite due to the cough you do not want him to refuse to eat. 

Steam bath

Even though its not a natural remedy it can be quite beneficial if your dog is coughing. Steam will allow him to breathe easier by loosening all the gunk in his throat.

What are the steps involved in giving a dog a steam bath? You do not have to take a bath with him.

I suggest taking a very hot long shower and simply inviting your dog to sit with you in the bathroom. A 30-minute shower should be sufficient.

It is likely that the dog will get hot as well. Donot forget to bring his water bowl with you. Dogs should be well hydrated when they are sick. 

Can I use over-the-counter medicines for kennel cough?

When it comes to cough syrup do not give your dog any medicine designed for human consumption. Dogs are not supposed to consume cough syrups that contain alcohol.

Benadryl may be helpful for your dog. Antihistamines such as this are prescribed for allergies. They can relieve symptoms such as a runny nose and itchy eyes. It may also make your dog drowsy at this point which is not necessarily a bad thing. Your dog probably does not sleep well anyway because of all his coughing. 

One mg per pound of body weight is recommended by veterinarians. You should be able to give a 25 mg tablet to a 25 lb dog. If you prefer you can try the non-alcoholic Benadryl syrup for children.

Once every 8-12 hours your dog can take Benadryl.  

What other illnesses might honey cure?

Several conditions can be controlled or relieved by using honey.


Because honey contains some pollen it is good for allergy sufferers. Adding a teaspoon of honey to your dogs diet twice a week will help him become more resistant to seasonal allergies caused by pollen.

Honey is also a good source of quercetin a flavonoid with antihistamine properties so its beneficial to those who suffer from allergies. Symptoms such as itchy skin and watery eyes can be relieved by honey. 

Skin problems

Honey has antiseptic properties so soothing hot spots eczema insect bites and even scratches can be treated with it. 

Stomach problems

If your dog suffers from indigestion diarrhea or constipation honey contains both prebiotics and probiotics. 

Weight problems

It is a sugar but honey breaks down differently from processed sugar which means it can help you control the dogs weight by slowing down digestion and sugar conversion in the body. 


You can try honey if your dog has kennel cough. He will be able to fight the infection with honeys antiviral properties. As an alternative coconut oil and cinnamon can be used to ease the symptoms of this disease. 

As well it is always a good idea to keep some honey in your pantry since it is also useful for treating allergies alleviating skin problems and settling upset stomachs. However make sure it is good quality honey preferably raw and organic. 

If you want to read more about dogs’ health tips read here: Dog Health Tips and Tricks.

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