In extreme cases, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), dogs can die from untreated kennel cough. If properly treated, however, most dogs survive kennel cough. Vaccinations offer protection against the illness.
While in rare circumstances, dogs do die as a direct result of kennel cough, according to the ASPCA, it is actually more common for a dog to die of a secondary complication. This is most commonly pneumonia, resulting from failure to treat the kennel cough infection. If a dog does contract kennel cough, it is vitally important for its owner to seek proper veterinary treatment as soon as possible, according to the Clinton Park Veterinary Clinic. A treatment regime of antibiotics can prevent further complications.