How Often Should a Dog Owner Vaccinate Against Kennel Cough?

The American Veterinary Medical Association does not suggest a particular kennel cough vaccination schedule. Instead, the organization urges dog owners to consult with their veterinarian to discuss whether or not an individual dog is at risk of exposure to the contagious viruses and bacteria responsible for kennel cough.

Since the infectious agents responsible for kennel cough are spread through direct dog-to-dog contact, certain dogs are at a greater risk of contracting the disease. PetMD explains that dogs exposed to boarding facilities and kennel-like conditions have the highest rates of kennel cough infection. Exposure to infected dogs also poses a risk to unvaccinated puppies and juvenile dogs.

If a dog is considered high risk for contracting kennel cough, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine suggests the administration of a kennel cough vaccine within six months of boarding the dog and at least one week prior to the boarding date. After the initial, single-dose vaccine is given, a booster every six months is sufficient for continued protection. Since many dogs do not require kennel cough vaccines, a consultation with a veterinarian is the best way to identify a dog's risk factors and determine whether or not it would benefit from regular vaccination.