Author: BPC Staff

It’s here folks!  Cold and flu season!  The changing weather, kids heading back to school and our return to workplaces after the summer is a recipe for a few airborne diseases to make their rounds.  Sickness isn’t only more common for us humans though.  The chance of illness may also increase for your pets in these cold winter months.


As you may already know, we require all dogs to receive their Bordetella vaccination before they can stay in our facilities.  Bordetella is a shot used to help protect pets from the respiratory disease called acute infectious tracheobronchitis, also known as kennel cough. 


Even though the name says otherwise, kennel cough isn’t a disease that can be caught exclusively in kennels.  In fact, any location where lots of dogs are in close contact is prime territory for this airborne illness to make the rounds.


Another common misconception about kennel cough and the Bordetella vaccination is that once your pet has received their shot they cannot become infected.  That is not the case.  Much like with the flu or Covid vaccinations for humans, the Bordetella vaccine is used to help prevent severe sickness in the event that your pet does get kennel cough, it does not stop it completely.


So, how do you know if your pet has kennel cough?  Although, we will inform you if we suspect that your dog has contracted it before you come and pick them up, the incubation period is 2-14 days therefore, your pup might not even begin showing symptoms until they are at home. In that case, here are some of the things you can look out for;

-A persistent cough


-Runny nose

-Runny eyes

-Loss of appetite



Now, when your beloved pet begins to show symptoms of a sickness that might leave them hacking and uncomfortable, your first instinct might be to rush them to the vet.  If your dog is very young (a puppy up to one year old) or elderly, it might be a good idea to get them checked out.  Young dogs have an immature immune system and elderly dogs a weakened immunity to disease so they may not be able to fight it off by themselves.  Yet, in many cases, with dogs of good health and middle age, kennel cough can be quite a mild affliction and they likely won’t require veterinary treatment at all.


So, before you make the trek to the vet’s office, here are some home remedies you can try to help your pet get back to their usual, energetic selves!


Coconut Oil

Coconut oil isn’t only useful as a vegetable oil alternative, it can also be helpful as a treatment option for kennel cough.  It has many antiviral and antibacterial properties that can kill bacteria and help the recovery process.  Additionally, coconut oil may help with congestion and, in turn, increase your pet’s appetite.  Who likes to eat with a stuffy nose?  Not me!  delfina-cocciardi-pzUHHcvJeFU-unsplash

Recommended dosage

-¼ teaspoon daily for small dogs 

-1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon daily for bigger dogs.  


Start out with a smaller amount to see how your dog reacts.  If their reaction is positive, gradually increase up to a dosage of about 1 to 2 teaspoons of coconut oil per 10 pounds of body weight per day, divided into your dog’s meals.



Honey has many antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.  Once swallowed, it will stick to the sides of your dog’s throat and kill the bacteria lurking there.  Plus, honey is a great source of antioxidants, enzymes and flavonoids which are important to strengthen your dog’s immune system.  

Recommended dosageart-rachen-g0TrNRdwJQw-unsplash

-1 teaspoon per day for small dogs

-2 teaspoons per day for medium dogs-1 tablespoon of honey per day for big dogs


Try feeding the honey to your dog after a meal and water so the coating on their throat does not get washed away.  Additionally, try using as natural of a honey as you can find.  The added sugars and processing of many commercial honeys aren’t good for your dog and should be avoided.  



Try placing a humidifier next to your dog’s bed to moisturize the air and soothe their irritated throat and nasal passages.  Another method of steaming could be to invite your dog into the washroom while you shower so the steam can help loosen mucus in the nasal cavity and let them breathe better. 




Another simple way to help your dog on the road to recovery is to make sure they are drinking lots of water so they do not become dehydrated.  If they don’t seem to be wanting to drink you can offer them ice cubes to chew on.  You can also try adding chicken broth to the water to make it more flavourful. 



An important factor in anyone’s recovery, including your dog’s, is rest.  Let them relax for a few days away from heavy exercise, rambunctious children and other pets.  



The good thing about kennel cough is that symptoms usually resolve completely in one to two weeks so your pet will feel better very soon!  However, if your dog’s symptoms have not improved after a few days we recommend visiting a vet.  They will be able to prescribe antibiotics to fight the infection and provide other care.   

Article by Jessica Brody. (


How to Make Your New Pet Feel Welcome In Your Home
If you’re adding a furry friend to your household, you’re in luck. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that owning pets can reduce blood pressure, decrease feelings of loneliness, and even promote better mental health. Your pet will be a great companion. Here’s what you can do to find the right one for you and properly introduce them to your home.

Get a Thorough Background on Your Pet
Research the kinds of pets you’re interested in. If you’re adopting from a breeder, you’ll have a better idea of their parentage and breed. If you’re visiting a shelter, ask them questions about the animal’s background and behavior. Some people even try genetic testing for their dogs to learn more about their breed and possible susceptibility to some illnesses. This can help you know what pet will work best for you and your family.


Buy Necessary Pet Supplies
After choosing your pet, prepare the house by purchasing pet supplies. This can include a litter box if you have a cat, a bed, and some toys. If you want to take your pet out for a walk, knowing the different types of leashes can help you find one that works with your pet’s behavior.


Introduce Them One Room at a Time
When you bring a pet home, put them in one room and allow them to become comfortable with their surroundings. Don’t force your pet to interact with other members of the family, as this could overwhelm your new companion. Let them become curious and discover the house on their own. This is useful for shelter pets, as they might be nervous around a new home.


House-Train Your Pet
No matter what situation your pet may be coming from, it’s important to employ some house training. Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for pet training, and it can help you develop a strong bond with your pet.


Stay Clean
Most pets will require you to clean up after the messes they make, including fur, dander, and stains. In order to keep your house clean, you’ll want to invest in a quality vacuum cleaner that can pick up everything your furry friend leaves behind.


Establish a Solid Routine
A good routine can improve the mental wellbeing of your pet and help them adjust to your home more easily. If you have a regular habit of going for walks, scheduling mealtimes, and playing with your pet, they will come to trust and appreciate you more. Our own habits can impact our pets, so ensure that you and your pet stick to a healthy routine.


Give Your Pet Things to Do While You’re Gone
If you have to be at your job all day, your pet will need some extra effort. Interesting research shows that some pets have the capacity to miss their owners when they’re gone. This is especially the case with dogs, as many breeds require extra socializing. Turning on the TV for your dog can help, but also give them challenging toys can also help them stay occupied.


Spend Time with Them
Pets can boost immune function and promote good health, so spend plenty of time together. Despite the stereotypes about cats, they are still social animals and will want be around you. Play games with your cat, whether it’s with a laser pointer or string. If you have a dog, take them out for regular walks. If you have a backyard, your dog will love to run around in it as well.

Pets can help us get more exercise, be more social, and even help boost our body’s natural response to allergens. Be patient with your pet, help them adjust to your home, and use positive reinforcement. Your pet can be one of your greatest companions, so make sure they feel all the love from you.

Our top priority at Bekkers Pet Care is making sure all of our boarders (cat or dog) are happy and healthy during their stay with us, and that they have fun along the way. We also realize that no matter how long the stay, owners want to check up on their pets. We are happy to provide any updates over email on how your pet is doing throughout their stay at Bekkers! Below are just a handful of the boarders we have come through the kennel, all enjoying their stays.

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Bambi, King, and Bailey

At Bekkers Pet Care, we require all of our canine boarders to have their Bordetella vaccine (along with Rabies and and Distemper). The Bordetella vaccine is given to prevent the highly contagious respiratory disease most commonly known as “kennel cough”. As the dogs at Bekkers are in close quarters and allowed to play with each other, it is incredibly important to prevent this disease from occurring and spreading!

The Bordetella vaccine (named for the bacteria that most commonly causes kennel cough) is not a core vaccine given by veterinarians, so if you plan on having your dog boarded, please make sure to book an appointment with your vet so your dog can receive the vaccine. Proof of vaccination can either be uploaded online when submitting a boarding request, or brought in hard copy to the Bekkers Pet Care office.

For those of you who want to learn more about kennel cough such as symptoms and treatment, please visit: Kennel Cough in Dogs – Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention