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The Lowdown on Canine Cough

A common condition affecting our four-legged furry friends, Canine Cough can strike dogs of all shapes, sizes and ages. However, this virus is often incorrectly referred to as “para-influenza” and especially Kennel Cough - a terminology which unfairly implies the condition is the fault of pet accommodation facilities. This terminology is also used by the media, confounding the situation and misleading the general public. That’s why this month, with official advice from the Australian Pet Care Association (APCA), The Pets Hotel team would like to set the record straight with a basic overview of Canine Cough.

 Canine Cough

The cause: A common respiratory virus

Canine Cough or Infectious Tracheobronchitis to use the medical term, is a common and highly contagious upper respiratory condition that affects dogs and is spread by an airborne virus. If your furry friend contracts canine cough, they’ll usually display symptoms within 3-7 days (the typical incubation period for this pesky ailment).

Although very annoying, Canine Cough rarely develops into something more serious. However just like a human cold, it can lower their defences to secondary infections, which is why seeking professional vet care in a timely manner is often a good precaution.

It’s also important to note that despite the frequently misused term “Kennel Cough”, this condition can develop anywhere dogs congregate in social settings – from the local park, to dog obedience classes, play dates with their canine pals at the neighbour’s house and of course, from pet boarding facilities!

  • Canine Cough is a common viral infection affecting dogs
  • Although annoying, it rarely develops into a more serious condition
  • Symptoms usually display 3-7 days after exposure
  • Like other airborne infections, dogs can catch canine cough in any social setting


The Symptoms 

Much like the common human cold which is also caused by an airborne virus, Canine Cough results in similar symptoms. Most notably a repetitive dry, hacking cough that develops 3-7 days after exposure to the virus and is sometimes accompanied by regular sneezing and nasal discharge:

  • Dry, “hacking” cough
  • Gagging or vomiting after ingesting food
  • Sneezing
  • Eye or nasal discharge
  • Fever or lethargy

If your dog displays any of these symptoms, please seek the advice of your nearest qualified vet. On that note, the RSPCA website, AVA (Australian Veterinary Association) directory and Vet Board Victoria are excellent resources for finding a vet in your area.



As is the case with the common cold, Infectious tracheobronchitis or Canine Cough can’t be “cured” per se but must run its course until the infection leaves the dog’s body, which usually happens after 7 days. Given how this condition will make your dear furry friend more susceptible to other secondary ailments, your vet will generally prescribe antibiotics to protect their immune system coupled with cough suppressant medication and the age-old advice to get plenty of rest.

Thankfully, vaccines (parainfluenza and adenovirus type 2) are available to protect against this condition and other related ailments, which are generally administered as part of an adult dog’s yearly check-up. Puppies are also vaccinated for this condition in combination with distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus.

  • Canine cough can’t be “cured”, but will generally run its course over 7 days
  • Treatments include antibiotics, cough suppressants and rest
  • A vaccine is also available


Keen to find out more about The Pets Hotel and our friendly team of professional animal lovers? Contact us at The Pets Hotel (Port Melbourne) on (03) 9646 3696 or The Pets Hotel Country Club (Lara) on (03) 5282 1286.

Excess Baggage: The Dangers of Pet Obesity

Just like us humans, our furry friends love to indulge in the finer things in life from time to time. Whether that be decadent dog safe chocolate treats, delicious doggy snacks or oodles of fresh canned tuna, temptation abounds for their tastebuds!

However, all this indulgence can lead to pet obesity if left unchecked, which is arguably one of the biggest dangers for cats and dogs, given the constellation of related health issues it can cause. In fact, a 2020 study referenced by the Pet Food Industry Association Australia found that approximately 41% of dogs and 32% of cats in Australia are obese – defined as ‘an animal 15% or more over its optimal bodyweight’. The same figures from the US are 56% for dogs and 60% for cats.

“41% of dogs and 32% of cats in Australia are officially obese”

All the time they’ve spent by our side in lockdown these past two years hasn’t helped either. But the good news is despite the risks detailed below by The Pets Hotel team below, there’s plenty you can do to address Pet Obesity in your four-legged friend for a long and healthy life : )

The Risks of Pet Obesity



Key health risks for obese pets

Keeping in mind that every cat and dog breed is different, as is every individual pet, here are the key risks they face from letting themselves go:

  • A shorter lifespan: One of the most profound dangers of pet obesity is how it shortens the lives of our beloved furry friends, given the higher likelihood they’ll face chronic diseases as a result. According to the UK’s Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, obese dogs can expect to live anywhere from 5 months up to 2.5 years less than their healthier counterparts. For cats, the lifespan reduction can be a dramatic 5-10 years!


  • Diabetes: A common side effect of pet obesity, both cat and canine diabetes is caused by a lack of the hormone insulin or an inadequate response to insulin. If left untreated, it can lead to hyperglycemia or even death. However, the good news is this health condition is highly treatable via daily insulin injections and a well-regulated diet.


  • Hypertension: Hypertension or increased blood pressure is another condition closely linked to pet obesity and can lead to other unwanted ailments, including eye problems, heart issues and stroke. Regular exercise and a healthy diet are the ideal prevention.


  • Musculoskeletal disease: Obese pets naturally carry more weight, which leads to greater stress on their joints from repetitive load bearing. This can lead to a range of Musculoskeletal conditions including ruptured ligaments and early onset osteoarthritis due to inflammation. Another good reason to keep your four-legged friend in top shape!


Fighting fit: Key ways to treat pet obesity

Given the health risks obese pets face, the good news is this common condition is treatable through regular exercise and a solid diet. Even better, by following the advice published below by The Pets Hotel team back in 2020, your cat or dog can avoid the excess baggage altogether!


  • Stay up-to-date on vet visits: Good pet health begins with the basics – making sure they’re de-sexed, microchipped and up-to-date with all their necessary vaccinations. That's why it pays to maintain regular vet visits. The RSPCA have a number of quality clinics across Melbourne. 


  • Stick to set mealtimes to maintain routine: Just like us, our furry friends benefit from structure in their lives, and there’s no better way to achieve that then through sticking to set mealtimes – a distinct feed once or twice daily (depending on their size, age and breed) at the same time(s) every day.

  • Keep up those regular daily walks with your dog: One of the easiest ways to maintain good dog health and burn off those excess kilos is to take them for a daily walk. Regular walks are also a great way to de-stress (for both owner and pet alike) and help you both relax better in the evening, another important ingredient for keeping in good shape.


  • Work out how much your pet actually needs to eat: It sounds obvious but working out how much to feed your pets is key to keeping them in good shape and warding off excess kilos. The amount and type of food they need of course depends on their size and age. As with many things pet-related, the RSPCA have great guides on what you should feed your cats and dogs.


  • Don’t forget to treat them, but make it an occasion! Finally, don’t forget to treat your furry friend on occasion for their loyal companionship and those adorable moments that bring a smile to your face. The trick is to make those treats an event worth waiting for – to not only keep their health in check but also to train their patience, one of the most valuable traits of all : )


Keen to find out more about The Pets Hotel and our friendly team of professional animal lovers? Contact us at The Pets Hotel (Port Melbourne) on (03) 9646 3696 or The Pets Hotel Country Club (Lara) on (03) 5282 1286.

About Us

After years of research in Australia and the USA, The Pets Hotel is custom designed for your pet’s health, safety and comfort, all in a fun-filled environment - which exceeds the industry Code of Practice.
The owners of The Pets Hotel have 35 years experience in the Pet industry.

The Pets Hotel is the culmination of this experience.

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Contact Information
Phone: (03) 9646 3696
Fax: (03) 9646 3695

Monday - Friday
7am-12pm & 3.00pm-6.30pm
Public Holidays

Address: 7 Phillip Court
Port Melbourne. Vic 3207