Although all dogs may cough or sneeze from time to time, if your pooch is persistently hacking away or making a noise that seems like they're choking it may be that they're suffering from kennel cough.

Although relatively rare, kennel cough can be caught by dogs when they inhale bacteria or virus particles into their respiratory tract and results in a horrible-sounding hacking cough.

Since it is very contagious, kennel cough is usually experienced by animals kept in very close quarters, such as pups that live in kennels with other canines.

However, it can also be caused by cold temperatures, travel-induced stress or exposure to dust and cigarette smoke, so any dog can suffer from the problem and it is worth all owners being aware of it.

Other symptoms of kennel cough are sneezing - particularly in the early stages - and nasal discharges. In very severe cases canines won't want to eat their premium dog food, but for the most part kennel cough does not affect appetite.

Although kennel cough may sound horrible and does make some dogs feel lousy, it is not usually dangerous and most canines with recover from it without any treatment.

However, in puppies, senior canines and giant breeds it can be more serious and lead to pneumonia - which can be fatal - so if you're at all concerned or if your dog's cough persists for more than a couple of weeks it's always a good idea to visit the vet.

It is also important to remember that kennel cough is incredibly contagious during the incubation period of around ten days, as well as after the symptoms have desisted for anything up to ten weeks.

Therefore, if your pooch does have kennel cough it is important that you keep them away from other canines as far as possible and keep an eye on dogs that they have come into contact with.

Written by: Hannah