By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The holiday season is a busy time at area pet boarding facilities. And understanding “Kennel Cough” will help keep your dog healthy.

When your dog is around other dogs with kennel cough or Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC), your pet is at risk.

Dr. Lesley King is a professor of critical care at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the director of the Intensive Care Unit at Penn Vet’s Ryan Hospital.

“It’s spread from dog-to-dog by little tiny droplets — aerosolization– when an infected dog coughs or sneezes they produce little droplets and if they are in the same air space as another dog then the other dog inhales those droplets and gets infected.”

Dr. King says a mild form of kennel cough will be just a cough and its upper respiratory infection like a human who may have a cold. She says it will run its course and the animal should be back to normal in about a week.

But, the doctor says if the dog goes off its food and appears to be lethargic in association with his coughing and breathing becomes more labored then the disease gets more serious and may require hospitalization.

Top Content On CBSPhilly

Watch & Listen LIVE