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Why Is My Dog Coughing? Symptoms, Causes, and Solutions

Updated by Amy Granger on Jun 9, 2021

Coughing is the body's natural reaction to any irritation or irregularity in the airway and is a natural occurrence in all dogs. A chronic cough, on the other hand, might indicate a more serious underlying sickness or medical condition, but this is not always the case because many other things can trigger coughing in your dog. Any caring and responsible dog owner should be worried about their dogs coughing without stopping, especially when the cough is severe. In this article, we will be looking at the reasons your dog is coughing and also suggest some quick solutions to the problem. So, continue reading if you want to know all these!

dogs coughing

One might think identifying a coughing dog is as simple as when you see it in actions. Yea, there are atoms of truth in that, but that is not all. There are other signs and symptoms that can reveal that your dog is suffering from cough; they include:

  • You might notice that your dog is significantly losing too much weight. This is especially noticeable if your dog is naturally big and fat
  • Your puppy no longer fancies going for walks in the morning just as much as it doesn't want to exercise.
  • Your dog seems to be resting too much because it is always tired and exhausted from doing nothing.
  • It could become hard to tell your dog's bark from other dogs' because its voice changes from normal to dry and cracking.
  • Intolerance to cold things and weather, and other signs.
  • Heart disease: Some dog breeds are predisposed to heart illness and genetic disorders more than others. Heart disease affects a wide range of dog breeds. Mitral valve disease is common in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. This heart problem appears gradually and is not noticeable when the dog is young. Regular checks are an important part of your dog's health regimen and may help discover any anomalies early.
  • Lung disease pneumonia: This is an infection that affects the lungs. A wet or productive cough might suggest an accumulation of fluid in the lungs, which is often caused by illness. Your veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics if your dog's condition is bacterial.
  • Kennel cough: Coughing in dogs can be caused by a number of factors. Kennel cough causes the trachea and bronchi of your dog's upper respiratory system to become inflamed. Infectious canine tracheobronchitis is another name for it. A variety of viruses and bacteria can cause kennel cough. You may lower your dog's risks of developing kennel cough by having them vaccinated.
  • Canine Distemper: This illness is characterized by persistent coughing. It's a highly infectious and sometimes fatal viral infection that affects a dog's gastrointestinal, nervous, and respiratory systems. This illness has the potential to be fatal, but yearly immunizations can fully prevent it.
  • Swallowing an object that becomes trapped in the airway - this is common in puppies and dogs that like to scavenge or chew on bones and toys.
  • Coughing in dogs can be caused by pulmonary malignancies, which can be primary or secondary.
  • The canine influenza virus (dog flu) is an infectious illness that causes canines to sneeze, cough, have a high fever, and have a runny nose. The virus is very contagious in dogs, just like it is in people, and there is currently no vaccine available.
  • Chronic bronchitis, also known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), is a lung illness that can afflict any dog at any age. The mucous membranes (lining) of the bronchial tubes become inflamed, causing a chronic, dry, and long-term cough. It's not always easy to find out what's bothering your dog, and some little breeds, such as the Cocker spaniels and West Highland White Terriers, are especially susceptible.
  • Parasitic illnesses such as lungworm, hookworm, and roundworm can induce coughing (verminous cough) in dogs when larvae of these intestinal parasites migrate from the guts to the respiratory tract.
  • Allergens in the environment - Dogs of all breeds are prone to allergies. Allergies are commonly triggered by grasses, air fresheners, and pollens.
  • Fungi-caused infections, such as Aspergillosis, can irritate the nose and upper airways, causing coughing in dogs. Symptoms include a discharge from the nose, nosebleeds, edema, and pain in the area surrounding and above the nose.
dog tired

If your dog is coughing, you should call your veterinarian. Many causes of canine cough are treatable, but they all need medical attention. The sooner you get your dog to the veterinarian, the sooner he'll be feeling better. When it comes to life-threatening illnesses like heartworm disease, distemper, and heart disease, early discovery of a cough can benefit your dog's prognosis.

Your veterinarian will discuss a personalized treatment plan for your dog's unique needs that target both the coughing and the underlying cause or condition once the underlying cause or condition has been diagnosed.

Coughing in dogs is usually treatable. However, before treating your dog's cough, your veterinarian must first figure out what's causing it. Veterinarians utilize a combination of testing and clinical signs to make a diagnosis. Your dog's veterinarian will perform a physical examination on him, which will include listening to his heart and lungs, taking his temperature, and ordering diagnostic tests if needed to determine what is wrong with him.

Q1. How is dog coughing sound?

The coughing sound of dogs can be likened to a deep and honking sound forced out from the chest. Most of the time, it can be diagnosed as "kennel cough." When a dog is making this sound, it would be a very good idea to keep your dog from the infected dog if you do not want your dog to become infected too.

Q2. When should I be concerned about my dog's cough?

If your dog coughs to clear its throat, it is nothing to worry about. This kind of cough doesn't happen incessantly—you may not even hear it cough at all. But if the cough continues with long streaks on every occasion, you should become concerned and start preparing to visit your vet. Also, when there are other accompanying symptoms, like tiredness, dripping noses, overreacting to cold, you shouldn't think twice before calling your vet's attention.

Q3. How do I know if my dog's cough is serious?

Your dog's cough is serious if:

  • It is feeling reluctant to exercise or take a walk
  • It is always tired and laying down
  • It is drastically losing weight

Q4. Why is my dog coughing like something is stuck in his throat?

Your dog is coughing like that because something is probably stuck in his throat, and you should do something about it as soon as possible. It could be a bone from a meal or stick or any form of particle.


It is inevitable for dogs to cough. It is a normal part of their lives, just like it is for humans. When your dog coughs once or twice a day, it should not be a thing to stress yourself about. It may just be clearing its throat. However, if the cough becomes persistent and frequent, the best thing to do is to call the attention of your vet. Only a vet can tell for sure how to treat your dog.

Amy Granger
Amy is an editor from iPetor, owns a 4-year experience in writing tips and tutorial for users. As a pet owner, she will share more pets care methods and recommend more useful products for all pet owners.
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