6 Reasons Why Your Dog is Coughing and How To Treat It

If you’ve noticed that your dog is coughing and you’re curious about the many various reasons why dogs cough, you should know that your dog’s coughing could be caused by a wide variety of diseases, the severity of which can range from quite minor to potentially fatal. The majority of the illnesses that might make a dog cough, however, are rather simple to cure.

The following five conditions are among the most common causes of coughing in dogs:

1. Ailments of the Heart

A disorder of the heart valves or heart muscle is one of the most prevalent causes of a cough in dogs. This condition hinders the heart of a dog from pumping blood as effectively as it could. Coughing occurs either when fluid builds up in the lungs from fluid that has backed up into the lungs or when portions of the heart swell and compress the primary airways in the lungs.

In most cases, you will be able to determine whether or not a dog’s cough is the result of heart illness by observing how persistent and quiet it is. If your dog has heart disease and is coughing, it is probable that their cough will be worse at night or when they are lying on their side. This cough may also be accompanied by a decrease in energy and stamina.

In the event that your dog’s doctor determines that heart illness is the root cause of the cough, they may recommend that your pet take heart drugs.

2. Pneumonia

When pet owners hear their dog coughing, one of their primary concerns is likely that their dog has pneumonia, which is another prevalent ailment. It is possible for bacteria, a prior viral infection (such as canine influenza or distemper), difficulties with swallowing, regurgitation, or certain metabolic diseases can be the cause of pneumonia in dogs. Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs.

When a dog has pneumonia, the sound of their cough is wet and soft. If your dog has pneumonia, they will most likely be running a high temperature, have trouble eating, and have very little energy. They will require medical attention from a veterinarian, as well as a large amount of water and enough of rest, and it is possible that they will need to be hospitalized in order to recover.

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3. Canine Influenza

Kennel cough is a catchall word that refers to tracheobronchitis, which is an inflammation of the windpipe and the primary lower airways, as well as an infection. Kennel cough is also one of the most prevalent causes of coughing in dogs. Despite the fact that kennel cough is more common in puppies, dogs of any age can be afflicted by the condition.


Dogs that are exposed to other dogs in a group environment, such as during obedience training, doggie day care, or boarding, have a greater chance of developing the virus. Therefore, if you find that your dog is coughing after they have been at day care, there is a possibility that they have kennel cough. Kennel cough is an infectious respiratory disease that affects dogs.

Kennel cough is characterized by a hacking, dry, and raspy cough in dogs, and the cough is exacerbated by the dog’s tendency to pull while being walked on a leash. The symptoms of kennel cough can also include coughing and, in some cases, vomiting.

Antibiotics and cough suppressants are commonly administered for kennel cough in order to lessen the amount of coughing that occurs and the risk of developing secondary conditions such as pneumonia. Kennel cough may go away on its own. Kennel cough is an extremely contagious disease that can spread easily from one dog to another.

There is a vaccine available for Bordetella bronchiseptica, which includes the kennel cough strain, that can help protect your dog from having kennel cough in the future. Kennel cough is a form of the disease. In order to lessen the likelihood of your dog contracting kennel cough, you should discuss getting him vaccinated with your veterinarian.

4. Collapse of the Trachea


Tracheal collapse is a disorder that causes the trachea, also known as the windpipe, to become soft and floppy. It most commonly impacts small and toy breeds, such as Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, pugs, and shih tzus. The ailment is referred to by its medical term, which is tracheal chondromalacia.

The cough of a dog with tracheal collapse is described as dry, hacking, and spasmodic. They are unable to stop coughing and have a difficult time relaxing down. If they pull when they are restrained by a leash, it will make their coughing worse.

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If the trachea of your dog has totally collapsed, their cough could sound like asthmatic symptoms. The cough is also made worse in dogs that are overweight, dogs that are overheated or stimulated, and dogs that are exposed to airborne irritants or allergens. Dogs that suffer tracheal collapse frequently also have bronchitis and/or heart disease, which means they could have more than one kind of cough.

The treatment for tracheal collapse involves losing weight in addition to taking several medications, such as cough suppressants, bronchodilators, steroids, and antibiotics. Your dog’s veterinarian may suggest surgery as a treatment option in severe cases.

5. The disease caused by heartworms


Heartworm illness may be a more or less likely cause of coughing in dogs depending on where you live. Some areas are more prone to heartworm disease than others. Although heartworms are more common in warmer regions, such as Florida and California, the possibility of contracting heartworm illness is present anywhere mosquitoes, which are responsible for the transmission of the disease, are present.

It is possible for dogs suffering with heartworm disease to have a cough, or they may show no symptoms at all. This is determined by the dog’s size, the number of worms they are housing, and their general state of health. In the event that your dog does exhibit symptoms of the condition, they may have a hacking cough that is moderate but persistent, low levels of activity, loss of weight, and a diminished appetite. A severe infestation of heartworms can cause symptoms of heart failure, including fluid buildup in the belly, which can lead to an enlarged abdomen.

6. Canine Influenza


Canines, much like people, are susceptible to catching the flu, which is referred to as canine influenza among canines. The cough is a symptom of the respiratory illness, which can continue anywhere from ten to thirty days depending on its severity.

As part of the treatment, it is possible that your veterinarian may prescribe medication for your dog. Canine influenza is contagious amongst animals, therefore it is advisable to isolate your ill dog in a separate area of the house if you also have other pets in the house. However, the good news is that it is not contagious to humans and cannot be passed from one person to another.

What to Do in the Event That My Dog Has a Cough


Taking a dog who is coughing to the veterinarian is the most helpful thing you can do for the animal. There are a number of conditions that can cause dogs to cough that are entirely treatable; however, in order to treat these conditions, it is necessary to make an accurate diagnosis.


READ ALSO: How To Check If Your Dog Have Fleas and Treatments

When you take your new puppy to the veterinarian, be sure to give a thorough description of his or her cough and to inform the veterinarian of any other symptoms your dog has exhibited (such as coughing blood, mucus, white foam, etc.). Your dog will quickly return to its normal wailing and barking patterns after receiving the appropriate care from your veterinarian.


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