Why Dogs Are Coughing

What causes my dog to cough so much? The body naturally defends the respiratory system via coughing. The reflex serves to clear the airways of undesirable particles. Similar to humans, dogs cough to clear debris, mucus, or foreign things from their airways so they can continue to breathe normally.

Respiratory Infections And Kennel Cough

Infected dogs may cough due to parasites, bacteria, fungus, viruses, or any combination of these. Depending on the particular illness, these infectious agents can affect the entire airway from the upper respiratory tract down into the lungs, leading to a variety of disorders like bronchitis and pneumonia. 2

Although it may not always be possible to pinpoint a single agent, kennel cough is the most prevalent infectious cause of coughing. Kennel cough in dogs can occasionally be brought on by a number of distinct viruses or bacteria. 2

In addition to a deep, dry, hacking cough, dogs with kennel cough may also sneeze, snort, gag, and in rare instances, vomit.


The most common way to contract the highly contagious viral or bacterial illness that causes kennel cough is through contact with other dogs. If your dog has recently been boarded or has lately been around lots of other dogs, like at a dog park, be on the lookout for symptoms. 4

Chronic Bronchitis and Coughing

Dogs with canine chronic bronchitis have a dry, hacking cough that gets worse with activity and emotion. It is brought on by ongoing airway irritation. Inflammation causes the mucus-producing cells in the airway lining to expand, further constricting the airways in the lungs. The condition is thought to be caused by irritations like cigarette smoke and airborne contaminants. In order to assist maintain the highest possible quality of life, chronic bronchitis in dogs is thought to be a progressive condition that will get worse over time and requires routine management.

The management of the inflammatory response is the main goal of chronic bronchitis treatment options. The ideal anti-inflammatory approach for long-term therapy of the illness is inhaled corticosteroids. Inhaled drugs directly target the lungs, as opposed to oral steroids and injectable forms, and do not have the same side effects (e.g., excess urination, aggression, lethargy). Fluticasone proprionate is one of the more often given inhaled steroids (also known as Flovent HFA and Flixotide HFA, GSK). 5

Bronchodilators for inhalation may also be recommended. Salbutamol and albuterol are two examples of quick-acting bronchodilators that can be used to widen narrowed airways in cases of respiratory distress. These quick-acting bronchodilators shouldn’t be utilized as the sole form of treatment because they don’t address the underlying inflammation. In rare circumstances, a combination of an inhaled steroid and a long-acting inhalation bronchodilator may be recommended. Salmeterol, a long-acting bronchodilator, and fluticasone, an inhaled corticosteroid, are two examples of this kind of medication.

A device like the AeroDawg* Chamber, which is intended to trap and retain the drug until your dog is prepared to inhale, can be used to administer any of these inhaled medications to your dog.

5 Chronic bronchitis is a lifelong illness that requires ongoing management to reduce symptoms. Even in the absence of symptoms, continue taking the medication as directed by your veterinarian to reduce inflammation and stop further lung damage.

Collapsed Trachea And Coughing

A collapsed trachea is more likely to happen to little dogs. When this happens, the cartilage rings that partially encircle the trachea begin to deteriorate and are unable to sustain it. It collapses in on itself, forming a small opening through which air is driven, resulting in a distinctive honking noise resembling a goose honk. 2

A chronic cough and discomfort are brought on by tracheal collapse. In addition to exercise intolerance and respiratory distress, dogs with the illness frequently gag while eating or drinking. 3 Two measures that might help prevent tracheal collapse include controlling your weight and switching to a harness from a collar. 4

It is possible to treat dogs with tracheal collapse using inhaled drugs administered with an AeroDawg* chamber. Specifically, inhaled bronchodilators (like albuterol and salbutamol) to widen or open the airways and inhaled steroids (like fluticasone) to lessen airway inflammation. Medications that cure secondary infections and decrease coughing are possible alternative treatments. Surgery can be necessary in severe situations. 2

Heart Disease And Coughing

In dogs, coughing could be an indication of heart problems. Other signs to watch out for include a blue tint to the tongue, decreased appetite, fatigue, weakness, decreased endurance, a rapid or depressed heartbeat, and breathing difficulties. 3

If you observe these signs, take your dog to the veterinarian. If your dog has heart condition, pay close attention to when they cough. When your dog is relaxing, sleeping, or lying down, coughing may be a sign that his illness is getting worse. 3

Reverse Sneeze

Small dogs and flat-faced (brachycephalic) breeds are susceptible to making choking or coughing noises as a result of what is known as “reversed sneeze.” 2 In contrast to a conventional sneeze, which exhales air through the nose, a reverse sneeze involves quickly and loudly inhaling air via the nose.

Reverse sneezing, which isn’t technically a cough, is brought on by an allergen that makes the soft palate and throat tighten. Postnasal discharge, foreign objects, excitement, physical activity, a collar that is excessively tight, and unexpected temperature changes can all be triggers. 3

Reverse sneezing typically doesn’t necessitate a trip to the vet. However, if they worsen or become more regular, you should take your dog to the vet to rule out any other potential health issues. 2

Foreign Objects And Coughing

Dogs occasionally breathe in foreign objects or debris that becomes stuck in their airways. Something may have become trapped in your dog’s throat if it coughs violently or sounds like it is gagging, attempts to swallow, or exhibits excessive lip-licking.

In order to help eliminate the foreign material, a trip to your veterinarian is necessary if the cough cannot be quickly resolved.

Other Conditions That Cause Coughing

Your dog may cough due to various other conditions. In these situations, the cough is merely the sign of the other illness. Heartworm illness and some cancers are two examples. To help protect your dog’s health, a veterinarian should look into any persistent coughing.

For a cough, what can you offer a dog?

There are a few at-home treatments for kennel cough that are effective in mild cases. Watch out for indications that the kennel cough is worsening or not improving, though.

Add Honey to Warm Water

Honey will help calm your dog’s throat and lessen coughing, making it a fantastic natural cure for kennel cough.

You can feed your dog a bowl of warm water and between 1/2 and 1 tablespoon of honey. Depending on how frequently your dog coughs, you can give this up to three times per day.

Use Your Shower to Do Steam Therapy

Allow your dog to remain in the enclosed bathroom with you while you take a hot shower or bath, but not in the water. In addition to offering steam treatment, a hot shower can help soothe discomfort.

Try Holistic Antioxidants Made for Dogs

Dimethylglycine (DMG), a holistic antioxidant for dogs, can help modify and stimulate the immune system to fight off the infection more quickly.

Make Sure Your Dog Is Getting Plenty of Rest

While your dog is recovering from kennel cough, try to cut back on their normal exercise. This can aid in healing and lessen coughing fits.

How can I determine the severity of my dog’s cough?

Dogs use their noses and, on sometimes, their mouths to explore their surroundings. Your dog encounters a variety of objects, such as dust, pathogens, and the occasional grass stem. All of these things can make your dog cough, making it difficult to tell whether the cough is severe or just your dog cleaning her throat.

An occasional cough in a dog could be considered normal behavior and is not cause for alarm. On the other hand, persistent coughing might indicate a more serious issue, particularly if there are changes in breathing sounds or patterns.

Why is my dog choking-like coughing?

The kennel cough spreads easily. Keep your dog away from other animals and call your doctor if you suspect they may have the disease.

Even while the majority of kennel cough cases go away on their own, taking medicine may hasten the healing process or lessen symptoms while the illness is still active. These include anti-Bordetella antibiotics and cough medications.

Additionally, you might discover that keeping your dog in a place with good humidity and utilizing a harness rather than a collar, particularly for dogs that struggle with a leash, will lessen coughing.

While older dogs or those with other medical concerns may require up to six weeks, the majority of dogs with kennel cough recover fully within three weeks. If your dog doesn’t recover within the anticipated time frame, be sure to follow up with your veterinarian because a severe, lingering kennel cough infection might cause pneumonia. Additionally, if your dog ever exhibits symptoms like rapid breathing, not eating, or listlessness, call your veterinarian right away because these could indicate more serious illnesses.

There are three different kennel cough vaccines available: one that is administered intravenously, one that is administered as a nasal spray, and one that can be taken orally. Due to the wide variety of germs and viruses that can cause kennel cough and infectious tracheobronchitis, these immunizations do not always provide protection. It’s also critical to understand that neither kennel cough vaccine will treat illnesses that are already active.

The intranasal and oral kennel cough vaccinations for dogs are normally administered once a year, although every six months is occasionally advised for dogs that are at high risk for kennel cough. These vaccine delivery methods typically protect dogs against kennel cough earlier than the injected product.

Honey safety for canines

In moderation, dogs are okay to consume honey. It is used as a sweetener in numerous foods and beverages and contains natural sugars as well as trace levels of vitamins and minerals.

That sweetness has a cost. If owners feed their dogs an excessive amount of honey and don’t provide them enough exercise and a nutritious diet, the high sugar content of honey may cause obesity in the dogs. If you do feed your dog honey, it could be a good idea to brush his teeth because sugars can also lead to dental decay.

Since raw honey may contain botulism spores, it shouldn’t be given to puppies or dogs with weakened immune systems. Dogs who are overweight or diabetic shouldn’t consume honey.

Why does my dog seem to be choking when he isn’t?

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Reverse sneezing, also known as the Pharyngeal Gag Reflex, is characterized by a sudden, quick, and extremely powerful inhaling of air through the nose that causes the dog to repeatedly snort sounds that may mimic choking.

Reverse sneezing is the term for the sound made by dogs when they attempt to sneeze.

The area around the palate and larynx is frequently irritated and results in reverse sneezing. The pharynx’s muscles spasm as a result. The sounds that reverse sneezing makes include honking, hacking, and snorting (gasping inwards). Although it can happen after drinking, eating, running, or pulling on the leash, it mostly happens when the dog is aroused.

Most episodes only last a few seconds, but some dogs may experience this for several minutes, usually numerous times during the day. By gently stroking your dog’s throat or momentarily covering its nostrils until it swallows, you can usually halt the spasm.

Reverse sneezing can sometimes be brought on by things like grass blades in the nasal canal, allergy symptoms, irritants like pollen, smoke, or scents, or even tooth root infections. You should always consult a vet in certain circumstances.

Your veterinarian can recommend antihistamines if the dog is experiencing recurrent incidents of reverse sneezing to see if that stops the sneezing.

Antibiotics should be given to the dog if reverse sneezing occurs shortly after the kennel cough nasal vaccination.

The majority of dogs with sporadic episodes of reverse sneeze can have completely normal lives because reverse sneezing is a benign illness for which no medical attention is required.

However, it’s crucial to distinguish between reverse sneezing and a collapsed trachea or a cardiac condition. It is crucial to have the dog inspected by your veterinarian if there is any uncertainty.

Will kennel cough naturally disappear?

Most cases of kennel cough resolve on their own within three weeks and shouldn’t require any kind of therapy. You should be able to utilize natural remedies at home to make your dog more comfortable if they dog generally appears healthy and is eating well. This includes not using a collar and not keeping them in a dry environment.

Take your dog to the vet if you have any concerns. In order to reduce the risk to other dogs, it is better to call the clinic in advance and let them know you suspect they have kennel cough.

To combat the Bordetella bacteria, the veterinarian may be able to give medications for kennel cough. If necessary, they may also prescribe an anti-inflammatory to soothe your dog’s throat or a cough suppressant for dogs.

Can dogs consume eggs?

Eggs are a fantastic source of nutrition for your canine buddy and are completely safe for dogs. They benefit your dog both internally and externally because they are rich in protein, fatty acids, vitamins, and fatty acids.

Keep in mind that a chicken’s eggs are only as good as the fowl that produced them. Try to give your dog eggs that were produced by chickens that were given a free-range organic diet. It would be best if you could obtain them from a reliable source. Similar to humans, chickens are only as healthy as the food they consume, and healthier chickens produce eggs that are higher in nutrients.

Consult your veterinarian before giving eggs to your dog. Check first because certain dogs with medical issues shouldn’t consume eggs. Speaking to your veterinarian about the proper amount of eggs to give your cherished dog is a wise decision because eating too many eggs may also result in health issues like obesity.

Eggs are a fantastic occasional treat but shouldn’t be the main diet for your dog.