Why Is My Dog Coughing?


We, humans tend to catch cough during the winter season or at some odd occasions which can be cured on its own or by using over-the-counter medicines. The same is applicable to dogs as well. Though the cough may go by its own or by a medicine, sometimes it may lead to some serious conditions if not treated in time. It may require further investigation. You may ask, ‘Why is my dog coughing?’

If your dog is coughing you need to first understand what is the reason for its discomfort? Is it just a normal cough or does it require a veterinary treatment? You need to understand the difference. For this, you should know about different reasons for dog cough.


Following are some potential reasons for why does my dog cough?

A simple cold or cough: If the dog seems to have a case of sniffles or it has a light seasonal cough only for few days, it is usually not a cause of concern. However, you need to monitor your dog very carefully for any additional symptoms such as worsening of the condition such as difficulty in breathing, and so on. Make sure to take the pet to the veterinary doctor if the cough persists for more than 5 days without showing any improvement.

Kennel cough: This is more serious than normal cough, and it can be contagious among dogs. It is visible more in the places where dogs live closely such as in pet shelters or boarding kennels. It sounds more raspy and serious than a simple cough, and is painful. It can even lead to other complications. However, it can be vaccinated to prevent severe conditions. So if you find your dog is having cough for more than a week and shows other additional symptoms, you should definitely go to the vet to have it treated.

Canine Distemper: It is a contagious viral illness which can be passed through bodily secretions. Luckily, distemper can also be vaccinated against, similar to kennel cough. Make sure that your dog receives all its essential vaccines in time. Also, you should not forget to have its booster shots taken from time to time.

Ingestion Of A Foreign Body: If your dog swallows or inhales a foreign body or some object that goes down in a wrong way, it can lead to partial obstruction of its airways or even get into its lungs. It can cause ongoing or persistent cough that develops suddenly as an attempt of expelling the foreign object. If you think that your dog has swallowed some object and the ‘foreign body’ is lodged in its lungs or throats (a food particle or a small toy or anything else), make sure to take the pet to the vet for having it removed. Veterinary doctor will examine first and then will remove the object if found any.

Parasitic Infection: Parasites like heartworm, roundworm or lungworm can also cause cough to your dog. If your dog is not being wormed from time to time, or if you find any worms in its vomit or stools, your dog will need an intensive anti-worming dosage to clear out the parasites. You should be alert particularly in case of sudden vomiting or any sighting of worms.

Canine Influenza And Pneumonia: It is a type of flu that is seen in dogs. If left untreated, it can cause lower respiratory tract infection to your dog. It can lead to pneumonia as well. If you find additional flu-like symptoms along with cough and unhappiness and lethargy, take it to the vet immediately.

Chronic Bronchitis: Excessive mucous in the airways can lead to bronchitis in your dog. In humans, bronchitis is usually caused due to smoking and this ‘action’ in presence of your dog can affect its lungs the same way. Chronic bronchitis in a dog is generally represented as a productive cough and is very painful. You should take your pet to the veterinary doctor if you think that it is suffering from chronic bronchitis. And make sure to avoid smoking in presence of your dog.

Heart Problems: Congestive heart failure and heart disease are definitely serious and worrisome conditions for the owner, which may lead to accumulating fluids in the lungs, specifically when the dog is lying down. It can lead to coughing in order to clear the fluid buildup. If your dog seems to have persistent and unexplained cough that appears worse especially at nights, it is advised to take it to the vet to identify the reasons.

Lung Cancer: Coughing is one of the common symptoms of dog lung cancer. If your dog seems to have unexplained and persistent cough, it needs to be taken to veterinary to have it examined so that you can rule out any presence of lung cancer or any other potential cause behind the condition.

Fungal Infection: Usually fungal infection in dogs is rare and uncommon. However, it can be acquired from different types of external sources such as bird droppings, ponds, and stagnant water. Difficulty in breathing, weight loss and fever are some of the common symptoms of cough caused due to fungal infection. All of them are potentially dangerous. Do not wait, but have it shown to the vet for examination and anti-fungal dosage if concerned.

Now that you have learned about different reasons for dog cough, you can help anybody who comes with the question -Why is my dog coughing. There are many more potential causes for your dog coughing all the time. If you think that it is not just a seasonal cough or if the cough persists for a longer time than usual, you should not wait to have it taken to the vet immediately.

Additional symptoms other than coughing such as difficulty in breathing, noisy breathing or wheezing, and sudden and severe vomiting are emergency conditions and need to be examined as soon as possible. Your dog may suffer from a potential health condition of which coughing is just a symptom, including asthma, lung cancer, or heart problem. Make sure to call the vet immediately. Also, avoid smoking in front of your dog, and make it a habit to bring up your dog in healthy surroundings.