Why is My Dog Coughing: Top 6 Reasons

If your dog is coughing, you might be wondering why. Pets can cough for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons for coughing can require a trip to the vet, while other causes might not necessitate this response. The more that you know about why your pet is coughing, the easier it can be to help them feel better.

Coughing can make your pet uncomfortable, and it can also lead to secondary problems that you might want your pet to avoid. You should also be sure that you are not missing the signs of more serious secondary symptoms that could be associated with a larger problem. If your pet is coughing and you want to learn more, this article is for you!

dog coughing

Why Dogs Cough

Listed below are the main causes:

1. Allergies

Just like people, dogs can have allergies to their environment, to other pets in the home, or even to food. This can lead to coughing and sneezing and all kinds of other small symptoms that indicate that your dog is allergic to something. It can take some time to figure out what is causing your dog’s allergies.

In many cases, food is the main culprit of dog allergies, so you might want to start with a change of food to see if this resolves the issue. Reach out to your veterinarian while you are trying to figure out what is causing your dog’s allergic reaction. They can help you determine the culprit and even give medication to alleviate symptoms. Allergies can also be seasonal, or they can happen year-round, depending on the reason for your pet’s coughing fits.

2. Lung Issues

From lung disease to colds to pneumonia, there are many lung problems that might cause your pet to cough. When your dog has a lung problem, they might wheeze or cough consistently, or they could only show symptoms when they are exerting. There are various kinds of lung problems that can lead to coughing, and the severity of your dog’s cough might vary depending on the issue that they are dealing with.

3. Colds and Flus

Pets can get colds and flu just like people, and this can lead to all the same symptoms as humans display when they are sick. Usually, these kinds of illnesses will run their course, but you will need to be on the lookout for things like a lack of energy, loss of appetite, and increased respiration. Secondary infections and other health issues can result from colds and flu that do not improve on their own rapidly. Your dog might need to see your vet for antibiotics or other supportive care related to their cold if their coughing persists or worsens.

4. Heartworm

Heartworm is a really common issue in some parts of the US, but it can be prevented. If your dog gets heartworm, one of the common early symptoms of this parasite is persistent, dry coughing. Heartworm is very serious and can be fatal for dogs when it is not treated early. If your dog has not been given heartworm prevention, you will want to make sure that this is not the reason for their coughing.

Treatment of heartworm can be really difficult in the later stages of the disease, so you will want to make sure that your dog is kept current on their heartworm prevention every year to avoid this problem.

5. Heart Disease

Heart disease can cause the body to struggle to remove fluid which means that your pet might have fluid in their lungs that is causing them to cough. Coughing that is related to heart conditions can be persistent but is usually much worse when your dog exerts or when they are lying down. There are many ways to support and care for dogs that have heart disease, and your vet can help you to create the right treatment protocol for your pet with a heart condition.

6. Breed-Specific Coughing

There are some breeds that are more prone to coughing as well as something called reverse sneezing that can sound like a cough. Dogs that have short muzzles, like Pugs or Boston Terriers, might suffer from wheezing, sniffling, and coughing all the time. This is because their nasal passages are not as ideally shaped as other dog breeds, and it can also be related to tracheal collapse, which is more common in these breeds.

Breed-specific coughing can also be caused by something called reverse sneezing. This is common in these breeds as well, also due to the shape of their nasal passages. This reverse sneezing sounds like a cough but is actually a sneeze. This is not an actual health concern, so you do not need to worry about reverse sneezing if your dog is making this noise.

Contact EVCC if Your Concerned About Your Dog Coughing

There are many reasons that your dog might be coughing. Dogs can cough for reasons related to illness, allergies, or even the shape of their nasal passages if they are a certain breed. Knowing more about dog coughing can help you get your dog to the vet when they need additional support for their well-being. Always keep your dog current on their heartworm prevention and make sure that you are not ignoring things like wheezing or a lack of energy.

For more information, or if you would like to speak to a veterinarian, contact EVCC by calling one of our locations. Our compassionate and skilled team members are here for you and your pet and will help understand the cause of your dog’s coughing.

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