why is my dog coughing so much

Why Is My Dog Coughing So Much ?

Just like humans dogs also snort, sneeze, and cough, and this doesn’t immediately mean that there is something wrong with their health.  However, if your dog is coughing too much it can be a sign that they might not be in the best shape.

Coughing can be a symptom of a serious health condition, so if this happens to your dog you might want to schedule an appointment with the veterinarian. However, it’s also good to know all the reasons why your dog is coughing so much so you provide your companion with help at home.

Here is a list of the most common conditions that cause dogs to cough:

Heart Diseases

Dogs are prone to various heart diseases. When a dog’s heart is not functioning properly, the heart can not pump blood properly and fluid can start accumulating in the heart.

This type of condition is called Congestive Heart Failure. As this condition progresses, a dog can start coughing. Usually, dogs that are suffering from heart disease have a cough that is soft and repetitious, The coughing is usually more aggressive while they are sleeping or lying on the floor.

Dogs usually get lazy, lose stamina, and become less active in general. Some dog breeds are more prone to heart disease than others. It’s considered that the cavalier king Charles spaniels dog breed is most susceptible to heart diseases.

Keep in mind that heart diseases may be life-threatening to a dog, so make sure you schedule an appointment at the veterinarian as soon as you notice the symptoms.


If your dog is coughing too much it might suffer from pneumonia. Pneumonia is a condition in which the lungs get irritated and inflamed due to a buildup within the air sacks.

This distorts the normal exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the lungs and causes difficulties with breathing. Pneumonia in dogs can be caused by various culprits including viruses bacteria, fungal organisms, parasites, or inhalation of some chemicals and smoke.

The severity of the condition can range from mild symptoms that influence only small parts of the lungs to severe symptoms that cause the inability to breathe normally.

Keep in mind that pneumonia is a serious health condition and your dog should get an urgent appointment with the veterinarian. Sometimes that dogs that suffer from pneumonia need regular veterinarian intervention so they need hospitalization.

During this period dogs need a lot of rest and fluid. Dogs that have pneumonia have a decrease in energy and lose appetite and most likely have a fever.

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is another condition that causes dogs to cough. This condition is also known as canine infectious or tracheobronchitis and is a common disease. Kennel cough spreads very easily and usually dogs contract this disease in places where they meet with other dogs such as dog park, outside fasciitis, and dog shows.

So if you notice that your dog is coughing after a long day in a group setting then it might have contracted kennel cough. Younger dogs are usually more susceptible to kennel cough, but all dogs can contract this disease. This is a treatable disease and is not life-threatening, however, it can cause severe health problems in puppies.

Dogs with kennel cough tend to have a dry, loud and raspy cough that is usually continuous. Kennel cough can cause vomiting too and can lead to pneumonia. This is a disease that can resolve on its own. Veterinarians usually prescribe antibiotics and cough suppressants to dogs that suffer from kennel cough. These medications reduce coughing and decrease the likelihood of secondary problems.

If you want to protect your dog’s health, there’s a special vaccine that protects dogs from kennel cough. Keep in mind that kennel cough is a very contagious disease.

Tracheal Collapse

Tracheal collapse or tracheal chondromalacia is a common condition although the cause of the tracheal collapse in dogs is unknown until now. This is a progressive respiratory condition that causes your dog to have serious breating problems. Tracheal collapse affects the windpipe and causes the collapse of the tracheal rings.

If you notice that your dog has a harsh and heavy cough it probably suffers from tracheal collapse. As the condition progresses, your dog will have more severe breathing problems and will probably have a hard time calming down. If you walk your dog on a leash, the coughing will probably become more severe.

You can expect an asthmatic cough in dogs whose trachea has collapsed completely. Tracheal collapse can cause severe health problems in obese dogs and dogs that are often exposed to irritants and allergens in the air. Usually, dogs that suffer from tracheal collapse have also bronchitis and heart diseases.

Obese dogs need to lose weight in order to get rid of the cough caused by the tracheal collapse. Tracheal collapse is usually treated with antibiotics, steroids, bronchodilators, and cough suppressants. If your dog is suffering from a severe form of tracheal collapse, the doctor may recommend surgery.

Heartworm Diseases

Heartworm disease is a serious and life-threatening condition for dogs and many other animals as well. All dogs have heartworms that live inside their bodies, however, if this number increases it can cause serious damage to a dog’s health and it can be fatal in some cases.

This condition causes damage to the heart, lungs, and arteries. It can lasting damage to a dog’s health long after the condition is treated. This is a disease that is transmittable by mosquitoes so is more prevalent in countries with a warmer climate. Usually, dogs that suffer from heartworm diseases have a reduced appetite and decrease in their weight.

The cough is dry, raspy, and persistent. Dogs that host many heartworms develop a sudden blockage of blood flow which can lead to a cardiovascular collapse, heart failure, and a swollen abdomen. Keep in mind that this is a severe condition that won’t go away on its own and it’s best to provide your dog with regular appointments with the vet.

Canine Influenza

Canine influenza is a contagious disease that affects the respiratory system. Dogs that suffer from canine influenza usually show signs of lethargy, reduced appetite, low energy, eye discharge, and fever.

While there’s no cure for canine influenza, you can provide your dog with a safe space while it is in recovery. Veterinarians also recommend fluids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. Canine influenza is not transmittable to humans but it is highly contagious among dogs.

What To Do If My Dog Is Coughing

If you’ve noticed a change in your pet’s behavior such as reduced appetite, decrease in energy and coughing it’s best to not experiment with home medications and schedule an appointment at the veterinarian.

Don’t panic because most causes of coughing in dogs are treatable, but it’s important that your dog is properly diagnosed. Be sure to give your veterinarian a description of your dog’s overall health and describe in detail all symptoms including the type of cough it has.

With proper medication, your dog will get on their feet in no time.

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