Why is My Dog Coughing?

Why is My Dog Coughing in Yalesville, CT?

Has your dog been coughing lately? Are you worried about what could be causing this problem for your pet? What are some of the most common causes of coughing in dogs, and which one is most likely to be affecting your pet right now?

In the article below, you’ll find answers to these questions and more. With the help of this guide, you can better understand which cause of coughing may be affecting your dog, and which ones may not be likely as well. Read on to learn more.

Mild Causes

  • Allergies: Allergies are one of the most common causes of coughing in dogs. If your dog has been coughing lately and the season is changing, or if she has come into contact recently with smoke or strong fragrances, then you may be able to assume allergies are the cause of this symptom.
    • Coughing due to allergies typically eases up after a few days, or after the dog is no longer in contact with the allergen. If your dog’s coughing does not get better shortly, then there may be something else at play besides just allergies.
  • Kennel cough: Kennel cough is another very common cause of coughing in dogs. If your dog has recently been boarded at a kennel or vet’s office, or even if you go to doggie daycare or dog parks frequently, then they may be at an increased risk of developing kennel cough.
    • Kennel cough causes a goose-honk cough, which means that your dog’s coughing will sound a little bit like she is honking. Although the cough may sound severe, kennel cough is not much more than a head cold for a dog. Rest, fluids, and time will be all it takes for your pet to recover in most instances.

Moderate Causes

  • Respiratory infection: Respiratory infections other than kennel cough may be more serious, depending on the underlying cause of the infection. While bacterial infections can be treated with a round of antibiotics from the vet, viral infections may take longer to clear up and do not have a specific treatment.
    • If your dog’s cough doesn’t get better in a few days, take her to the vet to be examined. She may have a respiratory infection that will require some additional vet care to clear up. Most dogs will recover easily from these types of infections with the help of the vet.
  • Asthma: Asthma is common in some dogs, and there is a chance that a dog who coughs frequently could have asthma. If you suspect your dog has asthma, take them to the vet for a diagnosis. Your vet will also help you choose the best treatment or management for your dog’s asthma moving forward.
    • Some dogs may need nothing to help them deal with mild cases of asthma, while others may need steroids or other medication to deal with severe flare-ups. Your vet can give you specifics about your individual dog’s needs based on her health and history.
dog coughing yalesville, ct

Severe Causes

  • Blocked airway: Dogs who are coughing along with difficulty breathing may have a blocked airway. Even if the airway is only partially blocked, this is a serious problem that needs to be treated as an emergency. Go to the emergency vet right away if you know or suspect your dog’s airway is blocked.
    • It is a good idea to learn how to perform the Heimlich maneuver on a dog in case this happens to your pet. Be ready to rush to the emergency vet, even if you believe you are able to clear your dog’s airway on your own at home.
  • Heart disease: Heart disease is another common, severe cause of coughing in dogs. Dogs who have congestive heart failure and other chronic heart conditions are likely to develop a cough that won’t go away. Although this is a serious cause of coughing in dogs, a diagnosed dog who is managing her heart condition does not need to see a vet every time she starts coughing.
    • Heartworm disease is another possible condition that can lead to coughing in dogs. If your dog has not been on a heartworm preventative lately and develops a chronic cough, talk to your vet about checking her for heartworms.


Based on this information, it’s easy to see just how many different potential causes of coughing may contribute to your dog’s symptoms. With the help of this guide, you may be able to narrow down the possibilities and determine when it’s time to take your pet to the vet.

Only your vet can tell you for sure what’s going on with your dog. Additionally, your vet is an excellent resource to help you better understand your dog’s needs and any treatment options that may help with their cough.

If you have any questions about your dog’s coughing, feel free to give us a call at (203) 265-1646! Here at Yalesville Veterinary Hospital, we are ready to help you and your pet!