Dog Coughing And Gagging: Most Common Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Coughing is a natural process – it helps to clear irritants like dust, pollen, or mucus from the airway. Occasional coughing in your dog is not a cause for concern. But excessive coughing can be a symptom of heart disease, infection, or a breathing obstruction – and some of these ailments can be life-threatening.

Table of contents

  • Why do dogs cough?
  • Is it a cough or a gag?
  • What are the various types of dog coughs?
  • What are the symptoms of kennel cough?
  • Common causes of dog cough
    • Foreign objects in the throat
    • Environmental allergens
    • Tracheal collapse
    • Pneumonia
    • Heart disease
    • Canine influenza
    • Canine chronic bronchitis
  • What to do if my dog is coughing
  • Are there some home remedies for my dog’s cough?
  • When should I bring my dog to a vet?
  • How to prevent coughs in dogs?

Why do dogs cough?

Coughing is the body’s reaction to an irritant in the airway. As your pet explores the world with their nose or mouth, they encounter germs, dirt, tiny bugs, bits of grass, and many other particles. If some of this material is breathed in, your dog may cough to expel it. No big deal, right?

If your pooch coughs frequently, coughs in their sleep, or can’t seem to stop coughing once they start, it’s time to take a closer look. And if the coughing is accompanied by changes in breathing, it could indicate something more serious.

Is it a cough or a gag?

Coughing and gagging may sound similar when they happen, but they are not quite the same. A cough is caused when your dog forces air out of the mouth and throat. Gagging is more akin to vomiting, but nothing comes out except some phlegm or mucus. Gagging can lead to coughing and coughing can lead to gagging, but either can happen on its own. Gagging is often the result of your dog gulping down large chunks of dry food or swallowing something distasteful. Gagging is a natural process to rid the body of the swallowed or partially-swallowed item.

What are the various types of dog coughs?

If you’ve ever had a cough (and who hasn’t?), you know a cough can be just plain annoying or totally exhausting, especially if coughing interrupts sleep. Your pooch feels the same way! Take action sooner rather than later to help your pup recover from the cough and head off a more serious illness. Your pet’s health and well-being depend on you.

Pay attention to how your dog’s cough sounds so you can describe it to your veterinarian. This will help your vet decide the best way to care for the cough and make your pooch more comfortable. Which category below best describes your dog’s cough?

  • Dry, hacking, cough that is deep-sounding
  • Gagging and high-pitched cough
  • Wet and phlegmy
  • Deep and honking, like a goose

Each type of cough indicates a different problem. Take a video of your dog coughing and show it to your vet. This will help the vet decide if the cough signals an emergency or could be contagious, like kennel cough or canine influenza.

What are the symptoms of kennel cough?



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