When people cough, it’s usually a natural response to clear out a tickle in their throat.
Well, dogs aren’t so different.
Much like people, they sometimes get a tickle in their throat that they need to get rid of by coughing.
This reason for coughing is a completely natural thing to do.
However, there are cases whereby coughing can be a sign of some underlying problem.
Especially when your dog exhibits some strange behaviors or symptoms before or after the cough for example your dog getting excited and starts coughing afterward.
But what is the reason for your dog’s coughing and when do you know to consult with the vet?
Causes Of Your Dog’s Cough
Your dog’s cough can be caused by a variety of reasons. The reasons can range from mild or malignant.
Some dogs can begin to cough during moments of heightened emotional responses such as excitement and anxiety.
This is caused by tracheal collapse which is a condition characterized by part of their trachea collapsing.
Excitement means they’re breathing harder and the coughing starts as a result.
But the coughing only lasts for the period they’re showing these emotions.
Tracheal collapse is often seen in smaller dog breeds.
Bronchitis is characterized by inflammation of the airways.
It can be caused by infections whether bacterial or viral or allergens.
Coughing is a very common symptom of bronchitis usually accompanied by other symptoms such as wheezing, coughing out fluids (e.g phlegm), or general symptoms like appetite loss.
3. Size/shape of their airway
Smaller dog breeds are more susceptible to coughing because of the size and shape of their airways.
They can start coughing during exerting activities such as exercise or play.
Or they can start coughing when they get excited.
Oftentimes, these causes might require treatment.
4. Pressure on their windpipe
Too much pressure on anyone’s windpipe can cause that person to cough same with your pet.
You can be putting too much pressure on your dog’s windpipe sometimes without even knowing.
For example, taking your dog out for a walk and pulling too hard on the lead will cause the collar to compress/ block your dog’s airway.
This unfortunately happens too often. To stop this from happening you can start lead Training on your pet.
Or you can switch to a harness to cut out pressure on the windpipe entirely.
5. Heart issues
Heart issues/problems can also cause your dog to cough.
However, this doesn’t happen frequently.
A more common symptom of heart problems is a faster heart rate and tiredness.
6. Kennel cough
A typical sign that your dog has kennel cough is the sound they’ll produce during a coughing fit.
Kennel cough will typically sound like a deep honking cough.
Although Kennel’s cough is very contagious, it’s usually nothing to worry about.
As long as you can manage to keep your dog from other dogs to avoid spreading.
Within 2-3 weeks, your dog should be feeling good as new.
Consulting your vet for a checkup, however, will go a long way for your dog’s health.
What To Watch Out For When Your Dog Coughs?
Like it has already been established, your dog’s coughing might be nothing to worry about.
Then again, it can help to watch out for the following symptoms that accompany severe cases:
- Lack of appetite
- Nasal discharge
- Watery eyes
When Should You Seek The Help Of A Vet?
If at any time your dog’s coughing starts to worry you, then it might help to meet up with the vet at least to help pacify your worries and confirm whether or not your pet is fine.
Or you can watch out for these clear indications of an emergency.
- If the coughing gets worse
- If the coughing persists
- Your dog develops breathing difficulties
- Your dog starts to cough up blood
In the case of pet illnesses, your dog will use body language to communicate to you the severity and whether or not it’s a cause for alarm.
It’s up to you to pick up on those signs and do the needful.
As a pet owner, you should always trust your instincts and get your dog medical attention when needed.