Why Does My Dog Keep Coughing?

Why Does My Dog Keep Coughing?

Why does my dog keep coughing? This can be a very common question to ask. Coughing can be common for dogs, or it can be a symptom of something more. If your dog is coughing occasionally it may be normal. Dogs like humans, can cough to get out dirt, dust, germs, and anything else breathed in that should not be in the body. If your dog’s coughing is not excessive, then there is nothing to be concerned about. If the coughing become frequent and more persistent then it might be time to make a vet appointment for your beloved fur baby.

Why is my dog coughing?

Kennel cough

Kennel cough is a very contagious coughing virus that spreads in dogs. Different factors can affect you dog catching kennel cough, these factors are exposure to poorly ventilated spaces, cold temperatures, exposure to dust and cigarette smoke, and stress inducing travel. Kennel cough usually gets better on its own in about a week, but if not it might be necessary to take your pet to a vet. The main signs of kennel cough are a deep, honking cough that is followed by gagging. If your dog has kennel cough, make sure to monitor them for poor appetite and odd behaviors.

Fungal pneumonia

Fungal infections tend to be picked up through particles in the air. Fungal pneumonia does not respond to antibiotics and they can actually make fungal pneumonia worse. The symptoms of fungal pneumonia is diarrhea, appetite loss, loss of weight, discharge from eyes or nose, coughing, difficulty breathing, loss of sight, depression and loud breathing. It can also lead to rashes on the skin, weakness, an inability to walk, and fainting. If your dog is showing signs of fungal pneumonia it is usually best to take them to the vet.


Your dog can get heartworms from mosquitos and are fairly easy to prevent. The easiest forms of prevention are monthly medications or six-month injections. A dog that gets heartworms may show no symptoms in the early stages, but once symptoms begin to develop, they can be, mild persistent coughing, loss of interest in exercise, fatigue, decreased appetite, and weight loss. It can lead to heart failure along with the appearance of a swollen stomach. Heartworms can also lead to the development of blockages of blood flow in the heart.

Canine distemper

Canine distemper is caused by a virus that spreads through blood, saliva, and urine. It is highly contagious, and it can even be deadly. Distemper can be misdiagnosed as kennel cough because the early-stage symptoms often are the same. The early symptoms are fever, nasal discharge, coughing, tiredness reduced appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms can get worse as time goes on, turning into seizures, twitching, agitated behavior, and paralysis. Most treatments include providing fluids and administering medications that reduce vomiting, diarrhea, infections, and prevent seizures. If caught too late euthanizing might be the only option to relieve suffering.

Heart disease

Your dog coughing could be the first sign of heart disease. The causes of heart disease are being born with a heart defect, old age, injury, infection, or even a dog having a bad diet along with lack of exercise. A vet has to diagnose heart disease which is done by taking blood and urine tests, chest x-rays, and doing an EKG or ultrasound. The symptoms include coughing frequently, having trouble breathing or exercising, tiring easily, increased respiratory rate. Heart disease being left untreated can lead to congestive heart failure.

Canine chronic bronchitis

There is no known underlying cause for canine chronic bronchitis. It is known to affect dogs that are six years and older and have sensitive airways. There are multiple different stimulants such as cigarette smoke, air pollutants, allergens, and dust or mold. The beginning symptoms of chronic bronchitis are coughing that sounds like vomiting followed by wheezing, the coughing starts dry and sounds harsh. The progressive symptoms are difficulty breathing, vomiting, gagging, and loss of consciousness. Canine chronic bronchitis is long term and can never be reversed.


Your beloved pet coughing can be as small as a normal cough, or it could be something more important. If the cough becomes more frequent and persistent it is probably time to take your fur baby to the vet.