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My dog is coughing. Why?

All dogs, at some point or another, will cough. There are many reasons that can cause this, some more serious than others. If your dog is coughing it is important that you consider the following factors:

  • The cough is brief and sudden: If your dog has only sneezed a couple of times it is most likely just a reaction to something your dog had smelled, such as bug spray, a plant, etc. Don’t worry about it too much if this is the case.
  • It is a continuous cough: If your dog is continuously couching it could be a sign that there is an infection in their respiratory tract. You must keep in mind that dogs do not cough like humans. The sound that they make when they cough is more serious and also somewhat unusual. They may cough if they are having trouble breathing and have accumulated mucus. Veterinarians sometimes recommend mucolytics, much like those that are given to children. However, it is important that you visit your veterinarian in these occasions in order to receive the best recommended treatment for your dog since some illnesses that induce coughs require antibiotics.
  • If your dog is continuously coughing it could be that he actually has a case of kennel cough. This illness is common in places like canine hotels or animal training centers. Therefore if your dog has been to any of these places, it may have been infected, and although it is not a serious illness in healthy dogs, it does require a specific treatment. It is recommended that if your dog is going to spend a lot of time with a lot of other dogs, your dog should be vaccinated against kennel cough.
  • Coughing is a symptom for heart disease in dogs.
  • Until your dog heals completely, it is important to limit their levels of physical activity. If they have any breathing problems, the problems may grow worse and your dog will have a greater difficulty breathing if they exercise a lot. Luckily, your dog will very likely know not overexert themselves, but just in case it is important not to overexcite them.

Therefore, the important thing is that if your dog is continuously coughing you should take them to the veterinarian so that they can give them a timely treatment. Coughing bothers dogs a lot so even if the reason they are coughing is not due to a serious illness they may need medication that will make it easier for their illness to pass, such as mucolytics or cough suppressants.

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