Why is my dog coughing & wheezing?

Written by elton dunn
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Many factors, from environmental to health conditions, may make your dog cough or wheeze. The most common causes are explained here, with a few tips for helping him through the attack.

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Some dogs develop asthma as a result of continued exposure to allergens, and will cough, wheeze and sneeze. Other symptoms of asthma that indicate it's time to see a vet include weight loss and loss of energy.


Many dogs wheeze or cough due to allergens in the environment, such as pollen, cigarette smoke, dust or household chemicals. Identify and remove the allergen-causing product to ease your dog's coughing.


Kennel cough (a viral or bacterial infection most seen in puppies or elderly dogs), bronchitis or a common cold may cause wheezing in dogs.

Blocked Airway

If your dog has ingested something though her mouth or nose that hasn't been completely swallowed, she will cough to clear the irritation. If you believe your dog has swallowed something, you can take her to the vet for induced vomiting or you can monitor her condition to see if the object is passed in her stool.


A dog with an untreated case of heartworm can suffer coughing spells as the worms block blood flow from the heart. Treat him for heartworm if you live in an area with mosquitos.

When to Take Your Dog to the Vet

If wheezing attacks last over half an hour, take your dog to the vet. Otherwise, you can use a humidifier or bring her into a steamy bathroom to help her get air into her lungs.

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