Should I Be Worried That My Dog Keeps Coughing?

Hearing your dog cough can be concerning. Coughing in dogs, like in humans, can have a variety of causes. It can range from being a minor issue to something that requires a vet’s attention. This article will explore the reasons behind your dog’s cough and guide you on when to seek help from a veterinarian. We’re here at West Ashley Veterinary Clinic to support you every step of the way.

Dog Coughing

What Causes Coughing in Dogs?

A cough in your dog can be due to several reasons. Common causes include minor irritations like dust or allergies, or more serious conditions like infections, heart disease, or lung problems. It’s important to observe the frequency and nature of the cough, and whether it is accompanied by other symptoms such as changes in behavior or appetite.

Environmental Irritants and Allergies

Coughing in dogs can often be attributed to environmental irritants such as dust, smoke, or pollen. These irritants can cause discomfort in your dog’s airways, leading to coughing as a natural response to clear them. Allergies are another common cause. Dogs, like humans, can be allergic to a variety of substances, leading to inflammation in the airways and resulting in coughing.


Several bacterial and viral infections can cause coughing in dogs. Kennel cough, a highly contagious respiratory infection, is a prime example. It spreads in areas where dogs are in close contact and is characterized by a strong, persistent cough. It can also present with additional symptoms like a runny nose or fever. Canine influenza can also cause coughing in dogs. It has been on the rise in certain parts of the country and can make a dog very ill if left untreated.

Serious Health Conditions

More serious health issues can also lead to coughing in dogs. Heart disease can cause fluid accumulation in or around the lungs, leading to coughing, particularly at night or following exercise. Lung problems, such as pneumonia, are also a concern and cause coughing. Additionally, smaller dog breeds can suffer from tracheal collapse, where the trachea weakens and flattens, making it hard to breathe and causing a distinctive honking cough.

When to Call the Vet

If your dog’s cough is persistent, sounds harsh, or comes with other symptoms like lethargy, loss of appetite, or difficulty breathing, it’s time to see a vet. Contact West Ashley Veterinary Clinic at (843) 571-7095 to schedule an appointment. Our experienced team will examine your dog to determine the cause of the cough and the best course of action.

Other Health Considerations

While addressing your dog’s cough, it’s also important to be aware of other common health issues they might face. From minor conditions to more serious health concerns, staying informed is key. Regular check-ups are crucial in monitoring your dog’s health. These visits are opportunities to update vaccinations, discuss any concerns, and keep your dog in optimum health. At West Ashley Veterinary Clinic, we’re equipped to provide your dog with comprehensive care, including advice on diet, exercise, and preventive measures.

Final Thoughts

At West Ashley Veterinary Clinic, we are dedicated to offering top-notch care for your pet. If you’re worried about your dog’s cough or any other health concerns, please reach out to us. You can schedule an appointment or get more information by calling (843) 571-7095. We are here to ensure your dog remains healthy and happy.

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About Us

West Ashley Veterinary Clinic in Charleston, SC offers a full range of veterinary services to keep your pets happy and healthy through all stages of life!