Why is My Dog Coughing in Orlando, FL?

dog coughing orlando, fl

Is your pup hacking and coughing, and you’re not sure why? Dogs can cough for a number of reasons. It could just be from sniffing around in a dusty spot, or it could be a sign of a deeper health issue. Regardless of the reason, it’s important that you understand the different types of dog coughing, and know what to do if your pet starts coughing themselves.

Our 24/7 Orlando, FL, animal hospital is available around the clock to answer your questions, so if you’re not sure about your pet’s situation, we encourage you to call us at (407) 298-3807!

The Different Types of Coughing in Dogs

Dog coughing comes in a few distinct varieties. Acute, chronic, dry, and wet:

Acute Coughing

Acute coughing occurs suddenly and typically lasts for just a short period of time.

Chronic Coughing

Chronic coughing is ongoing; it persists for a long period of time and usually requires treatment.

Dry Coughing

A dry cough is also known as a non-productive cough. This is because dry coughs produce little or no fluid. They are typically the result of an irritant getting stuck in your pet’s airway.

Wet Coughing

If your pet has a wet cough, they’re probably bringing up a lot of phlegm, mucus, or foam. This type of coughing is productive, as it helps your pet clear fluid from their lower respiratory tract.

Reasons Your Dog Might be Coughing

Dogs cough for many of the same reasons we do. They might have inhaled foreign matter, or they could have an upper respiratory infection that stimulates coughing.

Below, we go into more detail about the most common causes of dog coughing.

Inhaled an Irritant/Foreign Matter

If your dog inhales a piece of foreign matter, like dirt, sand, dust, or an allergen, like pollen, they will likely respond to this irritant entering their airway by coughing or sneezing. This is a reflexive reaction meant to eject the irritant from their airway.

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is a highly contagious upper respiratory virus that usually spreads where dogs congregate – kennels, dog parks, grooming salons, and yes, even the vet! While kennel cough is not a severe disease in most cases, it can still make your pet sick if they haven’t been vaccinated to protect against infection. Kennel cough is so named due to the dry, hacking cough it causes in those affected.


Pneumonia isn’t just a human condition. Dogs can catch it as well, and one of the notable symptoms of infection is a wet cough. Other symptoms of pneumonia in dogs include loss of appetite, runny nose, fever, and trouble breathing.

Canine Influenza

Canine influenza (or canine flu) infects the respiratory tract. This can cause an inflammatory response, resulting in bronchitis and other illnesses that leave pets vulnerable to secondary bacterial infection. Naturally, coughing is a clinical symptom of canine flu, which in itself can be similar to kennel cough.

Collapsed Trachea

Overweight miniature, toy, and large dog breeds are most at risk for a collapsed trachea, which can occur as a result of pressure from a collar (often caused by the pet pulling). Tracheal collapse causes dogs with this condition to have a chronic, “honking” cough, which is exacerbated when they become overexcited or start pulling on their leash. If your pet is found to have a collapsed trachea, it might be recommended that they lose weight, and be placed in a harness when going on walks instead of a collar.

Heartworm Disease and Congestive Heart Failure

Dogs with heart diseases, including congestive heart failure and heartworm disease, will often present with a chronic cough. Heart failure causes fluid to build up in the lungs, which leads to coughing. Dogs with heartworm disease develop a cough due to the heartworms proliferating around their lungs and the blood vessels around their heart. They also become easily fatigued.

tan dog on floor

Does My Dog’s Coughing in Orlando, FL Warrant a Visit to the Vet?

The best way to determine whether a vet visit is warranted for your dog’s coughing is to observe them and see how long the coughing persists. If it occurs over the course of just a few minutes and then resolves itself, and your pet is behaving and breathing normally, their cough shouldn’t be cause for concern.

On the other hand, if your dog is coughing constantly, we recommend calling 24/7 Animal Hospital of Orlando right away. Since our team is available to help your pet at all hours, every day, you can always expect to reach us and get the assistance your pet needs. Chronic coughing can be a sign of a deeper health issue, and we want to examine your pet as soon as we can to understand the problem.

Other signs that your pet should see a vet right away include gagging/choking sounds, constant licking of the lips, pawing at the mouth, and shallow or labored breathing. Don’t wait – call our Orlando, FL, emergency animal hospital immediately at (407) 298-3807!