If you’ve ever heard a dog coughing, you know it’s never a good sound; it’s always a cause of concern for many pet parents. While the occasional coughing is normal, it is crucial to find out how to treat a cough in dogs when they show a persistent, forceful hacking sound that doesn’t seem to go away.

Common Causes of Cough in Dogs

Coughing is a common symptom caused by a variety of things. To learn how to treat a cough in dogs correctly, you should determine the exact reason it’s happening. 


Bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites (heartworm disease) can cause respiratory infections. When these infectious agents target the upper respiratory tract and lungs, dogs can develop pneumonia and other conditions. The severity depends on the type of fungi or parasites and the virus or bacteria strain entering their body.

Kennel cough (canine tracheobronchitis) is the most common respiratory infection. It is airborne and highly contagious. The primary way of transmitting it is through contact with other infected dogs and sharing objects, toys and food bowls, which usually happens in kennels. Thus, the name. 

Whilst a total nuisance, Kennel cough is generally not life-threatening and will heal on its own. The incubation period is 14 days. So if your dog doesn’t seem better in two weeks, it’s best to contact your veterinarian.

Foreign Objects

Your pups may sometimes inhale or ingest objects that get lodged in their airways or throat. Some examples are dust, small toys and pieces of food that they didn’t chew well. Their response is to cough it out. If they cannot do so, it may require surgery or endoscopy. 

Other Illnesses

  • Heart disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Collapsing trachea
  • Laryngeal paralysis
  • Lung problems

How To Treat Cough in Dogs: Choose What Works

The treatment of cough in dogs depends on the cause and its severity. Fortunately, for mild cases, there are some items you can use that you can find in your homes. For those that are more severe, veterinarians are always there to help. 

At-Home Treatments

Natural Food Remedies – These natural remedies are excellent for dogs with Kennel cough. They have antibacterial properties, fatty acids and other health benefits that relieve signs of upper respiratory conditions and help dogs recover faster.

  • Honey
  • Coconut oil
  • Wild Cherry Bark Syrup (made with several ingredients, such as raw honey, apple cider vinegar, wild cherry bark, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and many more)
  • Tossa K (contains mustard seed, pau d’arco black seed and olive leaf, 

Humidifier – To moisten the air they breathe and lessen irritation, you place a humidifier near your furbaby as they sleep.

Prescribed Medications

The veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics, antiviral, antifungal or antiparasitic drugs. They can also give maintenance medication if the coughing is due to other illnesses and diseases. It is vital to follow the dosage strictly and the time you should give the medication. 


For dogs that develop a more severe case of coughing, consider the hospitalisation where veterinarians can administer intravenous fluids and oxygen therapy.

How To Treat Cough in Dogs: Prevention is Always Better Than Cure

A dog’s respiratory system has its natural ability to fight against infections. However, certain situations that you may or may not be able to avoid may still put them at risk. 

There’s nothing better than keeping your furbaby healthy by boosting their immune system. Ensure they have a balanced diet, exercise daily, go for regular checkups with their vet, and of course, give them loads of love and care.

Related Blogs: 

4 Common Health Issues In Dogs

Vaccines You Should Know About

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