As devoted pet owners, we always want our furry friends to be in the best of health. However, just like humans, dogs can also experience health issues, including coughing and wheezing. In this blog, we will delve into the various causes, symptoms, and care options for dog cough wheezing, helping you better understand and address these issues to ensure your canine companion’s well-being.

Common 6 Causes of Dog Cough Wheezing

Dog Cough Wheezing

1: Allergies:

Allergies in dogs commonly lead to coughing and wheezing, with a range of potential allergens, including pollen, mold, dust mites, and cigarette smoke, triggering these symptoms. Constricted airways due to asthma can also result from allergies, resulting in wheezing. Additionally, dogs with allergies may exhibit hives, diarrhea, itchy ears, hair loss, and red, inflamed skin.

Treatment options for canine allergies vary based on the specific allergen involved. These options encompass avoiding the allergen to prevent reactions, modifying your dog’s diet if they have a food allergy, and administering allergy relief medication. Your veterinarian possesses the expertise to determine the most suitable approach for effectively managing your dog’s allergies.

2: Heart Disease:

If your older dog has begun wheezing and coughing more frequently than usual, this may indicate the presence of heart disease, such as congestive heart failure. As this condition worsens, dogs develop fluid in their lungs, leading to an increase in both wheezing and coughing. In some cases, you may also observe your dog coughing up fluid.

While there is no cure for congestive heart failure, it can be managed with medication and appropriate treatment. Your veterinarian will provide you with more information about the correct course of action for your dog.

3: Foreign Objects – Dog Cough Wheezing

Foreign objects can cause a dog to cough and wheeze. When a dog ingests or inhales foreign objects like small Dog toys, bones, or pieces of food, these items can become lodged in its airway or esophagus. This obstruction irritates the air passages, leading to coughing and wheezing as the dog struggles to clear the obstruction and breathe properly.

Additionally, foreign objects in the respiratory tract can trigger inflammation, further worsening the symptoms. If not promptly addressed, this situation can result in serious respiratory distress for the dog. In such cases, it’s essential to seek immediate veterinary care to safely remove the foreign object and alleviate the coughing and wheezing.

4: Collapsed Trachea

A collapsed trachea affects a dog’s windpipes by causing the supportive rings around the trachea to weaken and collapse, thereby potentially obstructing the airways. This condition results in ongoing coughing, wheezing, and labored breathing. It primarily afflicts small dog breeds, and its exact cause remains unknown, though it tends to occur more often in overweight dogs.

5: Bronchitis

Bronchitis in dogs, particularly chronic bronchitis, can induce coughing and wheezing. It affects the lower airways of a dog’s lungs, leading to inflammation of the bronchi’s lining and resulting in persistent coughing and wheezing. Environmental factors like poor air quality and stressors such as cigarette smoke and mold can exacerbate bronchitis.

To address bronchitis in dogs, veterinarians may prescribe corticosteroids, which target inflammation and alleviate coughing. Alongside medication, you can implement home adjustments to enhance your dog’s respiratory comfort.

Symptoms of Dog cough Wheezing

Identifying the symptoms associated with your dog’s cough and wheezing is crucial for determining the underlying cause and providing the appropriate care. Common symptoms include:

  • Coughing: Dogs may exhibit various types of coughs, including dry, hacking coughs or moist, productive coughs.
  • Wheezing: Wheezing is often characterized by high-pitched, whistling sounds when your dog breathes.
  • Labored Breathing: Your dog may appear to be struggling to breathe, with increased chest movements and nostril flaring.
  • Lethargy: Dogs with respiratory issues often feel fatigued and may be less active than usual.
  • Loss of Appetite: Illness or discomfort can lead to a decrease in your dog’s appetite.
  • Fever: Infections may cause an elevated body temperature.

What to do if your Dog Cough Wheezing

Dog Cough Wheezing

Once you notice your dog cough wheezing, it’s essential to consult with a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Here are some general care guidelines:

Allergy Testing

Allergy testing pinpoints the root causes of dog wheezing, including seasonal, food, or skin allergies. Once identified, you can eliminate the allergen or adjust your dog’s environment accordingly.

For seasonal allergies, you’ll be better prepared to protect your dog during specific seasons. Remember, allergy testing requires a visit to the vet for diagnosis and prescribed solutions; it’s not a DIY process.

Air Purifier

To maintain clean indoor air for your dog and reduce potential irritations that could lead to wheezing or coughing, consider using air purifiers and humidifiers. These devices can help remove impurities and maintain optimal humidity levels.

Additionally, it’s important to keep your dog away from smoke. This may involve keeping your furry friend indoors, especially when the area is affected by smoky conditions.

Avoid cold Foods and Weather

Cold weather and cold foods can trigger wheezing or coughing in dogs. When heading out on chilly days, ensure your dog is appropriately covered. Avoid swimming, as it can lead to flu.

Use steam to clean your dog’s airways and maintain proper hydration by keeping water bowls filled during cold weather. Adequate feeding is crucial during this time.

Remove Objects That Can Cause Obstructions

Ingested or inhaled objects can cause obstructions in dogs. Avoid letting your puppy chew on sticks that can splinter, potentially blocking airways. Replace toys that break or fray to prevent choking.

Keep potentially harmful treats like rawhide out of your dog’s reach. Dispose of bones and meat wrappings promptly and ensure your dog can’t access the trash.


Medications effectively treat dog coughing and wheezing. Antibiotics combat bacterial infections, bronchodilators relax airway muscles for easier breathing, anti-inflammatory drugs reduce airway inflammation, and cough suppressants provide relief.


Cough wheezing in dogs can be alarming, but with timely veterinary care and attention, most underlying issues can be successfully managed or treated. It’s crucial to pay attention to your dog’s health, and any persistent or severe symptoms should be promptly addressed by a professional. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and care options for dog coughing and wheezing, you can ensure your beloved pet lives a healthy and happy life.

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