Coughing isn't something that dogs experience on a regular basis. So, if your dog is coughing, there's probably an underlying cause for it. This is particularly true if it's suddenly started coughing on a daily basis – and it's becoming uncontrollable. If your dog has been coughing for more than a day or two, it's time to start looking for the culprit. The first thing you need to do is determine whether it's related to an illness. If your dog doesn't have a runny nose, or fever, and it seems to be acting normal, other than the cough, you're probably looking at an environmental issue. Here are four simple steps to identify the cause of your dog's coughing spells.
Switch to a Harness
If you dog wears a normal collar when you go out for walks, you could be looking at the culprit right there, especially if your dog likes to lunge during those walks. When your dog wears a normal collar, pressure is placed on its throat each time it lunges. Over time, your dog's throat can become sore and irritated, which can lead to coughing spells. To relieve the pressure on your dog's throat, and alleviate the coughing, switch to a harness, instead.
Get Rid of the Excess Weight
If your dog has put on a few extra pounds, it could be having trouble breathing. Weight-related breathing problems can cause coughing spells, especially when your dog is over-exerting itself during playtime or walks. To help your dog get back into shape, and stop the coughing, talk to your veterinarian about some good weight loss options for your dog. If your dog has become the household couch potato, it's time to get it outside for some exercise.
Reduce the Stress
If your dog tends to cough during stressful situations, it's time to increase the tender-loving-care. You might not realize this, but stressful situations can cause coughing spells in some dogs. If your dog starts coughing when it's stressed, take to a quiet spot and help it calm down. Once your dog stops coughing, bring it back out to join the group. If coughing continues to be a problem during stressful situations, talk to your veterinarian about canine anxiety medication.
Clear the Air
If your dog's coughing is caused by the air it's breathing it's time to clear the air. Allergens and pollutants can cause severe coughing spells for your dog. First, install an air cleaner in your home. Second, find out what your dog is allergic to, and try to remove those from your home. Third, add a humidifier to your home. The humidifier will moisten the air so your dog can breathe easier, which will reduce the coughing.
If you need further help, contact a service like Northwest Animal Hospital.