Cough Remedies for Dogs

Cough remedies can help your dog if he is dealing with a condition that isn’t more serious than a slight cold in humans. However, if the coughing persists for more than 24 hours or other symptoms appear, you should not delay consulting your veterinarian.

Potential Causes of Coughing in Dogs

Dogs can cough for many reasons, many of which do not require veterinarian intervention. Usually, the symptoms will tell you if there are reasons for concern.

Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection. It is signaled by a soft, dry cough which can appear only when the dog is excited. However, the dog does not feel ill. If the dog is not affected by any other illness, the cough can be treated at home.

A wet sounding cough can be caused by allergies to:

  • dust
  • smoke
  • chemicals

Distemper will cause a dry cough, a fever and a thick discharge from the eyes and nose. If left untreated, the canine distemper can be lethal to dogs with weaker immune systems.

Internal parasites migrating in the lungs cause a dry cough.

Heart disease can cause the heart to enlarge and compress the airways, resulting in coughing.

Fungal infections can appear if the dog is in contact with bird droppings or, less often, with mold and may cause coughing.

Coccidiosis has symptoms very similar to distemper and is caused by a micro-organism in the airways.

Pneumonia can result from kennel cough or from viral or fungus infection and the cough will be dry.

Tracheal collapse causes a honk like cough. This can occur due to a neck injury or if the dog is overweight.

Cough Remedies for Dogs

Depending on the cause of the cough, there are remedies which you can administer at home or treatments that have to be prescribed by a professional:

  • Humidifiers can immediately cure a dog's cough. As an alternative, you can expose your dog to a steam bath for a few minutes. The hot vapors will soothe the cough right away.
  • Make sure the dog is not exposed to allergens like smoke, detergent or other chemicals. Removing these from the dog's environment will stop the cough. If the symptoms persist, you dog might be suffering from more general allergies and you need to talk to a veterinarian.
  • Remove the dog's collar and try using a chest harness. His trachea might be obstructed.
  • If your dog is overweight, the trachea might be obstructed because of his weight, discuss a diet with your veterinarian.
  • There are over the counter cough suppressants which can also be helpful to soothe the symptoms. These can also be combined with prescription treatments.

Call your veterinarian if the symptoms persist or the cough is associated with other symptoms. The vet may prescribe treatments such as antibiotics, breathing treatments or anti-inflammatory drugs.

While undergoing treatment, your dog can also benefit from special home care. Minimize his exercise time, make sure he has plenty of fresh water and soft food, which will be easier for him to swallow as he probably has a sore throat from coughing.