Coughing Dog Treatment

A cough in canines may be caused by a number of diseases. The treatment for a coughing dog depends on the cause of the cough. The main causes of coughing in dogs are irritation of the throat, respiratory infections or allergies.

Causes of Dog Coughing

The cause of the cough will influence the course of treatment. Dog coughing may be caused by:

  • Inhalant allergies or atopy
  • Inhalation of harmful chemicals or smoke
  • Respiratory infections, fungal, viral or bacterial (i.e. rhinotracheitis and kennel cough)
  • Heart disease may cause a dry cough, as the heart may get larger and press on the lungs; the coughing will be present after physical activities or when the dog is excited or agitated
  • Trachea or larynx problems; signaled if the cough is more severe during nighttime
  • Lung cancer
  • The ingestion of an object that irritates the throat (i.e. toys, paper clips); in this case, no treatment is necessary, but the object must be removed
  • A tight collar may also cause irritation; the collar should be adjusted

Cough Suppressants for Dogs

Cough suppressants or antitussives are only recommended if the cough is dry. The suppressants will have an effect on the dog’s body, stopping him from coughing.

Expectorants for Dogs

Expectorant medications will be recommended if the dog’s cough is productive (i.e. produces phlegm). These medications are efficient in helping the release of mucus from the respiratory tract.


If the coughing is caused by bacterial or viral infections, the vet will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection. The coughing should subside also. If the coughing persists, coughing suppressants should be administered.

If the infection is not treated, it may spread to the lungs and lead to pneumonia.

Fungicide Medication

If the cough is caused by a fungal infection, the vet will recommend some fungicide medication. The cough and the other symptoms should disappear as soon as the fungi are eliminated. Cough suppressants may also be administered, if the cough is severe.

Steroids or Antihistamines

If the coughing is caused by an allergic reaction, steroids may relieve the symptoms. Alternatively, antihistamines may reduce the allergic symptoms. Some vets may opt to combine antihistamines and steroids. However, if possible, an immunization therapy is recommended, being the only way to strengthen the dog, making him immune to the allergens.

Immunity Boosters

If the dog is developing allergies to pollens, dust, smoke or other environmental factors, this is due to a fragile immune system that will need to be boosted. Immunity boosters may include omega 3 fatty acids or other supplements.


In case the dog suffers from a heart disease or has trachea or larynx problems, the solution may be surgery. The vet will establish if surgery is suitable or administer suitable medication.

In some cases, the cough will go away without treatment. However, coughing is very unpleasant for the dog and you should try to apply a suitable treatment, when possible. Never administer drugs without consulting the vet first. Don’t administer human cough medicine to your dog, as it may be toxic for pets.