Dog Coughs When Excited

If your dog coughs when excited he may be suffering from a mild respiratory tract infection. Dogs are also known to cough when something irritates the lining of the throat. If the cough is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s best to make note of all the symptoms exhibited and conduct a vet check to rule out severe underlying ailments.

Coughing When Excited

Several pet owners find that their pets start coughing when excited. The cough generally lasts for a few minutes and then subsides. The pet can go for a few days without coughing and then suddenly start coughing when excited. This usually happens when visitors drop by the house or when the pet has engaged in some vigorous activity.

The reason why the pet coughs only when excited is that the dog starts breathing harder or more rapidly when excited. This aggravates the respiratory tract and gives rise to the cough, particularly if the dog is suffering from an underlying respiratory infection. As a pet owner it’s best to monitor the dog and watch for any accompanying symptoms.

What to Watch for in Dog Coughs:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Listlessness
  • Halitosis
  • Nasal discharge 
  • Watery eyes

Cause of the Cough

One of the most common types of respiratory infections that dogs suffer from is known as Kennel cough. The cough usually starts off as a dry cough. Other symptoms are exhibited as the pet’s condition worsens. If your pet is coughing when excited he may not exhibit all the signs of kennel cough at first but he will slowly start exhibiting signs of fever, listlessness and nasal discharge as the infection progresses.

If the pet isn’t suffering from kennel cough, the cause of the cough may be associated with other mild respiratory infections and in some cases allergies.


In order to find out the real cause of the cough the vet will first conduct a thorough physical examination and look for foreign objects that may be lodged in the pet’s throat. The vet will also perform a few blood tests and bacterial culture tests to find out if the pet is suffering from Kennel cough.

Treatment Options for Dog Cough

If the cause of the cough is associated with a respiratory infection, the vet will prescribe medicines to kill the virus or the bacterial infection present in the pet’s body. If the pet’s condition worsens the vet will also recommend the use of bronchodilators and expectorants.

 The dog should be allowed to rest and should be given plenty of nutritious food. Avoid exercising pets that are ill and keep them away from other animals living in the same household.

Tips for Pet Owners

Since dogs are at risk of contracting kennel cough, it’s important to discuss with the vet, the benefits of administering kennel cough vaccines to your pet. Also avoid boarding your pet at boarding facilities that don’t ask for health certificates.

Make sure that your pet’s food and water bowls are washed daily in order to reduce the risk of exposure to external contaminants.