Why is My Dog Coughing Like Something is Stuck in His Throat?

Dogs can cough for a variety of reasons, and sometimes it might sound like they have something stuck in their throat. Is your dog displaying this worrying symptom, leaving you wondering, “Why is My Dog Coughing Like Something is Stuck in His Throat?”

This article will explore the potential causes behind this concerning symptom and provide information on when it’s time to visit your veterinarian.

Why is My Dog Coughing Like Something is Stuck in His Throat

Dog owners often find themselves concerned when their furry friend starts coughing. While a cough may seem like a straightforward symptom, it can sometimes signify underlying issues that require immediate attention.

This article serves as a comprehensive guide to understanding when your dog’s cough is serious, home remedies to consider, whether honey is a suitable treatment, and how to check your dog’s throat.

What Causes a Dog to Cough Like Something is Stuck in Their Throat?

Here are some of the reasons to this issue:

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Foreign Bodies

The most straightforward reason for a dog’s choking cough could be a foreign body lodged in their throat. Dogs are notorious for chewing on, and sometimes swallowing, inappropriate items.

If your dog has been around small objects or has a penchant for chewing up toys, this could be a potential cause.

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough, or infectious tracheobronchitis, is an upper respiratory infection that can cause a harsh, hacking cough. This cough can often sound like your dog has something stuck in their throat.

Canine Influenza

Just like humans, dogs can catch the flu, too. Canine influenza is highly contagious and one of its symptoms is a persistent cough.

Heart Disease

In some cases, a persistent cough can be a sign of an underlying heart disease. The coughing occurs due to fluid accumulation in the lungs.

How to Help a Coughing Dog

Here is how you can help your dog:

Monitor Your Dog

Firstly, monitor your dog closely. Pay attention to when the coughing happens, how often it happens, and any other symptoms that accompany it.

Seek Veterinary Attention

If your dog’s coughing is persistent, it’s time to see a vet. Your vet will be able to diagnose the cause of the cough and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Preventing Your Dog From Coughing

Here are the ways to prevent your dog from coughing:

Keep Small Objects Out of Reach

Prevent accidental ingestion of foreign bodies by keeping small items out of your dog’s reach.

Regular Vet Check-ups

Regular vet check-ups can help catch potential health issues early before they become serious.

Dietary Influences on Canine Coughing

Even something as seemingly innocuous as diet can influence your dog’s coughing. A dog might cough if they eat their food too quickly or if they have an allergic reaction to a certain type of food.

Overeating and Speed Eating

Dogs that eat too quickly or consume large quantities of food in a single sitting might cough due to temporary discomfort or obstructions in the esophagus.

In these cases, the cough is typically short-lived, subsiding once the food has moved to the stomach. To prevent this, consider providing smaller, more frequent meals and using a slow-feeder bowl.

Food Allergies

Food allergies can also trigger coughing in dogs. If your pet has an allergic reaction to a certain food or ingredient, their throat or esophagus might become inflamed, causing them to cough.

Be sure to monitor your dog after introducing new foods into their diet, and consult your vet if you suspect a food allergy.

Other Medical Conditions

There are several other medical conditions that can cause a dog to cough like there is something stuck in their throat. Conditions like tracheal collapse, lung diseases, and even some parasites can lead to this symptom.

Tracheal Collapse

Small breed dogs are particularly susceptible to a condition known as tracheal collapse. This occurs when the trachea, or windpipe, becomes weak and begins to flatten.

This can lead to a harsh, honking cough that might sound like something is stuck in the dog’s throat.

Lung Diseases

Lung diseases, including chronic bronchitis and pneumonia, can cause a dog to cough. These conditions lead to inflammation and irritation in the dog’s respiratory tract, leading to a coughing symptom.


Heartworm disease, caused by a parasite transmitted through mosquito bites, can also lead to coughing. This is due to the damage these worms cause to the heart and lungs.

When to Seek Emergency Veterinary Care

While many causes of coughing are not immediately life-threatening, some situations require emergency veterinary care.

If your dog is struggling to breathe, becomes lethargic, refuses to eat or drink, or the coughing becomes more frequent or severe, these are signs of a serious problem and you should seek veterinary care immediately.

How Do I Know if My Dog’s Cough is Serious?

Determining the severity of your dog’s cough is crucial. While occasional coughing can be typical, especially after play or exposure to dusty environments, persistent or severe coughing is a red flag. Signs that the cough may be serious include:

  • Continues for more than a few days
  • Is accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, lethargy, or loss of appetite
  • Produces mucus or blood
  • Interferes with eating, drinking, or breathing

If your dog displays any of these signs, consult a veterinarian immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.

What Home Remedy is Good for a Dog’s Cough?

If the cough is not severe, you might consider using some home remedies:

Steam Treatment

Exposure to humidified air can help ease coughing. Create a steam-filled bathroom by running hot water in the shower, and sit with your dog for 10-15 minutes.

Coconut Oil

Small amounts of coconut oil can act as a natural antibacterial agent. Always consult your vet for the proper dosage for your dog’s size and condition.

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas like chamomile can be beneficial. Make sure the tea is decaffeinated and consult your vet before administering it to your pet.

Can I Give My Dog Honey?

Yes, honey can be a natural remedy to alleviate your dog’s cough. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. A teaspoon of honey given two to three times a day can provide relief. However, avoid giving honey to diabetic dogs or puppies under one year old.

How Can I Check My Dog’s Throat?

Checking your dog’s throat can be tricky, and it’s usually best done by a vet. However, if you must check it yourself, make sure to:

  1. Open your dog’s mouth gently but firmly.
  2. Use a flashlight to inspect the throat for redness, swelling, or foreign objects.
  3. Take note of any odd smells, which could indicate an infection.

Why Does My Dog Sound Like He’s Trying to Cough Something Up?

This kind of coughing can indicate several conditions—ranging from a simple tickle in the throat to something more serious like kennel cough or even a foreign object stuck in the throat. If this cough persists or worsens, consult a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

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While it can be alarming to hear your dog coughing like something is stuck in their throat, it’s essential to remember that this can be a symptom of a wide range of conditions, from simple to serious.

By being vigilant about your dog’s health, ensuring they’re not ingesting inappropriate items, and seeking prompt veterinary care when required, you can ensure your four-legged friend stays healthy and happy.

A dog’s cough can vary from benign to serious, and it’s essential to know when veterinary attention is necessary. Home remedies such as steam treatment and honey can offer relief in less severe cases. However, if you notice persistent or severe symptoms, it’s crucial to consult your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.