Health Topics  >  Respiratory  > Coughing

What is coughing in dogs?

Coughing is a natural response towards any type of itching, irritation, or uneasy feeling in the air passage of both humans or animals. Usually, when dust particles or irritants enter the trachea, the body tries to eliminate the foreign particle by coughing. 

Coughing doesn’t necessarily mean that your dog is sick – it’s completely normal for your dog to cough or sneeze now and then. 

Dog coughs typically sound like more of a gag or as though they are trying to clear something from their throat than a typical human cough sound. Veterinary care should be sought out if your dog’s cough becomes persistent for more than a day or becomes frequent (lasting longer than a single isolated episode).

It’s always good to note the nature of the cough (does it sound more like a dry cough or a wet cough?), when it tends to occur and how frequently (usually after eating, when your dog gets excited, or at night?), how long each episode is and if there’s any mucus, blood, foam or other fluids being coughed up. 

Spitting out white foam can also occur after an episode of coughing or vomiting, and is often a sign of something more serious.