My Pet Is Coughing – What Should I Do?

You’re sitting on the couch, enjoying a quiet evening with your furry friend, when suddenly you hear it: a persistent cough coming from your pet. Your heart sinks as you wonder, “What should I do?” Just like humans, pets can experience coughing for various reasons, and understanding the potential causes of why your pet is coughing is the first step in addressing your pet’s well-being.

Steps to Take When Your Pet Is Coughing

Observation: Monitor your pet’s coughing episodes, noting when they occur and any accompanying symptoms. This information will be valuable for your veterinarian.

Comfort: Create a calm environment for your pet, free from smoke or strong odors that could worsen coughing.

Veterinary Visit: If your pet’s cough persists or if you notice concerning symptoms like difficulty breathing, it’s time to visit the vet. They’ll perform a thorough examination and recommend appropriate treatment.

Treatment: Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of your pet’s coughing. Your vet may prescribe medications like antibiotics or anti-inflammatories to address infections or allergies.

Common Causes of Coughing in Pets

Respiratory Infections: One common cause of coughing in pets is respiratory infections, such as kennel cough in dogs or feline upper respiratory infections in cats. Keep an eye out for other symptoms like sneezing, nasal discharge, and lethargy.

Heart Conditions: Heart disease or heartworm infection can also lead to coughing, especially in dogs. If your pet’s cough worsens with activity or is accompanied by difficulty breathing, it might be related to heart issues.

Allergies: Pets can suffer from allergies too, whether it’s pollen, dust, or certain foods. Allergic reactions might manifest as coughing, itching, or skin irritation.

Tracheal Irritation: Exposure to smoke, dust, or other irritants can irritate your pet’s trachea, leading to coughing.

Foreign Objects: Sometimes, coughing could indicate a foreign object lodged in your pet’s throat or airway, such as a small toy or bone.


Coughing in pets can be alarming, but with prompt attention and veterinary care, you can help your furry friend feel better. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian if you’re concerned about your pet’s health.