Although coughing and nausea in dogs do not necessarily occur at the same time, sometimes you may see your dog coughing and trying to spit. In this article, we will talk about these clinical symptoms and their relationship. Also, we will review the most common causes of a dog coughing and spitting. We’ll also talk about the necessary treatment and what you can do at home to help your dog heal.

Dry dog cough

Cough is a reflex that is triggered after irritation of the respiratory tract. It is the body trying to free itself from the discomfort it feels in this area by expelling it outside. It is said that the cough is self-perpetuating because each cough attack dries out the mucous membranes, so that the entire respiratory tract becomes irritated, causing an even more intense cough.

There are different types of coughs in dogs, deep, dry, rough, wet, productive, acute, weak, prolonged, etc… Also, the cough can be either chronic or acute. The characteristics of the cough help to determine the cause of the cough.

A dry cough is usually related to an infamous disease called “kennel cough”, which is caused by several viruses as well as the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica. If your dog coughs and tries to spit, he may suffer from this condition, but he may also suffer from pharyngitis, which is associated with various diseases, such as infections of the mouth, respiratory system or systemic infections, such as parvovriosis or square disease.

Another example of the origin of a dry cough and chronic bronchitis, unlike that cough, can be productive in some dogs. But not all coughs are necessarily caused by respiratory conditions, like a dry cough after exercise or more intense cough during the night can be an indicator of heart valve disease.

What is spitting up in dogs?
Sputum in dogs is very clear. It is usually accompanied by hyper-salivation and repeated swallowing movements and is followed by vomiting, but this does not always occur. Although spitting is usually associated with digestive problems, your dog may cough and try to spit after a coughing attack.

Why is my dog coughing and trying to spit?
If your dog is coughing and trying to spit, the first thing you need to know is that there is more than one cause that can trigger this clinical picture. The most common causes are:

-airway infections, such as kennel cough and square fever.
-Inhalation of substances with irritating effects, such as smoke.
-Congestive heart failure.
-Chronic bronchitis.
-Smoking of the airways.
-Use of a collar that is too tight.
-Excessive barking.
-Parasites such as filaria or certain intestinal worms.
-Foreign objects in the throat or lungs.

My dog coughs like he’s choking.

If your dog coughs as if he is choking, the most likely cause is that he has foreign bodies in his throat that prevent him from breathing naturally and, as a result, the body tries to expel them. There may be something stuck in his throat that he can’t clear on his own, so we recommend taking him to the vet as soon as possible so that the vet can confirm that this is the problem and proceed to remove the foreign body.

The causes mentioned above could also cause your dog to cough as if he were choking, which is why you must take him to the vet.

My dog coughs and tries to spit – Treatment
Unless you know exactly what the cause of your dog’s cough is, e.g. if your dog is coughing because of smoke, you will just have to eliminate the cause, or if he is coughing because of a collar that is too tight, you will just have to loosen it, in other cases, if your dog is coughing and trying to spit, you will have to take him to the vet. Never give him cough medicine on your initiative. Only a veterinarian can examine your dog and run appropriate tests to locate the cause. A chest X-ray or, in chronic cases, an intratracheal enema may be necessary. A diagnosis must be made to arrive at a diagnosis, as it is on this that treatment will depend.

For example, if a foreign body is present, its removal may be necessary, whereas an infection such as kennel cough will require the administration of drugs such as antibiotics to prevent opportunistic bacterial infections. This disease can end up being serious in some dogs who will need to be admitted to a clinic to receive intensive treatment that will allow them to breathe with some normality. Also, the management of dogs with acute tracheobronchitis involves keeping them in quarantine, in a well-heated, well-ventilated area and, if possible, with a humidifier. Also, the dog should exercise moderately every day. It should be pointed out that there is a vaccine against this disease.

On the other hand, when the dry cough is due to a heart problem it is important to establish a veterinary follow-up, feed your dog a special diet, control his exercise dose and treat him according to the symptoms he presents.

In the next box of our article My dog coughs and tries to spit – Causes and treatment we will tell you about some home remedies for a dog that coughs and spits.

My dog coughs and tries to spit – Home Remedies

When you hear your dog coughing and trying to spit, your normal reaction is to give him something to make the seizure go away as quickly as possible. But, as we’ve seen, there are many causes for this clinical picture, which is why you shouldn’t give him anything before talking to your vet. Coughing and the need to spit tell you that something is wrong and eliminating the symptom is not enough. Before thinking about home remedies you need to have a diagnosis.

Once the diagnosis has been made and the treatment started, in addition to following the instructions of the veterinarian, you can apply the following home remedies:

*Keep him well hydrated to prevent his airways from drying out too much.
*Avoid any potential irritants such as smoke, aerosols, pollution, dust, etc…
*Use a humidifier or take advantage of the steam that is generated when you take *a hot bath or shower.
*Do not over-exercise.
*Wear a harness instead of a collar.

If you don’t have a humidifier, steam baths are especially recommended to clear the airways and help treat a dog that coughs and spits. Therefore, feeding him a balanced and preferably soft diet to help the food pass through the digestive system is more than recommended. That’s why it’s also up to your veterinarian to stipulate the best diet based on the cause that caused the symptoms to appear.


This article is purely informative and we do not have the expertise to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if it shows symptoms of fever or illness.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here