Dog Coughing and Vomiting. 7 Reasons Why

Dog coughing and vomiting always indicate that your dog might be ill. In this article we go through the most common 7 reasons why this happens.

The signs of illness are stronger especially when coughing and vomiting happen together. For instance, your dog may cough to clear his throat but vomit.

You should note that coughing is not regular in canines. It usually means that your dog is either sick or has something stuck in his throat.

The most recommendable thing is to check with your vet for any medical complications.


7 Medical Reasons Why Your Dog is Coughing and Vomiting

As mentioned above, coughing is a sign of a severe illness in most cases. There are several illnesses associated with coughing.

Some of these illnesses are life-threatening, while others go away by themselves. These reasons include;


1. Distemper

This is a highly contagious and life-threatening viral disease. Unfortunately, the condition has no cure, leaving young unvaccinated puppies and older dogs.

A frequent cough from your dog characterizes the illness.

To make matters worse, the disease can be transmitted through urine, feces, and respiratory secretions.

This means that if your dog comes into contact with bodily excretions from an infected dog, he is likely to contract the disease.

If you take your dog to a boarding facility or daycare, he may encounter an infected dog.

It would help if you considered taking him to the vet upon noticing a persistent cough. Other symptoms of distemper in canines include high fever and discharge from the nose.

Your dog may also show signs of general body weakness. Your dog may also vomit and have diarrhea if he has distemper.

Since the disease has no cure, the only available treatment is alleviating the symptoms.

You can manage the condition by regularly cleaning the watery discharge from the nose and eyes.

Antibiotics may be administered to prevent a secondary bacterial infection while your dog recovers.

Once your dog fully recovers, it means he is free of the virus. He will also not be able to transmit it to another dog.

However, it would help if you worked closely with your vet.


2. Canine Influenza

This is an airborne viral disease that resembles the human flu. Your dog will contract this disease through contaminated respiratory secretions in the air.

This means that if an infected dog barks, sneezes, or coughs near where your dog is, he might catch it as well.

The disease is characterized by high fever, sneezing, coughing, running nose, and lethargy. Some dogs will also experience difficulty breathing when dealing with canine flu.

Usually, this disease will go away without medication. However, it is essential to talk to your vet about the symptoms exhibited by your dog.

This is because flu symptoms may resemble those of kennel dogs.

It is also essential to seek veterinary advice if your dog has the flu. Like distemper, canine influenza does not have a cure but is manageable.

Your dog will wait for the virus to wear off within one to two weeks. Your vet will provide supportive treatment to alleviate the symptoms of the flu as well as prevent a secondary illness.


3. Pneumonia

Like humans, dogs can also contract pneumonia if exposed to certain conditions. Pneumonia should not be taken lightly as it is a life-threatening and disabling disease.

This disease is characterized by a productive cough with difficulty in breathing.

Pneumonia will present different symptoms based on the causal agent. For instance, bacterial pneumonia will often involve a bacterial infection in the lungs.

Fungal pneumonia will also be treated according to the causal agent. This is why you must take your dog to a vet if you suspect your dog of having pneumonia.

Inhalation pneumonia is quite common in our canine friends. The illness is caused by your dog inhaling foreign materials into the lungs.

These materials may include vomit residues or food. Also known as aspiration pneumonia, the disease can be fatal if not treated promptly.

Once again, it is essential to visit your vet for treatment. Treating pneumonia may include inhalation therapy and providing your dog with clean, warm air.

You should also consider cleaning and dusting your dog’s sleeping place and bed.

You should consult your vet if you think your dog has aspirated foreign materials into his lungs.

Dogs struggling with stomach issues are prone to aspiration pneumonia.

This is because they vomit and could accidentally aspirate food materials or, even worse, regurgitated foods.


4. Reverse Sneezing

This is quite a common occurrence in smaller breeds of dogs. Usually, your dog will produce a choking or coughing sound due to a spasm of the throat and soft palate.

Usually, this is not a severe condition triggered by several factors. These factors include excitement, pollen grains, or even change in the climate.

By monitoring your dog, you will be able to tell what triggers reverse sneezing in your dog.

This condition does not require medical attention unless accompanied by other symptoms.


5. Congestive heart failure

This is also another severe condition that is characterized by coughing. Usually, heart failure is caused by the dog’s inability to pump blood throughout the body.

The fluid is collected in the lungs and heart, which induces coughing in dogs.

Heart failure is a life-threatening disease that leads to death if left untreated. Obese dogs are at high risk of developing congestive heart failure.

Some breeds are also known to be prone to heart conditions.

Once you notice persistent coughing in your dog, you may want to take him to a vet.

Your vet will be able to provide a conclusive diagnosis and methods of treatment.


6. Throat Problems

The sudden cough could result from something stuck in your dog’s throat. By coughing, your dog is trying to clear his airways to no avail.

One of the most common cases involves grass seeds stuck in a dog’s throat.

For instance, if your dog comes back to the house coughing and struggling to breathe or swallow, you may consider checking him up.

This might also be accompanied by lip licking as if your dog has a sore throat.


7. Kennel Cough

Kennel cough dog is another common viral infection in dogs. It is also highly contagious, primarily through contaminated surfaces like bowls.

This infection will present similar symptoms to those of canine influenza. These include fever, runny nose, and sneezing.

Kennel cough is common among dogs in shelters and boarding facilities. If you recently left your pup in a daycare center and now he won’t stop coughing, kennel cough is a possible reason.

A dry, honking cough is one of the main symptoms of this infection. Sometimes your dog may also vomit after coughing.

The symptoms of kennel cough will appear from 1 to 2 weeks after exposure. They may last up to ten days before they start to wear off.

However, it takes a bit longer for your dog to completely recover from kennel dog cough. This may be three weeks for normal healthy dogs and up to twice as long for older dogs.

Dogs with weakened immune systems will also take longer to recover fully.

Usually, the disease will go away by itself, but it is essential to seek a medical opinion.

You should be cautious as it can lead to pneumonia if left untreated.


My Dog Keeps Coughing And Vomiting. Should I Be Worried?

Dogs rarely vomit, and when they do, it usually is not something serious. Maybe your puppy ate something that irritates his stomach. And to get rid of it, he has to vomit.

However, it would help if you did not suddenly ignore your dog hurling. Sometimes it is a result of underlying medical complications.

It is a common occurrence when your dog vomits as a result of coughing. It would help if you always took him for a check-up with your vet.

Some of the reasons why your dog may be vomiting include;



This is the most common reason why dogs vomit. It is defined as the inflammation of the intestines and the stomach.

There is usually an underlying cause of this condition in dogs, for instance, a change in diet. Ingestion of non-food material can also cause gastroenteritis.

The symptoms of this condition include vomiting and diarrhea, and sometimes both. This can emaciate your dog within a few days if not rectified.

You should also take gradual steps when trying to change your dog’s diet. It would help if you also were sure to discourage chewing on non-food materials.



Food allergy is also a possible cause of vomiting in dogs and humans. Usually, your dog will vomit immediately after consuming the food he is allergic to.

Your dog may also exhibit other symptoms of an allergic reaction, including lumps on the skin.

It would help if you refrained from giving him the same food again.

This is usually the best way to prevent allergic reactions. If the symptoms worsen over a short time, you should consider taking him to the vet.

Your vet will recommend antihistamines and other measures you can take.



Some dogs vomit caused of eating grass. Well, some dogs develop the habit of feeding on grass for various reasons.

However, if your puppy vomits every time he grazes in your yard, it is time to stop him.

Often, this will not be a difficult situation, but keeping him away from grazing will help prevent the vomiting. You can able to do this through intensive training.


Parasitic infections

One of the most consistent symptoms of a parasitic infection is nausea. You may find your dog struggling with all the food you just gave him.

Some dogs will even go ahead to eat grass as a method to induce vomiting.

A visit to the vet care will help you get a conclusive diagnosis of the cause of vomiting. Your vet will also provide treatment options best suit your dog.

It is essential to always deworm our dogs regularly against parasitic infections.



Sometimes, your dog may vomit from a more serious medical condition. Cancer is one of the causes of dog coughing and vomiting.

Your vet will be able to examine your dog for any symptoms related to cancer.

It is essential to tone that your vet may need a keen examination before giving a complete diagnosis.


Other illnesses

Other illnesses that may cause vomiting include kidney disease, diabetes, and liver disease. These illnesses will also require a deep examination before diagnosis.

In most cases, your dog will vomit right after feeding.


Side effects

Like humans, the medication we use to treat our dogs may have adverse effects on their bodies.

Vomiting is one of the most exhibited side effects of most drugs.


What Should I Do If My Dog Is Vomiting?

You should download the dog Bible straight away.

This is a common question among dog owners. Most people do not know what to do when dealing with a vomiting dog.

However, the first thing you should do is determine why he is doing so and how frequently. As discussed above, there are different reasons why your dog may be vomiting.

To stop it, you must first understand the trigger.

You can use home remedies to make your dog feel better when vomiting is sudden but not consistent.

However, rapid and progressive coughing may require you to get him checked by a professional. You should also ensure that your dog is vomiting rather than regurgitating foods.

Vomiting is the reverse of food from the stomach, whereby there are contractions in the stomach.

You can also ease vomiting by refraining from giving your dog food for some time.

This will give him time to recover. However, ensuring that your dog is hydrated during this period is essential.

You should also ensure that your dog has no underlying medical conditions. For instance, if you have a dog coughing and vomiting, it might result from a kennel dog cough.

To ease vomiting and other disease symptoms, your vet might recommend medication.


In conclusion

Dog coughing and vomiting might indicate illness in your dog. It would help if you were keen to notice how frequently he is coughing or vomiting before heading to vet care.

This way, your vet can determine why your dog is doing so. Coughing usually indicates an underlying respiratory or viral infection.

To be able to prevent and treat these illnesses, you will have to visit the vet.

Disclaimer: This website is reader-supported, which means we may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Visit our Affiliate Disclaimer page for all details.