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Why Does My Dog Cough When He Barks?

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Nurse Vicky

Why Does My Dog Cough When He Barks?

When our beloved furry friends start exhibiting unusual behaviors, it can send any pet owner into a state of concern and confusion. One common scenario that often raises questions is when your dog coughs while barking.

Is it something to be alarmed about, or is it just a harmless quirk? In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to delve deep into this topic and explore the various reasons why your dog might cough when he barks.

Understanding Canine Coughing

Before we get into the specifics of why your dog coughs when he barks, it’s essential to have a basic understanding of canine coughing. Dog coughing can be attributed to several factors, ranging from minor irritations to more severe underlying health issues. Some common reasons for dog coughing include:

  1. Kennel Cough:
    • Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease in dogs. It often leads to persistent coughing and can be a reason why your dog coughs during barking.
  2. Heartworm Disease:
    • Heartworm disease can affect the respiratory system of dogs, leading to coughing. It’s essential to keep your dog protected from heartworms with preventive medication.
  3. Allergies:
    • Dogs, like humans, can develop allergies to various environmental factors. Allergies can lead to coughing, especially when triggered by irritants in the air.
  4. Foreign Objects:
    • Sometimes, dogs may ingest or inhale foreign objects that can irritate their throat, causing coughing.

Now, let’s dive into the specific reasons behind the mysterious phenomenon of dogs coughing when they bark.

Reasons Why Your Dog Coughs When He Barks

1. Irritation and Overexertion

Just like humans, dogs can experience irritation in their throats when they bark excessively or too loudly. If your dog is a particularly enthusiastic barker, this could be a common cause for coughing during or after barking.

2. Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections, such as kennel cough, can lead to coughing when your dog barks. These infections can be easily transmitted in environments where dogs are in close contact, such as kennels or dog parks.

3. Allergies

Allergies can be a significant factor in canine coughing. If your dog is allergic to pollen, dust, or other allergens in the air, barking might trigger a coughing response.

4. Heartworm Disease

In more severe cases, heartworm disease can lead to coughing when your dog barks. This parasitic infection affects the heart and lungs, causing discomfort and coughing.

5. Foreign Objects

Dogs are naturally curious, and they can sometimes ingest or inhale foreign objects. These objects can become lodged in the throat or airway, causing coughing during barking.

How to Address Coughing in Dogs

If you’ve noticed your dog coughing when he barks, it’s crucial to address the issue promptly.

Here are some steps you can take:

  • Visit Your Veterinarian:
    • If the coughing is persistent or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, consult your veterinarian. They can diagnose the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment.
  • Keep Your Dog Hydrated:
    • Ensure your dog has access to fresh water at all times. Staying hydrated can help soothe their throat.
  • Reduce Environmental Allergens:
    • If allergies are the culprit, try to minimize your dog’s exposure to allergens by keeping them indoors during peak pollen seasons.
  • Heartworm Prevention:
    • Talk to your veterinarian about heartworm prevention to safeguard your dog’s respiratory health.


1. Can kennel cough cause coughing when my dog barks?

  • Yes, kennel cough is one of the common reasons why dogs cough when they bark. It’s a contagious respiratory infection that can lead to coughing and should be addressed by a veterinarian.

2. How can I prevent allergies in my dog?

  • Preventing allergies in dogs can be challenging, but you can minimize their exposure to allergens by keeping them indoors during peak allergy seasons and discussing allergy management with your veterinarian.

3. What should I do if my dog has ingested a foreign object?

  • If you suspect your dog has ingested a foreign object, seek immediate veterinary attention. Swallowed objects can pose serious health risks and may require professional intervention.

4. Is heartworm disease a common cause of coughing in dogs?

  • Heartworm disease can lead to coughing in dogs, but it’s not as common as other causes like kennel cough or allergies. Heartworm prevention is essential to reduce the risk.

5. Should I be concerned if my dog only coughs occasionally when barking?

  • Occasional coughing when barking may not be a cause for immediate concern, but it’s essential to monitor your dog’s health. If the coughing persists or worsens, consult your veterinarian.

6. Are there over-the-counter remedies for dog coughing?

  • While there are some over-the-counter cough medications for dogs, it’s crucial to consult your veterinarian before administering any medication to ensure it’s safe and appropriate for your dog.

7. Can I use home remedies to soothe my dog’s throat if he’s coughing when he barks?

  • Home remedies like humidifiers or offering honey in small amounts may help soothe your dog’s throat, but it’s still important to consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.


The sight of your dog coughing when he barks can be unsettling, but it’s essential to remember that various factors can contribute to this behavior. While occasional coughing may not be a cause for alarm, persistent or severe coughing should prompt a visit to your veterinarian for a thorough examination and diagnosis.


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