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Coughing Pets? Here Are 4 Possible Causes

Dogs and cats can be far more than just pets, they can be truly cherished members of the family.

Like any other member of the family, it can be incredibly worrisome when your pet gets sick and maybe even more so since your pet obviously can’t tell you what’s wrong.

This is especially true if your dog or cat starts coughing much more than normal since most of us tend to automatically think the worst in these situations.

With this in mind, here are some of the potential reasons why your pet might be coughing and what you can do about it.

Coughing Pets? Here Are 4 Possible Causes

 Allergic Reactions

One of the most common reasons that pets cough is due to a reaction to some type of environmental allergen.

Dogs and cats can have allergic reactions to pollen, mold spores, dust, and other airborne allergens just like humans do.

That being said, the reaction could also be internal and related to a particular ingredient in their food.

Alternatively, if the coughing starts or gets worse after grooming or a bath, it may be that they have sensitive skin and are having an allergic reaction to their shampoo or soap.

Determining exactly what is causing the reaction can be quite difficult.

For this reason, it helps to keep a journal so that you can keep track of what your pet came into contact with that might be causing the reaction.

You may also want to consider switching to a different brand or type of food to see if this helps.

Closeup of a cat with bright blue eyes

Respiratory Infections

Pets are also susceptible to a wide range of respiratory infections, which can be caused by either bacteria or a virus.

Infections will typically result in the animal developing bronchitis or inflammation of the lower respiratory tract.

This issue is usually fairly easy to spot since your dog or cat will likely also show other symptoms in addition to coughing.

If you suspect your pet has a respiratory infection, you should always take them to a vet as soon as possible.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

The air inside the average home is far more polluted than you might think, and this indoor air pollution could be the reason your pet is coughing so much.

Your home’s heating and air conditioning systems can spread allergens, pollutants, and other airborne particles throughout the building every time they run.

The easiest way to overcome issues with poor indoor air quality is to contact a company specializing in professional air conditioning services

They will have numerous solutions that can help to clean or filter the air inside your home.

Vet listening to the chest of a black and white cat


Heartworm disease is an incredibly serious condition that can affect both dogs and cats.

The disease can manifest itself in numerous ways as it progresses, but one of the first symptoms is typically increased coughing.

Although there are treatments that can kill heartworms, the best solution is to always give your pet preventative heartworm medications.

You should also make sure to have your pet tested for heartworms once a year.

If your dog or cat suddenly starts coughing a lot, it is usually something you don’t need to worry about immediately unless they are also choking or having trouble breathing.

That being said, if the issue doesn’t go away within a day or two, you should start thinking about taking them to the vet just to be safe.

Debbie P

Wednesday 20th of July 2022

I'm glad you did this article. Allergies, air quality , a virus? You never know.

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