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Help! My Senior Dog is Coughing at Night

Beagle laying under a blue blanket, coughing

Dogs Get Old and Sick

If your dog has been coughing and being lethargic, weak, feverish, or even coughing up blood, the best thing to do is stop what you are doing and get your pet to the vet. There is no excuse to delay treatment.

Those symptoms include having a hard time breathing. When your beloved pet is ill, they need treatment right away. When your dog is coughing it means that there is something wrong and you need to handle it quickly.

Some problems you can take care of, but other more severe problems need the help of your vet. To learn the difference between the two, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know about so you can get your dog the help he or she needs fast. However, it is always recommended to visit your vet if your dog is not feeling well.

Reasons Why Your Senior Dog is Coughing

Dog laying in grass with mouth open, coughing

There are several different legitimate reasons why your dog suddenly begins to cough. These are broken down into 3 different categories. The first one you may be able to solve without panicking as they are minor issues.

1. Outside Influences Causing Coughing in Dogs

Multi colored dog waering a color sitting outdoors in grass

These influences range from embarrassing to serious. The first one is embarrassing. You may have mistakenly put their collar on too tight and your beloved pet can’t breathe. So, he or she starts coughing as they are not getting enough oxygen. Or you bought him or her a new collar and it is not broken in yet. Just loosen the collar.

The next outside influence would be if you have a smoker in the house, you used a new cleanser, or your home has been invaded by mold. All of these issues can cause your pet to cough.

Then a third issue would be your dog has allergies or asthma. When he or she starts coughing, you know something has triggered their condition. Medication may help relieve their situation.

Finally, check his or her throat. Choking is a common situation that causes dogs to cough. Look for a bone or some food that is caught in their throat and help them dislodge it.

2. Respiratory Diseases

Brown dog recieving an inhailed medication

Senior dogs are more vulnerable to a variety of respiratory diseases. This happens when their immune system starts to weaken. here are some of those diseases your dog can catch that has them coughing:

  1. Bronchitis – The coughing may last for up to two months or more. It is an inflammation caused by bacteria, viruses, airborne irritants, and more.
  2. Influenza -If your dog is sneezing, wheezing, has a runny nose, loss of appetite, and is tired all the time, it may have canine flu. This disease is contagious but highly curable.
  3. Pneumonia- This disease is an inflammation of the lungs. It is usually the result of a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. Parasites can also cause this disease and two examples are lung and heartworms. This disease has similar symptoms as the other two so you will need your vet’s help diagnosing which one your pet contracted.

3. Serious Illnesses That Cause Coughing

Dog on an exam table having blood drawn

There are some very serious diseases your pet can contract. It is a part of life and traumatic for both you and your pet. Coughing is just one sign of these diseases and you will need your vet’s help in diagnosing the source of the cough.

  1. Congestive Heart Failure – This comes from heart disease and the source may be congenital infection, or an injury. Along with coughing, you will see your pet pant more, have trouble breathing, get tired easily, and do not exercise that much.
  2. Lung Cancer- Like all the other diseases in these lists, your dog can contract cancer. It is said to come from second-hand smoke but that may not always be the case. Your pet can either have actual lung cancer or cancer that has spread to its lungs, either way, you will hear him or her cough a lot.
  3. Tracheal Collapse- This is a disease common to smaller dog breeds. Yorkies are very vulnerable to it and it is where the windpipe collapses causing blockage of air. When the air squeezes through the now narrow passageway, you may hear a honking-type cough. If your senior dog is overweight, it could suffer from this serious illness.

Treatments for Dog Cough

Pug sitting on exam table in vet's office

There are some natural or herbal remedies you can try on your dog to see if it helps stop him or her from coughing. You may find them at an all-natural or health food store. Follow the instructions for dosage.

Then to help your dog with his or her cough, the best way is to prevent it. One way to prevent this ailment is to help boost their immune system. You can do this by feeding your dog natural herbs and vitamins by giving him or her a supplement.

Or you can try using a humidifier to keep your pet’s throat from drying out. Dry regions of the country have a way of affecting throats, both human and canine. Adding humidity should solve your problem.

Finally, you can try calming your dog with some chamomile tea with a little Manuka honey mixed in. Brew the tea and then let it cool down to room temperature before letting your dog drink it.

Some Final Words

Close up of the face of a brown dog, sleeping

A coughing dog is no laughing matter. It is a sign that something is wrong, and your dog needs your help. The key is to be quick to see if you can solve the problem or if you need a vet.

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