Common Causes Pollen, dust, mites, viruses, post-nasal drip, nasal inflammation, perfumes, and household cleaners or chemicals are some of the known triggering factors. Other causes include exercise intolerance, rapid drinking or eating, pulling on leashes, and even excitement.
Dogs may whimper or whine when they are stressed, afraid, or in pain. Whining can also mean that your dog wants attention, such as food, a walk, or some tummy rubs. They could even be trying to ask you to help them find their favorite toy.
A cough that involves a choking sound can be worrisome. Common causes of this symptom include reverse sneezing, pneumonia, kennel cough, heart disease, collapsing trachea and a foreign object lodged in the throat. Some of these causes are worse than others. Observe your dog closely as soon as you notice the behavior.
Dog whining, crying, and whimpering can also mean several different things, according to the American Kennel Club. Your pup could be vocalizing because he needs or wants something, such as food or attention. Dogs that are stressed, scared, or in pain often will whine, too.
Abnormal behavior. Many behaviorists refer to dog lip licking as an “appeasement gesture,” which is something that acts as a calming signal. Dogs will use their body to communicate that they are the stressed or frightened. Another appeasement gesture is yawning.
A dog can be allergic to a myriad of things, but some of the most common substances that cause coughing and wheezing are pollen, mold, dust mites, and cigarette smoke. Asthma can also occur with allergies, which will cause a dog to wheeze due to constricted airways.
When a pup makes soft grumbles, yaps, or whimpers while snoozing, it's not cause for alarm. “This mix of noises simply means that a dog is in a deep stage of sleep, similar to our REM sleep,” says Dr. Bernal.
In some situations, howling can be an indication of a problem with your pet. If your pup has an issue with howling and it looks unhappy or uncomfortable, they may be experiencing things like depression, separation anxiety, or illness. Your dog may be howling just because howling is contagious.
Honking. A dog honking like a goose can sound awfully silly, but it can be a sign of a serious problem called tracheal collapse. This happens when the rings of cartilage in the trachea or “windpipe” cave in and make it difficult to breathe. Some air can get in and cause the crazy honking noise.
These short-lived episodes are typically caused by spasming triggered by irritation of the dog's throat and soft palate. Other causes include mites, eating or drinking, pulling on a leash, excitement, foreign objects in the throat, viruses, environmental irritants, and allergies.
Dog hiccups occur when the diaphragm within your dog's chest involuntarily contracts and may occur from stress, excitement, or eating too quickly. Puppy hiccups seem to be fairly common, and usually, these hiccups will become less frequent as your puppy gets older.
What Causes Hiccups in Dogs? Just like in humans, a spasm in the diaphragm, the muscle under the lungs, causes hiccups in dogs. The spasm causes the glottis, the opening between the vocal cords, to close abruptly. This results in a “hic” sound.
Dogs will cough or sneeze for many of the same reasons people do. Exposure to allergens, strong scents, dust, or smoke can lead to an innocent cough or sneeze. Additionally, dogs cough or sneeze if they have something stuck in their nose, like a piece of grass, or something tickling their throat.
Wheezing is caused when something blocks the normal flow of air in and out of the airway, resulting in a whistling sound as a dog breathes. The blockage can be in either the trachea (windpipe) or large bronchi. Constricted airways from asthma, allergies, mucus, foreign bodies, or infection can all result in wheezing.
Infections. Upper respiratory tract infections are similar to a cold or flu in humans and can cause wheezing in dogs. The symptoms of these infections usually include coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing (including wheezing), and low exercise tolerance.
If your dog is gagging or retching in addition to wheezing, it could be a sign that something is stuck in the windpipe. A wheeze accompanied by a cough could indicate an upper respiratory infection, kennel cough, lower airway disease, or a foreign body stuck in the trachea.