Dog Honking Cough Causes and How to Treat the Condition

Dog Honking Cough Causes and How to Treat the Condition

It’s reasonable for a dog parent to be worried that their little companion is in grave danger the moment they hear their dog honking cough or reverse sneezing. This inspiratory paroxysmal respiration condition is mainly a result of a muscle spasm that is located at the dog’s mouth, which will last for approximately 30 seconds. The spasm will lead to the temporary opening of the dog’s trachea, which makes it hard for the pet to breathe.

Dogs honking cough or reverse sneezing is a health condition that typically does not require any severe treatment. The veterinarians call it reverse sneezing since it sounds a little like a canine that inhales sneezes, snorts backward, or coughs like a car horn. These reverse sneezing activities are brief and typically ended by the time you bring your four-legged friend to the vet’s office.

Causes of Reverse Sneezing in Dogs

Throat irritation and soft palate are two of the most common factors that lead to reverse sneezing in canines. When this episode is happening, the dog’s chest usually expands. Also, its neck stretches outwards as it has difficulty at breathing. During this time, the trachea will narrow, and the dog will have trouble obtaining the usual amount of oxygen into its lungs. Both of these acts cause the dog to cough like a car horn, which of course, sounds a bit disturbing and can be upsetting as well to the dog.

Dog honking cough may also happen due to other causes, such as excitement, eating and drinking too fast, mites, household chemicals, viruses, allergies, and pollen. If this condition becomes too frequent, it would be best to immediately make an appointment with a vet as they will perform a further evaluation of this health issue. However, in most cases, the cause of reverse sneezing cannot be easily identified.


As briefly mentioned above, sneezing in dogs rarely needs special treatment. When the dog stops sneezing, the spasm will automatically stop. However, suppose this condition continues for more than 30 seconds. In that case, messaging the dog’s throat will usually be effective in halting the spasm. In addition to this, you may also cover your canine’s nostrils for a few seconds as it will help the dog swallow and clear out any irritation. Dog honking cough can be a frequent episode in some breeds; in contrast, others will have it as an occasional problem that doesn’t require special treatment.

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