Being dog owners all of us have at least once seen them coughing when they get excited about something. Question is, should you be worried about it?
Fact is, your worriedness has landed you here but the good news is, you’re at the right place. Keeping dogs has its charm but mind you, it will also keep you on your toes all the time. A dog may cough either when excited, barking, drinking water, eating, running, or, basically anything.
We dug into some queries and brought up everything you need to know if your dog has been coughing when it gets excited.
Why does a coughs when it gets excited?
It is important that being a pet owner, you get familiarized with all the certainties and even the uncertainties. Let’s get started with all the WHYs.
There can be multiple reasons involved which may explain this behavior in dogs.
Medically, when the cartilage rings of the trachea become incapacitated, the shock is perceived in the form of weakening of the windpipe. This tracheal collapse is what at times leads to your dog gagging when it gets excited.
While this disorder is inherited, some breeds may be more likely to be its victim than others. That being said, small breed dogs have a higher chance of coughing in this situation.
A human being’s chest cold and a dog’s respiratory infection can be compared where both have different intensities, ranging from low to mild to severe. This underlying condition caused by the attack of virus or bacteria can be one of the reasons why your dog coughs when it gets excited
In dogs, Kennel cough and Pneumonia may contribute largely to the cough.
As the name suggests, Kennel cough will make your dog cough, either dry or not. It may be accompanied by a runny nose or sneeze, however, not necessarily. Kennel cough is known to be highly contagious although it isn’t a dangerous disease.
Pneumonia, being a respiratory disease may be another underlying condition that may come up when your dog gets excited leading it to cough. Depending on the immune system of your dog, pneumonia can be of various intensities.
Difficulty in breathing, nasal whistling, high fever, and runny nose may be an indication of pneumonia.
Paroxysmal respiration is a condition where dogs while sneezing, instead of pushing the air out of the nose, pull it back in. This precisely is the reason why it is commonly termed “reverse sneezing”.
While reverse sneezing is not potentially harmful since it does not present any prior or subsequent signs of illness, it can be alarming.
What can I do to prevent it?
The thing about parenting fur babies is, it comes with its own set of demands and obligations. It isn’t easy but worth every bit of it.
This is why you may at times have to go to lengths to make sure your dog is okay. When it coughs by being excited, there’s a lot you can do to prevent it. Although your hands will be tied when it comes to treating an inborn condition, you can still contribute at large to prevent it.
Getting it tested
For your dog’s health and your peace of mind, you need to rule out any possible medical illness like that of a tracheal collapse or pneumonia. The best way to do it is by taking it to a professional.
Ask a trusted vet to do a thorough examination of your dog to make sure there isn’t any hidden disease that could be troubling your dog’s wellness. This is an important step in so many ways. Remember to reach out only to a professional and not experiment at home.
Here’s what you can expect at a thorough checkup: a complete assessment of your dog’s alertness, every necessary measurement, observation of their eyes, nose, lungs, ears, mouth.
They will also ask you to fill them in with a brief history of your dog, any previous illness, routine, and diet.
Once you’re complete with it and any likely cause from above appears that may be a reason for your dog’s cough, the vet will prescribe the necessary supplements. The sooner you do it the better it is for your dog.
Aromatherapy can be a savior
Did you know the most functioning, primary, and active sensory organ of a dog is its nose? According to studies, their sense of smell is more than 10,000 times better than ours. Make the perfect use of that.
A dog’s overexcited phase can be controlled through aromatherapy. Just like humans, some smells help dogs calm down.
Lavender oil, chamomile, cedar, marjoram are a few on our list which has been proven to help calm down dogs. The sedative properties of chamomile and anxiety-relieving properties of lavender and marjoram run like clockwork in healing arousal.
There can simply not be a more organic and effective way to solve this problem like this one. In fact, it is almost equivalent to using herbal treatment to relieve nerves.
The trick is to combine a few oils together to get a perfect blend. My advice would be to buy a product made especially for dogs so that not only it is made eco-friendly, it will remove any chances of harmful substances in it.
The best way to put them into use is by mixing them in a neutralizer. You can also put a few droplets and mix them in with their bath. A scented candle that has been perfected just to calm down nerves is yet another way.
On a side note, remember that however pleasing a human’s Vaporubs may be for your dog, do not let them use it as Camphor and Menthol used in it are toxic for dogs.
Rewards and Punishments technique
Punishments and reinforcements have a similar effect on dogs as they have on human beings. Either negative or positive, if used correctly, they work like a charm.
When we talk about dogs coughing when they get excited, we can control this behavior to some extent. But, how is it done?
One step at a time, firstly and foremostly, do not encourage their behavior. Take control of the situation depending on how you usually are with your dog. Do not let their over-excited phase take control of the situation.
You can either ignore them so that they do not feel encouraged. Once this trick works in your favor, treat them with their favorite cookies. This, however, will take a little time until the dog learns when it needs to calm down. Remember, patience is the key.
Is the environment playing a factor in their over-excited phase?
The answer is a big yes. Are you monitoring states where your dog gets more aroused? Have you noticed it happens more when you have a guest around? Or when they see another dog? Maybe it’s them spotting their favorite food?
Whatever the reason may be, the environment plays a big factor in determining why a dog gets too aroused.
Again, you can get them to calm their nerves in many ways. First things first, analyze their behavior. What is it that is making them bark very much out of the ordinary?
Distraction may help
Getting a hold of the situation may not be easy. Simply asking it to stop will not make any difference. If you’re at home, start getting busy with some other activity. Go to the kitchen, pick up a book and read it. Do anything that will help them see that you’re not being bothered by their behavior. This will indefinitely put them off.
If a certain place makes them hyper too much too often, avoid taking them there. Closed spaces might be one of them. If your dog gets aroused when you take it inside a small shop, there’s your cue to stop doing it.
After all, you don’t want a troubling situation where your dog gets a little too excited and starts coughing and things only start getting out of your hand.
Making best use of training to avoid an overly exciting phase
Training your dog just never stops. One day after another, you will be loaded with another challenge. Training after training. Either it is to train your dog to pee only in its tray or to make them use their food bowls for eating, every day will bring out a new possibility.
Just like that, the behaviors of dogs are also equally trainable. As we discussed earlier, a dog’s sense of smell is, well, remarkable. It is important that you make them use it to distinguish a lot of factors.
As far as our main concern about helping them calm over their excited times to stop coughing, this sensory organ will be of great use. Let’s see why.
The great power of smell
Imagine you just got a new puppy and you are training it to use its sense of smell at its best. Begin by tossing a couple of its cookies and other treats randomly on the ground. When you are doing this, make sure that each of these foods has a different level of taste. Meaning, your puppy likes one of them the best while the others, not so much.
This means that once you toss it, your puppy will run to reach their favorite treat. When it does so, it will run crazily everywhere looking for it. This aroused behavior is what needs to be fixed. It needs to be calmer.
After repeating this training a number of times, your puppy will soon start to make use of its smelling power to notice and distinguish the smells of each food presented. Soon enough, their focus will shift to not running around but to only stick to what they want.
Once they learn this, congratulations, you and your dog both have achieved one more goal which actually is two! Now your puppy not only knows how to pick but also to behave nicely.
Could their food be another reason?
Diet plays a very important role in your dog’s behavior. Food isn’t only responsible for physical wellbeing but also mental. This explains why some herbs are known to relieve mental illnesses like anxiety, depression etc, and let me tell you, the rule’s applicable for dogs, too.
This is why we hear why even though dogs love chocolate, it isn’t healthy. Sugar and carbs should be cut off from dogs’ diets in order to maintain their focus. Also, make sure they are getting just enough protein, neither less nor more.
Hyperactivity can also be maintained through less usage of foods which have preservatives in them. Go for all naturals and avoid using foods that have artificial coloring in them.
If possible, a home-cooked meal could bring out many benefits and cut many problems. Either way, it is going to be a win-win situation for you.
Truth is, babying a non-human baby is never less demanding than a job. However, the right amount of measures are going to fix your problems or, at least help you cope.
Our concern about why a dog coughs when it is excited has been precisely summed up above, along with all the necessary steps which have helped you prevent it. Rest is all your luck!