Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. A dry hacking cough may indicate an issue with the lungs or throat, and may be due to irritation (such as allergies), illness such as kennel cough, or even functional problems with the respiratory system. It is best to schedule an appointment with your vet who can look into your dog’s throat and may also recommend bloodwork or an X-ray to check for common problems if the coughing does not resolve on its own in a few days or if it worsens. Until you can get to the vet it may be best to restrict activities that lead to coughing (such as too much exercise) as well as to keep her hydrated and eating.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Respiratory Distress Syndrome

The nostrils are often too small, and sometimes the trachea, or windpipe, is narrow and undersized. All of these things lead to a narrow and obstructed airway. Many of these dogs can barely breathe! Watch for exercise intolerance, loud breathing, coughing, bluish gums, or fainting.

If your dog is dry coughing, it may be related to a variety of underlying conditions, including, allergies, infection, tracheal collapse, and more. Alternatively, your dog`s dry cough could mean that they`re choking on a foreign object, which requires immediate medical attention.
Honey can be a great home remedy for kennel cough as it can help soothe your dog`s throat and minimize coughing. You can give your dog 1/2 tablespoon to 1 tablespoon of honey mixed with a little warm water in a bowl. This can be offered up to three times a day depending on how often your dog is coughing.
Kennel cough is usually mild and self-limiting, but sometimes it can cause more severe illness. If you`ve had a dog with kennel cough, you`ve heard the sound: a dry hack often followed by retching or gagging. Some people describe it as sounding like a cat hacking up a hairball.
Encourage Your Dog to Rest

Adequate rest is one of the best remedies for kennel cough. If your dog gets plenty of sleep, it will give his body a chance to fight the virus and recover properly. Put your dog in a room by himself, away from kids and other pets. This way, he will not be disturbed while trying to rest.

Kennel cough is rarely severe, and uncomplicated kennel cough will usually go away on its own. However, medications are commonly given to help your dog recover quicker and prevent the condition from worsening. If you suspect your dog has kennel cough, take them to the vet for an examination.
Dry heaving in dogs may be due to eating food too quickly, or something more serious like bloating. You should schedule a visit with your veterinarian to determine the cause of your dog`s dry heaving. Serious causes of dry heaving include foreign object obstruction, bloating, and tumors.
Dextromethorphan is primarily used for dry hacking coughs. It will help stop your dog`s cough to help soothe his chest and throat. It does this by suppressing the cough center of your dog`s brain to help stop him from coughing. Popular brands with dextromethorphan are Robitussin-DM, Benylin and Delsym.
An occasional cough may be normal dog behavior and is not a cause for concern. Repetitive coughing, on the other hand, could be a sign of a more serious problem, especially if there are changes in breathing sounds or patterns.
Signs of heartworm disease may include a mild persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss. As heartworm disease progresses, pets may develop heart failure and the appearance of a swollen belly due to excess fluid in the abdomen.
Laxatives and digestive aids, including pumpkin, to help break down or pass hairballs when they occur are available and can be administered to dogs that are prone to accumulating hairballs. Ensuring your dog is well hydrated so their digestive system will naturally pass hair accumulations.
Hairball—When grooming, puppies can`t digest the fur they are eating, leading to coughing, retching, vomiting, lack of appetite, and gastrointestinal distress. Kennel cough—This highly contagious respiratory infection inflames the puppy`s throat and causes excruciating pain.
The symptoms of kennel cough can last up to a month, although they often last two or three weeks. The symptoms are usually more severe in the first week, when your dog might have very regular coughing fits, with retching and gagging.
Most cases of kennel cough resolve on their own within 10 to 20 days. There is no single cure for kennel cough, as it is typically caused by a combination of viral and bacterial agents, but some medications may be prescribed, depending on the case, to keep your dog comfortable and reduce inflammation in the airways.
“If your dog seems to be worse in the early morning, late night or when excited, see your veterinarian,” Werber recommends. “Most cases clear up within six to 10 days. But severe cases can progress to pneumonia and be life threatening.”
Symptoms of kennel cough usually take 3-5 days to develop after exposure. The classic honking, hacking cough which is often followed by a big retch at the end, lasts for one to two weeks in an average case.
As soon as you notice your dog coughing, you should start your isolation period, keeping them away from other dogs, and avoiding walks altogether to help curb the spread. Lots of rest will help with your dog get better quickly.
Good food choices are boiled chicken, boiled hamburger, or cooked rice. The food should not be seasoned or cooked with fat. Most dogs recover from kennel cough without treatment in approximately two weeks.
Because there`s no specific test for kennel cough, it`s a diagnosis of exclusion. Your veterinarian will examine your dog to exclude other causes of a nonproductive cough, such as heart disease, fungal and parasitic infections like heartworm disease, a collapsing trachea, and cancer.
If your dog shows signs of bloat, urgent veterinary care is required right away! Signs of bloat include dry heaving, enlarged abdomen, increased salivation, restlessness, and signs of pain if you touch their belly.
Like humans, your dog`s tonsils can become swollen and inflamed, causing a sore throat. This could potentially interfere with your dog`s swallowing and natural gag reflex. If your dog has swollen tonsils it can cause repeated gagging and dry heaving. Contact your vet if you believe your dog might have swollen tonsils.
Kennel cough is a dry, hacking, persistent cough that can sound like the dog has something stuck in its throat. This dry hack is often followed by gagging or retching that sounds like the dog is coughing up a hairball, like a cat.
Kennel cough (also known as bordetella) is a highly contagious bacterial disease that can affect dogs, cats, and humans.
Honey is safe for dogs to eat in small quantities. It contains natural sugars and small amounts of vitamins and minerals. It is also used as a sweetener in many foods and beverages.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My new puppy is coughing a lot and I think it is Kennel Cough. Could it be?
ANSWER : A. Kennel Cough is similar to the human cold, and it can be caused by three categories of microorganisms.

1. Bordetella Bronchiseptica: A small bacteria which can result in bronchitis and severe cough in dogs.
2. Canine Adenovirus: A serious and contagious virus.
3. Canine Influenza Virus: An extremely contagious virus causing mild to severe respiratory symptoms in dogs.
Kennel Cough has its own course of 1 to 3 weeks and can be managed medically.

Close environments with several dogs can increase the chance of dogs catching the cough. Kennel Cough vaccination is aimed mostly at preventing the Bordetella infection through an inhalant or injection vaccination. Although not 100% effective, it should be recommended in all dogs that spend time around other dogs, even the park is considered one of these social occasions.

Kennels have their own policy with regards to Kennel Cough vaccinations and should always be contacted well ahead to understand and comply with their requirements before the stay of your dog.
If you suspect that your dog has caught Kennel Cough, you should see your veterinarian. Your dog might benefit from certain medications to speed up his recovery. These might include antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and cough suppressants at your vet’s discretion.

Q. My Japanese Chin is coughing its a dry cough
ANSWER : A. A dry hacking cough may indicate an issue with the lungs or throat, and may be due to irritation (such as allergies), illness such as kennel cough, or even functional problems with the respiratory system. It is best to schedule an appointment with your vet who can look into your dog’s throat and may also recommend bloodwork or an X-ray to check for common problems if the coughing does not resolve on its own in a few days or if it worsens. Until you can get to the vet it may be best to restrict activities that lead to coughing (such as too much exercise) as well as to keep her hydrated and eating.

Q. My C. K. Charles has an asmathic cough. Ok most of the day, but worse in hotter rooms in the evening. What’s wrong?
ANSWER : A. Coughing in dogs can be caused by a number of things including allergies, asthma, illness such as Bordetella (kennel cough) or even lung and heart problems.

Allergies and asthma can cause a dog to have a raspy cough, and they may wheeze, sneeze or have running noses or trouble breathing when active or in an area where the allergen is present. Your vet can determine if an allergy or asthma is present and provide medication as needed to help with symptoms.

Bordetella can also cause a deep hacking cough, and is common in dogs that frequent doggy day cares, kennels or dog parks. The causes can be bacterial or viral, and treatment depends on if any secondary symptoms such as fever or dehydration is present. Treatment involves cough suppressants from your vet, or even antibiotics and fluids to treat secondary illnesses. Other illnesses such as heartworm may cause a chronic cough and exercise intolerance and should be looked for if your dog is not already on a heartworm preventive.

Small dogs are also prone to a condition called collapsing tracheas, and Cavaliers are very prone as a breed to heart and lung issues. Collapsing tracheae often cause a gasping or hacking cough when excited or active, and may require treatment if they become problematic. Heart and lung problems such as heart failure or genetic abnormalities can also cause coughing as a sign of the illness. Your vet can perform a complete exam to check the health of the lungs and heart.

Q. My dog keep hacking like a cough or something in her throat, what can I do?
ANSWER : A. Hacking and coughing can be caused by a number of things ranging from foreign bodies such as twigs stuck in the mouth or throat, to infections or illnesses such as Bordetella or Kennel cough, common in dogs that frequent kennels, dog daycare or dog parks. In older dogs, heart and lung issues can also be indicated by a cough that does not go away.

If you think there may be a foreign object stuck in your dog’s throat, you can sweep a finger gently through the back of the mouth or throat if your dog will let you. If something feels stuck and is not easily moved by the finger, it is best to contact your vet to have the object safely removed. This usually requires sedation so that your dog does not become panicked or move, causing the object to become further stuck or cut the throat.

If your dog is showing other symptoms of illness in addition to the cough such as runny nose or eyes, fever, lethargy or changes in appetite, it may indicate a viral or bacterial illness such as kennel cough. These are usually treated with a cough medication in severe cases, plus rest and treatment of any additional symptoms until the condition improves. In bacterial causes, antibiotics may also be given to help your dog feel better.

If your dog has a constant cough that does not go away, or has had changes in ability to exercise, breathing, or appears to have swelling around the chest or abdomen, in may indicate a lung or heart issue. Your vet can thoroughly examine your dog for any signs of heart or lung problems and can then offer care as needed depending on the cause.

Q. My dog has been coughing for 3 days. She has never been to a kennel so I know that it is not kennel cough. Why is she coughing so much?
ANSWER : A. It is difficult to be able to help you without some important information such as the age of your dog, the onset, if there are any other medical conditions, if the cough is dry or moist, if there are any other resp noises and if your dog is eating normally. I would suggest that you have him checked over, as coughing can be secondary to heart conditions , especially in elderly patients and it can be life threatening too.

Q. My lab was diagnosed with kennel cough he put him on antibiotics but his cough is awful I’m scared for him Is there anything there anything for him
ANSWER : A. Usually kennel cough will go away within 2 -4 weeks. If his cough is so bad call your veterinarian and ask if he can give you some cough medicine for your dog, that will calm down the coughing. Since he has seen your dog recently he may have you just pick up the medicine, however some vets prefer to recheck your animal.

Q. My cat is having coughing episodes like hes trying to get up a fur ball and his chest is heaving with every breath he takes between coughing episodes
ANSWER : A. I’m pretty concerning about your cat. While coughing can be the sign of mild respiratory infection, the fact that his chest is heaving between coughing episodes suggests more serious disease. Coughing is from the respiratory tract and bringing up a hairball is a GI thing (vomiting). Sorry not trying to state the obvious but lots of people think their cat is vomiting when it’s actually trying to cough.

It sounds like from your description that your cat is in respiratory distress. This could be due to a number of problems that can be quite serious – asthma or heart disease, as a couple of examples. I think it’s important that you get him assessed by a vet ASAP in order to determine what’s going on.

Q. Dog-persistent loud frequent cough 30+days; still has good appetite,doesn’t act sick. Need names of effective cough suppressant & anti-inflammatory
ANSWER : A. I would not recommend use of any cough suppressant until you have an accurate diagnosis as to why your dog is coughing as it could make the condition worse. Coughing is a natural protection to keep the airways clear and healthy. A common reason for persistent coughing are heart disease and this should be investigated as a priority. Honey can be used as a natural antiseptic and soothing barrier for the back of the throat but after more than one month your dog really does need a full health check