Coughing when barking is a concerning symptom that can indicate underlying issues with your pup’s health. Not only is it an uncomfortable experience for your pooch, but it can also be a sign of serious illnesses like kennel cough or heart disease.

As pet parents, we understand the importance of being informed on canine health and taking steps to ensure our furry best friends remain in tip-top shape. To help you better understand this troubling sound coming from, we’ll cover why dogs cough when they bark and discuss ways you can address this distressing problem safely and effectively.

How Excessive Barking Can Lead To Coughing in Dogs?

Excessive barking can sometimes lead to coughing in dogs due to the strain and irritation it places on the dog’s throat and respiratory system.

When a dog barks persistently, the vocal cords undergo repeated vibrations, which can cause inflammation and irritation to the larynx (voice box). This repeated stress might lead to laryngitis or a sore throat, both of which can prompt coughing as the dog tries to clear or soothe its throat.

Furthermore, if the dog is barking in a dusty or polluted environment, they are more likely to inhale irritants, which can exacerbate respiratory symptoms and further contribute to coughing. The act of barking also requires forceful expulsion of air, and if done incessantly, this could temporarily dry out the throat or lead to minor trauma.

Exploring Kennel Cough – A Common Cause of Coughing After Barking:

Kennel cough, also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease affecting dogs. It’s caused by a combination of viruses and bacteria. Dogs with kennel cough often display a persistent, forceful cough, which can sometimes be triggered or exacerbated by barking, exercise, or even just a slight tug on their collar.

While the name might suggest it’s only acquired in kennels, dogs can catch it from any location where infected dogs have been, such as parks, groomers, or dog shows. Thankfully, most cases of kennel cough are mild, resolving on their own or with supportive care. However, vaccinations are available to protect against some of the primary causative agents of kennel cough.

Heart disorders can sometimes manifest as coughing in dogs. Conditions like congestive heart failure, where the heart struggles to pump blood efficiently, can lead to the accumulation of fluid in the lungs or the enlargement of the heart. This enlargement can press against the trachea, causing a cough.

The cough is often more noticeable after exertion or when the dog is lying down. Accompanying symptoms might include lethargy, rapid breathing, decreased exercise tolerance, and a bluish tinge to the gums. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential, as medications can manage symptoms and improve the quality of life for affected dogs.

Tracheal Collapse In Dogs – Recognizing The ‘Honking’ Cough:

Tracheal collapse is a condition primarily seen in small dog breeds, where the trachea (or windpipe) weakens and flattens, making it difficult for air to pass through.

Dogs with this condition often produce a characteristic ‘honking’ cough, especially after excitement, eating, drinking, or any activity that tugs on their collar. The cause of tracheal collapse can be congenital or a result of chronic respiratory disease, obesity, or heart enlargement.

Diagnosis is typically through X-rays or endoscopy. Management includes weight loss (if the dog is overweight), cough suppressants, bronchodilators, and, in severe cases, surgery. Avoiding neck collars and using harnesses can also reduce the pressure on the trachea, thereby reducing the frequency of coughing episodes.

Common Causes – Why Your Dog Coughs When It Barks:

When a dog coughs in connection with barking, it can be concerning for pet owners. There are several reasons why this might happen, ranging from benign to more serious causes. Here are some common reasons:

Laryngeal Disorders:

Any issue with the larynx can cause coughing when a dog barks. Laryngitis, tumors, or paralysis can affect the voice box.


Chronic inflammation of the airways can lead to coughing, which might be triggered or exacerbated by barking.

Foreign Body:

If a dog has inhaled something that’s lodged in its throat or airways, barking can cause coughing as the foreign object irritates the trachea.

Asthma or Allergic Bronchitis:

Dogs can develop allergic reactions to various environmental factors, leading to asthma-like symptoms. Barking can exacerbate these symptoms.

Just as humans can have age-related voice changes, older dogs might have a raspier bark or cough more due to the physiological changes in their respiratory system.

Tumors or Growths:

Any growth in the throat, larynx, or surrounding areas can affect a dog’s bark and lead to coughing.

Gastroesophageal Reflux (Acid Reflux):

Acidic stomach contents that move back into the esophagus can cause irritation, leading to coughing, especially when the dog barks.

If your dog frequently coughs when it barks or exhibits any other concerning symptoms like difficulty breathing, lethargy, loss of appetite, or a change in behavior, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian. They can diagnose the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment.

Home Remedies – Simple Techniques To Soothe Your Dog’s Cough:

If your dog has a mild cough, there are several home remedies you can try to provide some relief. Here are some home remedies to consider:


Honey has natural antimicrobial and soothing properties. You can give your dog a teaspoon of honey a few times a day. Ensure that the honey is pure and does not contain any added sweeteners, especially xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.

Warm Broth:

Warm (not hot) chicken or beef broth can be soothing for a dog’s throat. Ensure it’s low-sodium and doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients like onions or garlic.


If your dog is comfortable, bring them into the bathroom and run a hot shower. The steam can help loosen mucus and soothe a dry throat. Ensure your dog doesn’t get wet and is not stressed by the process.

Coconut Oil:

Some believe coconut oil can help boost a dog’s immune system. A teaspoon for smaller dogs or a tablespoon for larger dogs mixed in with their food can potentially help.

Cough Syrup:

Some human cough syrups can be safe for dogs, but it’s vital to consult with a vet before giving any human medication to your pet. Avoid any syrups containing xylitol, alcohol, or caffeine.


Probiotics designed for dogs can help boost their immune system and overall gut health. This might be particularly useful if the cough is related to a mild respiratory infection.


Ensure your dog has access to fresh water at all times. Keeping hydrated can help thin mucus and soothe the throat.


To sum up, if your dog is coughing when he barks, then it can be a sign of something serious. Identifying the underlying cause and consulting with a vet is essential to both diagnose and treat whatever may be causing the cough. If you think your pup could be suffering from one of the above conditions, make sure to stay away from any home remedies that could do more harm than good.

Lastly, keep an eye out for changes in your pup’s behavior and act accordingly. Don’t hesitate to consult with your veterinarian if you think they may need additional medical attention. Taking swift action now can help ensure a long and happy life for your furry friend. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your pet’s well-being!

Delia Mason
I am Delia Mason, the owner of Dogsshelf, and take pride in providing the most comprehensive information possible on dog foods, collars, bowls, and other dog-related items. This website is dedicated to helping dog owners make sound decisions when it comes to their furry friends. That's why I only recommend products that I would use myself and have extensively researched to make sure they're the best of the best.