Is My Dog Wheezing?

There are many things you are bound as your dog develops and through their old age. Some are normal, and you should be expecting them, while others will require medical intervention.

The need for concern

If your child starts to wheeze, you will not be willing to wait it out. The same applies to your dog. If your dog is wheezing, it may be a symptom of respiratory disorder.

If the airways are contracting too much, it forces the oxygen to squeeze through. The constriction of air movement is what causes the whistling, high-pitched voice.

Cause for alarm

Some wheezing episodes will only last for a few seconds, and they do not require a trip to the vet.

However, if it returns intermittently or the dog has too much trouble breathing, you should consider calling your vet.

Check the color of your dog’s gums. If they have a blueish tint to them, your dog is not getting enough oxygen, and their life is in danger. Get emergency help immediately.

Older dog

If your dog has chronic medical conditions or they are aging, wheezing sounds may be very disconcerting for the owner. Typically, this is an indication of a nearing end.

Do not presume

If you hear your dog wheezing, do not assume you know what is wrong, unless there is a pre-existing condition the dog is under treatment for. Otherwise, do not try to self-medicate or take advice from your friends.

Reasons vary

There are several reasons your dog is producing the whistling sounds, from simple allergic reactions to health issues. Not all wheezing sounds are life-threatening.

The normal way

The breathing passage is more sensitive in dogs than in humans, and the blockage can be in either the large bronchi or the windpipe.

The sensitivity has more to do with their acute smelling senses. Therefore, a constriction disrupts the process, making it hard for the dog to get enough oxygen.

Hay fever/ allergies

Like most people, your dog will react to certain irritants by breathing, surface contact, or stings. Dogs will react differently to specific allergens. Dust, pollen, cigarette smoke tends to irritate the nasal cavity.

If your canine is prone to allergies, they may react to chemicals in flea-control products or pesticides.
Another reason for allergic reactions involves stings and insect bites.

If your dog starts wheezing after such an encounter, take them to the vet immediately for canine anti-histamines or other allergy relief medication. Avoid smoking around your dog, or keep them away from smokers.

Even though some owners use bee pollen to help with seasonal allergies, be careful. Bee pollen might be an allergen that could stimulate an allergic reaction.

First-timers start out with small doses of bee pollen and look out for adverse reactions such as difficulty breathing or wheezing.

Allergies are common across all breeds, and they are more prevalent between the ages of six months to two years. Other than wheezing, allergic reactions in dogs may come with itching skin and sneezing.

Some dogs may observe runny discharge from the nose or eyes, while more severe reactions will come with diarrhea or vomiting.


Mosquitoes spread heartworms, so it is essential to give your dog medication for prevention. You should be more vigilant if you live in an area with mosquito infestation.

If your dog is bitten by a carrier mosquito, they will become sick.

Once the heartworm larvae are inside your dog’s body, they will grow into worms, and they infest the heart.

Symptoms of heartworm infestation include shortness of breath, wheezing, weight loss, coughing, and coughing.


In dogs, it is also known as allergic bronchitis. In most cases, an environmental factor is a trigger for allergic reactions. Your dog will develop asthma if the large upper airways undergo constrictions and spasms.

Puppies and middle-age dogs are more susceptible to allergic bronchitis, even though it may happen in older dogs. In fact, it is more common in older dogs of the smaller breeds.

Generally, such a condition is treatable with medication. However, overlooking or procrastinating treatment will only make the situation worse, and the symptoms will become chronic and severe.

Other than wheezing, asthmatic symptoms may include respiratory distress and dry hacking.

Kennel cough

The medical condition is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Your dog is prone to contracting the disease from dense crowds of canines such as daycare, kennels, training groups, dog parks.

The most common tell-tale sign is an intense cough that comes with sneezing, wheezing, lethargy, loss of appetite, and a small fever.

Mild kennel cough can go away with resting for a couple of weeks, but the vet might prescribe topical medications to ease the symptoms. Also, they may prescribe antibiotics that will prevent secondary infection. Get a vaccination appointment if they spend a lot of time with other dogs.


Bronchitis comes with other symptoms other than wheezing, such as dry hacking cough. The trigger for this condition includes exercise, stress, and physical pressure directly on the trachea.

Other symptoms may include fever, lethargy, retching, rapid breathing, passing foamy saliva, intolerance to exercise, and respiratory difficulty.

Obesity in dogs is a high-risk factor that increases the risk of bronchitis. However, smaller breeds and older dogs are also susceptible to the condition.

Foreign matter

Just like your toddler, your dog is prone to choking hazards, especially if they like chewing on balls, bones, or toys. It is more common in younger dogs. If there is total airway obstruction, your dog will pass out due to the lack of oxygen.

If the foreign object is only obstructing part of the airways, there will be violent wheezing, and it is likely your dog will panic. Such an issue cannot be resolved from home, so take your dog to the vet immediately.

Diagnosis and treatment

When you take your dog to the vet, give as much detail as the vet asks for, but raise any concerns if you have any. Physical examinations and lab tests may apply in diagnosis.

The treatment procedure or plans will depend on wheezing reasons. The vet will remove any foreign matter, while infections will require further treatment.

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