Why Is My Dog Dry Heaving?

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Dogs are known for being man’s best friend, but they are susceptible to humans’ same illnesses. Many people may not know why their dog dry heaving just like any other mammal.

I have also suffered the same issue with my dear dog Alex. Fortunately, after many studies, I have found the actual reason for dog dry heaving or dog coughing. 

However, this article will share the most common reasons for dry dog heaving and its solution.

Generally, dry heaving is when a dog’s stomach is empty, and it loses its lunch or spits out food that it has just eaten. It can be hard to see your pet go through. But luckily, there are ways to help prevent it.

Why is my dog dry heaving?

Dog dry heaving is always referred to as coughing, allergies, or other respiratory problems. However, when this symptom does not get better, you need to take your dog to a veterinarian. 

Usually, some possible causes of dog dry heaving include an issue with the esophagus, stomach disorders like ulcers or bloat, heart disease, or fluid buildup in the lungs. 

When a dog dry heaves, it is often a sign that they have consumed something they shouldn’t have. Toxins from the ingested item can cause your dog to throw up. 

Therefore, it triggers a reflex of dry heaving. This is why it’s essential to watch what your dog eats and drinks.

What are the symptoms of dry heaving?

Dry heaving is the medical term for the forceful expulsion of air from the stomach. This is often caused by anxiety or nervousness. 

It can also be a symptom of some underlying medical problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, spasms in the esophagus, or neurological disease. 

In addition, there are a variety of other symptoms that may accompany dry heaving in dogs. It includes coughing, gasping for breath, drooling, stomach pain, and throwing up food.

Usually, dogs experience the same colds and allergies as humans do. So if you notice your pet is dry heaving, it could be related to one of these conditions. 

5 Most Common Reasons for Dog Dry Heaving

Dogs can experience dry heaving or regurgitating food without any liquid coming up for many different reasons. Dogs often do this because they are excited or stressed. 

Still, it can also be due to anxiety disorders or heart disease. However, below are some reasons for dog dry heaving:

1. Parasites

If you notice your dog twitch after they walk on grass or their coat is covered with fleas, then it’s time to learn about dog parasites. Dog parasites are not just limited to insects and fleas. 

A variety of worms can also affect your pup. It can pick up parasites from anywhere, including neighbors’ yards, kennels, parks, the street, and more.

Even the healthiest dog can carry parasites. Parasites are organisms that live on or inside other organisms. Unfortunately, we can not see some parasites without a microscope. 

On the other hand, fleas and ticks are easy to see with the naked eye. So, perhaps, you take your dog for a walk in the park or at the beach. 

In that time, they might pick up some leftover poop from another animal that has these tiny creatures living inside them.

2. Kennel cough

Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection that affects the lining of the lungs. It is also called Bordetella bronchiseptica or canine parainfluenza. 

If your dog has this disease, you might notice white to yellow pus in their nose and eyes, heavy breathing, and hacking coughs. Dog kennel cough can last for weeks if not treated.

Generally, dogs are most at risk when they travel to kennels with other dogs or people coming in contact with these animals. So always find a good dog grooming near you that is very clean and not crowded. 

Symptoms of Kennel Cough include coughing, sore throat, fever or low-grade fever, runny nose, dry mucus membranes, and fatigue.

3. Bloat

Dog bloat, also known as gastric dilatation and volvulus or GDV, is a life-threatening condition in dogs. It occurs when the stomach fills with air and twists on itself. 

Therefore, it blocks off its blood supply. This can lead to shock and death if not treated quickly. Unfortunately, it’s the most common cause of death in large dog breeds.

However, the bloat may be different factors such as overeating, anxiety, or just plain old not drinking enough water. There is the easiest way to prevent this problem. 

Try feeding your dog smaller meals throughout the day instead of all at once. It stimulates the gasses in their stomach.

4. Obstruction

Dog obstruction is usually not thought about but can cause many problems with a pet’s quality of life. This condition comes from plaque buildup on teeth that are too short or poorly aligned. 

The buildup of this plaque can negatively affect the animal’s bones and joints and overall health.

5. Dog Laryngeal issues

There are various reasons which may cause Laryngeal issues. For example, some dogs experience this condition due to teething, allergies, or eating something that does not suit them. As a result, your dog dry heaving.

However, dry heaving can also signify a more serious health issue, such as brain tumors or spinal cord injuries. Therefore, if your dog is experiencing this symptom, it is crucial to take him to your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

How can I help my dog with dry heaving?

Dry heaving is a condition that affects dogs. It can be triggered by various factors such as anxiety, spasticity, and pain. 

This condition is an automatic reflex that causes the dog to puke without getting anything out. Unfortunately, it may seem like there is nothing you can do for your pup. 

But there are some things you should know to help ease the pain and discomfort of dry heaving. The first thing you need to remember when dealing with any vomiting in your pet is that it’s not normal! 

If you notice your dog is vomiting once, then it is normal. But if your dog has been doing so regularly over time, it could indicate more serious issues. 

Dry heaving is a common symptom in dogs. It usually occurs after vomiting and can persist for days or even weeks. 

So if your dog has been throwing up multiple times, it may be time to see your vet see what’s going on!

When should you worry about your dog dry heaving?

If your dog is shaking uncontrollably, has diarrhea, or is vomiting blood, it might be time to take your pup to the vet. However, if you notice your dog dry heaving several times in a row for no more than 10 minutes, don’t panic. 

Generally, this is an indicator of stress. Dogs often expel air to force themselves to vomit when they become sick because it relieves symptoms.

Prevention of dog dry heaving

Dog dry heaving is a common ailment in canines. The disease is caused by a severe infection of the stomach lining, resulting from bacteria found in dogs’ stomachs. 

You should ensure they eat a healthy diet to prevent your dog from contracting this disease. Also, let them stay hydrated and avoid feeding them cheerios, tomatoes, chocolate, pickles, etc.

However, give your pup plenty of freshwater, food, and exercise to prevent it from happening. You should also take care of your pup’s general health by giving them check-ups regularly. 

Also, make sure they are up-to-date on the vaccines and take them to a good dog groomer near you.

Why is my dog coughing?

Coughing in dogs is a common and usually benign event. A dog coughs to clear their air passage. They also cough when they have an upper respiratory infection. 

However, coughing can also mean a severe underlying medical condition. It includes pneumonia or congestive heart failure. So it is more than just a cough.

Also, your dog may cause chest pain or difficulty breathing. The best way to know if your dog is suffering from a respiratory condition is to watch the animal closely for symptoms. It includes coughing, wheezing, nasal discharge, and chest pain.


In conclusion, if your dog is dry heaving, getting an immediate veterinary exam is essential. The vet will find out the cause of the dry heaving and provide efficient treatment options for your pet. 

Dogs may have several reasons for dry heaving. It includes constipation, stomach ulcers, kidney disease, or pancreatitis. 

Also, the veterinarian can determine which medical issue is causing the dry heaving through a physical exam.


Why is my dog coughing and gagging?

Dogs can experience respiratory problems due to many different reasons. However, dogs’ most common causes of respiratory issues are allergies, parasites, or an underlying chronic disease like bronchitis or pneumonia.

Allergies are the most common cause of huffing and gagging in dogs. Humbly noses, persistent coughing, and frequent sneezing are just a few symptoms that may be seen with allergies. Parasites can also lead to respiratory problems in dogs.

When Should You Worry About Dog Gagging?

Perhaps, you take your dog out for a walk. Does he ever spend time shaking his head or coughing after eating something he shouldn’t have?

You might not think it’s an issue. Still, that behavior could indicate your pup is in danger of developing aspiration pneumonia. 

Generally, aspiration pneumonia occurs when they swallow food. Therefore, the stomach contents travel through the esophagus to the lungs, causing inflammation and infection. This can be dangerous because it can also lead to respiratory failure.

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