What Are The Causes Of Dog Wheezing?

What Are The Causes Of Dog Wheezing?

Here’s a breakdown of why dogs wheeze, what to do, and when to be concerned:

Causes of Wheezing in Dogs

  • Bronchitis: Chronic inflammation in the airways causes mucus buildup and narrowing, leading to wheezing.
  • Allergies: Dust, pollen, etc., can trigger allergic reactions, swelling the airways and causing wheezing.
  • Heart Disease: Various heart conditions can lead to fluid buildup affecting breathing, sometimes with wheezing.
  • Kennel Cough: This contagious infection irritates the airways, causing a dry cough and sometimes wheezing.
  • Other Infections: Less frequently, upper respiratory infections can cause wheezing.
  • Collapsed Trachea: Weakened cartilage in the windpipe collapses, especially in small breeds. This causes wheezing and a honking cough.
  • Foreign Object: If a dog inhales something, it can partially or completely block the airway, leading to wheezing, difficulty breathing, and even collapse.

What To Do if Your Dog is Wheezing

  1. Stay Calm: Your dog senses your anxiety!
  2. Good Ventilation: Move your dog to a well-ventilated area.
  3. Remove Stressors: If possible, remove anything irritating them (scented candles, etc.).
  4. To the Vet: Seek veterinary attention, especially if wheezing persists or your dog shows other concerning signs.

How Vets Treat Wheezing

  • Depends on the Cause: Accurate diagnosis is key!
  • Medications:
    • Antibiotics for infections
    • Bronchodilators to open airways
    • Corticosteroids for inflammation (often inhaled for easier use)
  • Dietary Changes: Balanced, healthy diet supports immunity. If allergies are suspected, a special diet may help.
  • Weight Management: Obesity puts extra strain on the respiratory system.

When is Wheezing an Emergency?

  • Suspected Foreign Object: This requires immediate emergency vet attention.
  • Severe Difficulty Breathing: Don’t delay, get help fast.

Key Takeaways

  • Wheezing isn’t normal – it’s a sign something’s wrong.
  • Vet visits are crucial: Causes range from treatable infections to serious issues, so diagnosis is essential.
  • Early treatment is better: Most problems are easier to manage if caught early.

What Are The Causes Of Dog Wheezing:

It might definitely be concerning if your dog is wheezing. The sound is distinct from a cough or sneeze and sounds a lot like what a person would make when they wheeze. When breathing, a dog who is wheezing will create a high-pitched whistling sound, commonly during the exhale.


A disease called canine chronic bronchitis affects a dog’s lower respiratory tract. Inflammation in bronchitis leads to mucus secretion and airway swelling, which eventually narrows the airways. Dogs with bronchitis often cough to clear their airways, but as the illness progresses, they may find it harder to breathe and start wheezing when they exhale.


Dogs who are allergic to dust, mold, or pollen may have wheezing. Breathing may become challenging for the dog if these allergens trigger an allergic reaction that swells the airways.

Heart Disease:

Wheezing can be brought on by a number of heart conditions, including cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and mitral valve disease, in older and sometimes younger dogs. Dogs suffering from these conditions may experience lethargy and activity intolerance, which can lead to wheezing and difficulty breathing.

Kennel Cough:

A very contagious upper respiratory infection that irritates the airways is kennel cough. The most typical symptom is a chronic dry cough, although exertion can also cause breathing problems like wheezing to appear or worsen.


Dogs who have upper respiratory tract infections may wheeze, much like people who have the flu or a cold. These illnesses typically cause limited exercise tolerance, coughing, sneezing, and breathing difficulties, including wheezing.

Collapsed Trachea:

There is a chance that certain dogs, particularly small breeds with short noses, will eventually suffer a collapsed trachea. This happens when the cartilage in the dog’s trachea weakens and the trachea collapses against itself. With the assistance of your veterinarian, this illness can be controlled with medicine and appropriate care.

When your dog is eager or more active than normal, you can hear him gasping if he has a known collapsed trachea. With this illness, he can also snore more frequently as he sleeps. To make sure your dog stays as healthy as possible in spite of this issue, collaborate with your veterinarian.

Foreign Object:

It is urgent that you seek the care of an emergency veterinarian if you think your dog may have inhaled a foreign object, such as a piece of a toy he may have been chewing on.

Your dog’s airways may become completely or partially clogged as a result. If they are completely blocked, he can have trouble breathing and might pass out suddenly. If they are partially clogged, he can begin to wheeze excessively, pace find it difficult to relax, and experience acute fear or anxiety.

What To Do If Your Dog Is Wheezing?

Keeping your dog calm and facilitating easier breathing is crucial if they are wheezing and displaying other symptoms of discomfort.

Keep Your Cool:

Dogs are incredibly perceptive creatures that can tell when you’re anxious or upset. Keep your cool and provide comfort for your pet.

Take Your Dog To A Place With Good Ventilation:

If at all feasible, relocate your dog to a well-ventilated section of your house.

Take Out Stressors From Your Dog’s Surroundings:

Eliminate any triggers from the area around your dog, especially items with strong scents (such as candles, air fresheners, or sprays). Bring your dog inside if they are outside to see if their symptoms get better.

Visit the Vet with Your Dog:

Take your dog to the veterinarian right away if it continues to wheeze or exhibits other symptoms.

How To Treat For A Wheezing Dog?

Dog wheezing can have a variety of causes, so it’s important to identify the underlying issue before developing a suitable treatment strategy. A diagnosis will determine the best course of action for your pet’s care. See below how to treat for a wheezing dog.


Antibiotics will most likely be used in the treatment of infections. Your veterinarian will probably recommend a bronchodilator as a rescue drug to be used when your dog is in distress if the wheezing is due to chronic bronchitis. These drugs help your dog breathe more easily by relaxing the muscles in their airways.

A daily corticosteroid treatment is also necessary for the management of a dog’s bronchitis in order to assist in preventing further symptoms. When recommended as inhalers, corticosteroids, and bronchodilators are considerably simpler to give your pet than pills or syrups. To keep your dog happy and healthy, ask your veterinarian about utilizing inhaled medication in addition to the AeroDawg canine aerosol chamber.


Make sure the food you serve your dog is balanced and healthy. Your dog will receive the nutrition they require to maintain a healthy immune system if they eat a balanced diet. If required, your veterinarian might advise feeding your dog a diet low in allergens in order to assist in managing symptoms.

Your dog’s respiratory system may be hampered and their tolerance for exercise may be decreased if they are overweight or obese.

When To See a Vet?

With this knowledge in hand, you can get ready for your dog’s appointment with the veterinarian. Keep in mind that your dog’s wheezing could be caused by anything more serious, or it could be something as simple as allergies. You should take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible because of this.

If your usual veterinarian is unavailable, visit the emergency veterinarian as soon as possible if you believe your dog may have inhaled a foreign item or may be experiencing anaphylaxis. These are serious emergency conditions that need to be attended to right away.


Take your dog to the veterinarian as soon as you see any symptoms of respiratory distress in them, such as wheezing. Always err on the side of caution. It is best to detect underlying conditions as soon as possible. With the appropriate care, symptoms of chronic illnesses like chronic bronchitis can even be managed for a lifetime.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at ItsAboutDog.com.

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