Why Is My Chihuahua Coughing? 8 Reasons

Ever wondered “Why is my chihuahua coughing?” You’re not alone. As a chihuahua owner you worry when your furry friend starts hacking away. Chihuahua coughing can be scary especially when it’s accompanied by gagging. In this post we’ll cover 8 reasons why chihuahuas cough and what you can do to help your little pup feel better. So let’s get started and find out what’s behind that cough!

chihuahua coughing

Chihuahua Coughing

1. Kennel Cough in Chihuahuas

Kennel cough is a highly contagious dog respiratory infection and chihuahuas are not immune. It’s caused by various bacteria and viruses, most notably Bordetella bronchiseptica. If your chihuahua has been around other dogs recently, especially in a kennel or doggy daycare, this could be the cause.

Symptoms to Watch For:

  • Dry, hacking cough
  • Gagging
  • Nasal discharge
  • Lethargy

What to Do: Kennel cough usually resolves on its own within a couple of weeks. But keeping your chihuahua comfortable and away from other dogs is key to not spreading the infection. In severe cases a vet may prescribe antibiotics or cough medicine.

2. Tracheal Collapse in Chihuahuas

One of the most common causes of chihuahua coughing and gagging is tracheal collapse. This occurs when the trachea (windpipe) becomes weakened and starts to collapse, making it hard for air to pass through.

Symptoms to Watch For:

  • Honking cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Gagging especially during excitement or after eating

What to Do: If you suspect tracheal collapse you need to see a vet. They may recommend weight management, medication or even surgery in severe cases. Using a harness instead of a collar can also help reduce pressure on your chihuahua’s trachea.

3. Allergies in Chihuahuas

Just like humans chihuahuas can have allergies that cause coughing. Common allergens include pollen, dust, mold and certain foods. If your chihuahua’s coughing is seasonal or occurs after exposure to certain environments or foods, allergies could be the cause.

Symptoms to Watch For:

  • Persistent cough
  • Itchy skin
  • Watery eyes
  • Sneezing

What to Do: Managing your chihuahua’s environment and diet can help reduce allergy symptoms. Your vet may also prescribe antihistamines or other meds to help with the coughing and other symptoms.

chihuahua coughing

4. Heart Disease

Heart disease is another reason your chihuahua is coughing. Congestive heart failure can cause fluid to build up in the lungs and coughing and breathing problems.

Watch For:

  • Coughing at night
  • Rapid breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Blue gums

What to Do: A vet visit is needed to diagnose heart disease which can be the main reason for your Chihuahua coughing.. Medication and lifestyle changes to improve your chihuahua’s life.

5. Reverse Sneezing

Reverse sneezing can be mistaken for coughing and is common in chihuahuas. This is when your dog rapidly pulls air into their nose and makes a snorting or honking sound.

Watch For:

  • Sudden, forceful inhaling
  • Snorting or honking
  • Episodes last a few seconds to a minute

What to Do: Reverse sneezing is usually harmless and will go away on its own. Gently massage your chihuahua’s throat or cover their nostrils for a few seconds to help them swallow and stop the episode.

chihuahua coughing

6. Infectious Diseases

Several infectious diseases like canine influenza or distemper can cause chihuahua coughing. These diseases come with other severe symptoms and need immediate attention.

Watch For:

  • Severe cough
  • Fever
  • Nasal discharge
  • Loss of appetite

What to Do: If your chihuahua shows signs of an infectious disease, see a vet. Vaccinations can prevent many of these diseases so keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date.

7. Foreign Objects

Chihuahuas are little curious creatures and sometimes they can inhale or swallow foreign objects that get stuck in their throat or airways and cause coughing and gagging.

Watch For:

  • Sudden coughing or gagging
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drooling

What to Do: If you think a foreign object is causing your chihuahua’s coughing, see the vet right away. They can do an exam and remove the object if needed.

8. Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is a long -erm condition that causes persistent coughing in chihuahuas. This inflammation of the airways is caused by various things like smoke, dust or other irritants.

Watch For:

  • Persistent dry cough
  • Wheezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue

What to Do: Managing chronic bronchitis means reducing your chihuahua’s exposure to irritants and potentially medication to control inflammation and coughing. Regular vet check-ups are needed to monitor.

chihuahua coughing

Natural Remedies for Chihuahua Coughing

If you’re looking for natural ways to help your chihuahua’s cough, try these:

Honey and Coconut Oil

Mix a teaspoon of honey with a teaspoon of coconut oil. This will help soothe your chihuahua’s throat and stop the cough. Give this to your dog once or twice a day.

Chicken Broth

Warm chicken broth can be calming and help with a coughing and hacking dog. Make sure the broth is onion and garlic free as these are toxic to dogs. A few sips of warm broth will help.


Steam can help clear your chihuahua’s airways. Take your dog into the bathroom, close the door and run a hot shower to create steam. Let your dog breathe in the steam for 10-15 minutes.

Herbal Teas

Certain herbal teas like chamomile or licorice root tea can help soothe a puppy cough. Make sure the tea is cooled and give your chihuahua a small amount to drink.

Why is My Chihuahua Coughing Up Blood?

If your chihuahua is coughing up blood it’s a serious and scary situation that needs to be seen by a vet ASAP. Hemoptysis can be caused by many things such as severe respiratory infections, foreign objects in the airways, trauma to the chest, heart disease or even tumors.

Chihuahuas don’t cough up blood it’s not normal and means there’s bleeding somewhere in the respiratory tract or lungs. Causes of dog coughing up blood can range from mild irritation to life-threatening so get help as soon as possible. The vet will do a full examination and diagnostic tests like x-rays or blood work to determine the cause and treatment. Early and accurate intervention can make a big difference in your chihuahua’s health and recovery.

chocolate chihuahuas

Chihuahua Coughing: Summary

Knowing the reason behind your chihuahua’s coughing is key to taking care of your furry friend. Some coughing is harmless, some requires immediate vet attention. By paying attention to the symptoms and seeking advice when needed you can help your chihuahua live a healthy happy life.

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