My Dog Keeps Dry Heaving – What Should I Do?

Have you noticed that your dog has recently started to dry heave?  In case you are unaware of what dry heaving is, what it basically means is that your dog is trying to force itself to vomit for some reason, but nothing is coming out. Think of a cat with a hairball, but the hairball never comes. 

If your dog is dry heaving, you may think something is wrong with them, or they may be choking on something they ate.  While this could be the reason that they are dry heaving, there are actually going to be a few different reasons that could be causing them to dry heave, and dog dry heaving could potentially be fatal to your pup.

With that being said, if you notice that your dog is dry heaving, you may want to call your veterinarian to get some better advice and analysis on what you should do in that situation.  If possible, take your dog to the vet to be seen as quickly as possible, as your veterinarian will be able to diagnose properly and identify the reason behind the dry heaving. Here is everything that you need to know about dog dry heaving.

Should You Contact Your Veterinarian?

There is no denying that a veterinarian is more than capable of helping narrow down any of the symptoms that your dog may be showing to find the exact reason why they are dry heaving in most cases.  However, making a visit to the vet is something that can not only be stressful for you but for your dog as well.  On top of that, it is also more than likely going to be on the expensive side as well. 

With that being said, if you are feeling extra concerned about any of the symptoms that are related to your dog’s dry heaving, you can always do a live chat or have a video call with your veterinarian to help you get some answers sooner than later.  This will help you to discover whether your dog’s dry heaving is actually something that you should be taken seriously, as well as help you learn how you can help them.

Why Is Your Dog Dry Heaving?

dog dry heaving

If you have ever experienced a dog that is suffering from dry heaving, there is a very good chance that you were actually kept up all night due to the amount of coughing that they were constantly doing.  The fact of the matter is going to be that there are going to be several different reasons that your dog may be dry heaving and coughing on what seems like a regular schedule. 

Now keep in mind that you are probably more of a loving dog owner than you are a certified veterinarian, so if you ever feel that there is something wrong with your dog, you should always take them to the vet as soon as possible.  

While you may not be a veterinarian, you are going to be the one that will know your dog the best.  This means that you are going to know exactly what is normal for them and what is not.  This means that you should know when it is time to panic and when it is time to seek professional treatment. 

Since all of this knowledge that you possess about your dog is essentially going to be power (because knowledge is power), you are going to be able to tell the difference between a normal condition that your dog has and one that is potentially life-threatening, which oddly enough, many people actually tend to miss these.  That said, here are some of the most common reasons your dog may be dry heaving.

Distemper Coughs

With Distemper cough, your dog will display a dry cough that is accompanied by a temperature that will range between 103 to 105 degrees, as well as have a yellow discharge that is coming from their eyes and nose.  It is going to be an airborne illness that your pup has more than likely picked up from one of their doggy friends or another dog that they have come into contact with.  

Even though you may have had your dog vaccinated for this disease when they were just a puppy, if you haven’t been up to date with keeping current on those yearly booster shots that they are supposed to be getting, there is going to be a very good chance that your dog is doing their dry heaving due to this Distemper cough.  If this sounds like a possibility, you are going to want to get your dog checked by the veterinarian as soon as you possibly can.  

If you feel that this is the reason for your dog’s dry heaving, the first thing you will want to do is never to miss another booster shot.  Also, be sure to book an appointment with your veterinarian and make the trip there.  You can also expect that you will need to deal with the pleading eyes that your dog is going to be giving you once they figure out that you are actually taking them to the vet!

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is also going to be more commonly referred to as Bordetella, and similar to Distemper coughs, it is also going to be an airborne disease that is normally caused by a bacteria that is known as Bordetella bronchiseptica.  If you think that your dog is suffering from this, they will have a dry cough that does not produce any mucus or a runny nose; they will be sneezing, have a low fever, and become more lethargic than normal.  

The good news about Kennel’s cough is that it is more than likely going to go away all on its own.  While this is great news, it is best to prevent your dog from potentially catching it in the first place, so be sure that you speak to your vet about the proper vaccination in order to prevent them from contracting it in the first place.

dog dry heaving

Internal Parasites

While internal parasites are never going to be anything that you want to hear your dog is suffering from, they may just have something living inside of them that is causing their dry heaving.  

A parasite is essentially going to be a tiny insect that lives inside your dog (or humans and any other animal for that matter).  They survive by sucking out all of the nutrients that they require from your body.  Here are some of the more common dog parasites that can cause them to dry heave.


These can infect your dog when they lick or eat soil or anything that has been infected with their eggs.  Once ingested, they will make their way to your dog’s windpipe, eventually their intestines.  The dry heaving you are hearing is the irritation that the larvae have caused.


This particular parasite, once it finds its way into your dog, is going to prevent them from getting enough oxygen into their system, eventually causing them to do all kinds of coughing and gagging, but without any type of vomit.

When it comes to your dog and dry heaving, there can be several different reasons why they are doing it.  If you are concerned, be sure that you make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. 

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