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Natural Treatments for Dog Breathing Problems

Wheezing, Coughing & Panting

Dog breathing problems can be scary! Seeing your dog breathing heavy, coughing and gagging, panting at night, or wheezing is alarming, and often, quick action on the part of the pet owner is needed. If you notice your dog having difficulty breathing, please contact your veterinarian or emergency center immediately, as some dog breathing problems can be life-threatening. Once you have a diagnosis, conventional veterinary treatments can be combined with dog breathing problem home remedies to achieve the best results.

Dog Breathing Problems Home Remedies

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Home Remedies for Dog Wheezing & Respiratory Problems

The first step in treating dog breathing problems is to get a diagnoses from your veterinarian. Dog with breathing problems may need medications. Here are home remedies for dog respiratory symptoms you can use in conjunction with treatments prescribed by your veterinarian.

Olive Leaf Extract For Pets - A natural antiviral and antibacterial herbal remedy that has been used since ancient times. Helpful for dogs with chronic upper respiratory infections (URIs), allergies, bronchitis and viral infections. There is significant scientific research on the effectiveness of Olive Leaf Extract against multiple types of bacteria and fungi that can cause respiratory infections. Olive Leaf Extract for Pet's active ingredient, oleuropein, helps fight against pathogens while causing no harm to healthy bacteria in your pet's gut and mucous membranes. It contains protective polyphenols to help improve immune function and offer powerful antioxidant protection. Olive Leaf Extract For Pets is a simple, one-ingredient formula that is one of the best home remedies for dog difficulty breathing. Made in the USA.

Amazing Omegas - Omega 3 fatty acids can reduce symptoms and inflammation in the respiratory system. Amazing Omegas is the absolute best fish oil for pets, and it’s naturally derived from sardines, mackerel and anchovies. Packed in glass bottles, it is free from toxins and PCBs. It only takes a few drops to help your pet.

AllerEazeAllerEaze - All-natural AllerEaze is one of the most effective home remedies for dog wheezing. Dogs may wheeze when they have allergies because their immune system overreacts, causing their airways to become inflamed and narrow. Quercetin is a natural antihistamine derived from plants that can help reduce histamine release and stabilize mast cells. AllerEaze contains quercetin, a natural antihistamine that helps calm the immune system's overreaction, reducing inflammation and narrowing of airways caused by allergies. AllerEaze can help your dog breathe better.

Dog Wheezing

Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound your dog may make when he breathes. It may sound like an asthma attack or labored breathing. It is caused by narrowed airways and inflammation. In most cases, it is louder when the dog exhales, but it can also be present when a dog inhales.

Why is my dog wheezing? Common causes of wheezing are:

  • Allergies - Dogs can have allergies just like people, resulting in wheezing and constricted airways. This is a common reaction to allergens such as pollen, mold, dust mites, cigarette smoke, candles and perfumes.

  • Chronic Bronchitis - Chronic bronchitis (also known as canine asthma) creates scarring in the airways and can cause wheezing.

  • Parasites, Viral & Bacterial Infections - Heartworm parasites can live in the lungs and airways as they migrate to the heart.

  • Heart Disease or Lung Cancer - When there is a tumor in the lung tissue or when the pumping efficiency of the heart is compromised, fluid may build up in the lungs and dogs may wheeze as they try to get enough oxygenated air.

Other causes of wheezing could be from inhaling an irritant, such as aerosol products, or an obstruction.

Need Help?

Respiratory issues can be confusing. If you have questions, please feel free to email us at [email protected]. We will be happy to provide you with additional information about our natural remedies for dog coughing, gagging or wheezing, but please know that due to veterinary regulations, we cannot provide individualized consultative advice without a physical exam.

Dog Coughing & Gagging

Depending upon the cause, dog coughing can sound differently. It is important to pay attention to the sound and type of cough, how frequently it occurs and whether any blood or mucus is hacked up.

  • Dry, deep, hacking coughs are typical with kennel cough (Bordetella) and viral or bacterial infections. The cough will flare up when your pup gets excited or exercises.

  • Wet, moist, phlegmy coughs are often due to fluid or phlegm in the lungs and can result in a gargling sound with labored breathing. Frequently diagnosed as pneumonia, canine influenza (dog flu) and chronic bronchitis.

  • Deep, honking coughs are characteristic of a condition called collapsed trachea. Dogs with collapsed trachea have a goose honk when they get excited or have pressure on their necks (from a collar or pulling on a leash). It can also happen after eating or drinking.>

  • Nighttime coughing when lying down can be characteristic of heart disease and congestive heart failure.

If you notice your dog is coughing, and especially if the coughing is persistent, see your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment. The sooner you begin treatment, the better chance your pup will have for recovery.


"A few years after we adopted our rescue dog Tessie, we noticed a very subtle cough. It occurred infrequently and didn't seem to bother her. However, we brought her to the veterinarian and after a month of repeated ultrasounds, a tiny mass was found on her heart. Unfortunately our beloved dog had hemangiosarcoma. While we were devastated with her diagnoses, we were grateful we found the mass early because hemangiosarcoma is one of the most aggressive cancers and had we not known about her condition, the tumor could have burst unexpectedly. Finding the cause of her cough ensured that Tessie had a good quality of life without suffering."

Dog Panting

Panting is a normal behavior for dogs as it helps to regulate body temperature. However, there are two types of panting in dogs: normal and abnormal. Normal panting occurs following exercise, periods of excitement or from being outside in hot weather. Mild panting with an open mouth, bright eyes and relaxed facial features is a “doggie smile,” and the panting should slow and then stop. Abnormal panting can be a sign of discomfort, stress, pain or a health problem that needs attention. Abnormal panting may be louder and last longer (might seem like the dog is always panting) than normal panting, and the dog will may appear to be exerting more effort than normal.

Below are some reasons for abnormal panting:

  • Cushing's Disease - Cushing's Disease (hyperadrenocorticism) is a hormonal imbalance in dogs. The adrenal glands produce too much cortisol (steroids) and the earliest and most common symptom of the disorder is excessive panting. Other signs may be hair loss, weight gain, a pot belly, increased thirst and urination, skin changes and irritability or restlessness.

  • Pain - Dogs instinctively hide their pain. While some dogs may whine or cry out, more frequently they will pant as an indication of pain.

  • Digestive Issues - When dogs experience digestive distress, especially a few hours after eating, they may pant and make gulping noises. If you notice your dog is panting at night, panting excessively, gulping, or you hear tummy gurgling noises, your pet may be suffering with acid reflux, indigestion or other digestive discomforts.

  • Anxiety, Stress & Fear - When dogs are anxious, stressed or fearful, they exhibit “behavioral panting”. Other stress indicators may include yawning, pacing, trembling, hiding, whining or crying.

  • Heart and Lung Disease - A dog with heart disease cannot pump blood efficiently enough throughout the body, so the tissues become deprived of oxygen. The body tries to compensate by increasing its respiration rate, resulting in panting. Other signs include exercise intolerance, weakness and coughing.

  • Heatstroke - It's normal for a dog to pant on a hot day or following exercise, but dogs can get heatstroke. Dogs with heatstroke will pant heavily, appear to have difficulty breathing and may show excessive thirst, high temperature, a fast heartbeat and glazed eyes.

  • Anemia – Red blood cells are responsible for the oxygenation of tissue in the body. Anemia is a low red blood cell count that can result in oxygen deprivation and panting. Other signs of anemia can include weakness, elevated heart rate, pale mucous membranes, loss of appetite and rapid breathing.

  • Laryngeal Paralysis - The cartilage flaps at the larynx (opening to the windpipe) should open during breathing and close during swallowing, but with laryngeal paralysis, the muscles are either weakened or paralyzed. The condition results in severe panting, raspy breathing, exercise intolerance, restricted airflow, stridor (high-pitched wheezing) and heat sensitivity.

  • Bloat – Common in large, deep-chested breeds. When a dog has recently eaten and begins to pant excessively, salivate, pace, and/or retch without vomiting, it may have bloat. Bloat can be a life-threatening emergency, and you should seek out immediate veterinary care.

  • Respiratory Infection or Allergic Reaction – Respiratory infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis can cause your dog to pant. Dogs may also struggle to breathe if they are having an allergic reaction, possibly due to a new medication.

Not all panting is a cause for concern. It is a normal part of the cooling process in dogs. Dogs may perspire a little bit through their paw pads but cannot regulate their temperature without panting. Pay close attention to abnormal panting patterns, and seek the assistance of a veterinarian if they continue to occur.

The Best Diet for Dogs With Breathing Problems

Dogs are carnivores. For your convenience, manufacturers make dry food that can be left out all day. Dry food is over processed and overcooked and requires high amounts of carbohydrates to manufacture the food so it will stick together. Carbohydrates break down into sugar, which feeds the bacteria and viruses, creating a vicious cycle. Finally, to improve storage time, many manufacturers add chemical preservatives to keep the food from spoiling so you can leave it out all day.......Click here to learn more about how dry kibble can affect your pet's health.

In addition to avoiding dry kibble, feeding a hypoallergenic diet using a novel protein has been especially helpful for dogs with upper respiratory infections, allergies, asthma and other chronic infections. There isn't "one" diet that is appropriate for every pet, as age, breed and health conditions vary. On the order form at checkout, please include your pet's diet, and we will provide a diet suggestion for your pet's specific needs on the packing slip that comes with the product directions.

Why Use Ask Ariel Supplements To Help Your Dog With Breathing Problems?

Many pet owners have seen the benefits of using supplements for their own health and now want the same for their pets. Our premium, natural pet supplements have been used successfully in veterinary hospitals since 2005. Ask Ariel's remedies are selected based on quality, scientific research and proven results. A holistic approach with supplements and diet changes (FREE diet tips on the packing slip with your order) can give your pet much-needed immune support. Many veterinarians have seen the proven results of our products with their patients, which is why Ask Ariel pet supplements are veterinarian recommended nationwide.

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