Dog Dry Heaving but Acting Normal: Causes and Treatment.

Dog dry heaving is a sign that a dog is in pain and unable to vomit. A dog that is not yet dehydrated may have a dry, hacking cough for a few minutes, and then appear perfectly normal. This behavior is also common in puppies.

Dog dry heaving can be a sign of something serious, such as gastrointestinal obstruction or foreign body, so if your pet seems to be causing himself pain on purpose, take him to your veterinarian for immediate attention.

Dry heaving in dogs is a rather unpleasant issue that should be dealt with as soon as it is seen. The first thing a pet owner needs to do is confirm that the animal is, in fact, dry heaving and not vomiting.

Also Read: Smegma Removal and Treatment: How to Clean Dog Smegma by Yourself

Vomiting can be differentiated from dog dry heaving by its more liquid/watery nature as well as the smell that accompanies it. In dogs that are dry heaving, owners will notice a very similar sound as those dogs that are vomiting, but there should also be a lack of vomit.

Dog dry heaving can be caused by several things – the most common causes include eating too quickly or too much, eating a foreign body or foreign material, eating something high in fat, or eating something indigestible.

All dogs will occasionally dry heave, especially if they have been fed too quickly, but this behavior should not go unnoticed by owners.

Dogs usually have the following reasons for heaving

1. Heaving due to illness

Yes, your dog mate can get sniffles at once. If your dog spends some time around other children, they have a better chance of catching the infection. The most common are Bordetella and Distemper.

The distemper is easy to spread in the air. When your dog catches it, it may start coughing repeatedly. Extreme fever and yellow discharge from their eyes and nose may also be present.

Dog dry heaving

The good news is that the distemper is usually not as severe. With a little loving care, the symptoms will subside on their own. To prevent future problems, you can get an annual vaccine to protect your dog from illness.

Bordetella, also known as kennel cough, is another infectious disease. Dogs can get it when kept in confined spaces with other dogs. In addition to coughing, dogs feel lethargic. The cough is dry, which often causes heaving.

Like the Distemper, your dog should start getting a good feeling of himself after a few days.

2. Parasitic infections can cause Dog Dry Heaving

It may sound a little gross, but parasitic infections are very common in dogs. The most harmless thing like a single flea can cause a big infection‌ that affects the whole body of your puppy!

Roundworms are common. Dogs can be infected by pressing soil contaminated with eggs. These small pests can reach your puppy’s lungs and trachea. It is a constant tickle of insects that causes dry heaving.

Tapeworms can also be the culprit. Dogs can get tapeworm by ingesting an infected fly. These are usually trapped in your dog’s intestines to steal nutrients, causing a persistent cough.

Finally, there is the heartworm. Heartworms can be fatal if left untreated. They can create havoc through your dog’s heart and lungs. Like roundworms, they can enter your puppy’s throat and cause dryness.

Fortunately, parasitic infections are both treatable and preventable. For round or hookworms, you do not even have to visit the vet. You can stop by your local pet supermarket and pick up deworming products to get the job done.

They will kill the parasites in a few days and eventually they will provide relief to your puppy.

Heartworms require a little more intensive care from a veterinarian. However, you can get monthly heartworm remedies to make sure your puppy does not have to deal with those parasites again.

3. Foreign Bodies on airways

Dogs have a tendency to get into things that do not bother them. They love small toys, plastic bits, and anything they can get their feet on to chew very nicely. Unfortunately, all of those little things can cause a significant suffocation risk.

You wonder how many dogs a year have to remove objects from their throats. Heaving is an attempt to clear your dog’s throat. Depending on the size and position of the object, your dog may have problems breathing.

It is imperative to bring your puppy to the vet as soon as possible. Attempting to remove an object on your own is dangerous. If it is a place where it is available in their mouth, you can remove it. However, deeper points in the throat require expert hands.

Foreign objects can damage the lining. In addition, you run the risk of pushing the item further into their throat and completely blocking the air. It is advisable to entrust this task to a veterinarian.

4. Clogged airways causes Dog Dry Heaving

A non-foreign object blocking its airways can also cause your dog to dry out. For example, your puppy may have a tumor in the throat. Tumors are not always cancerous, so don’t worry yet.

However, they need to be surgically removed. Tumors affect breathing and eating, so it is important to take care of them as soon as possible.

Tonsillitis and pharyngitis can also affect breathing. These conditions can cause inflammation of the glands behind the throat. The flame prevents air from flowing freely. They also trigger your dog’s gag reflex, which can lead to dry heaving.

5. Bloating in Dogs

Now, let’s move on to the most serious cause of dry heaving in dogs. Also known as bloating, gastric dilation, and volvulus, it is a life-threatening condition that does not take long to affect dogs.

Swelling in humans is nothing more than an inconvenience, this problem is very dangerous in dogs. With GDV, the stomach fills with air and expands rapidly. It causes the stomach to twist and stop its own blood supply.


Typically, dogs do dry heaving in an attempt to escape some gas. Unfortunately, the twisting of the stomach prevents this from happening.

GDV needs immediate emergency care. Dry heaving is usually accompanied by lethargy, pale abdomen, shortness of breath and an increase in heart rate.

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