If you have noticed that your dog begins to cough after pulling on their leash, then you are not alone; it is a fairly common problem, especially among certain breeds, and many pet owners find themselves at a loss about what to do, why their dog is coughing, or how they can stop the problem. The following is an essential guide on how to help your dog stop coughing after they pull on a leash.
Why do some dogs cough after pulling on their leash?
A dog which is on a leash attached to a standard neck collar may begin coughing after pulling on the leash, especially if they pull hard—think “yanking” rather than simply pulling—or they make a habit of pulling on their leash every time they go for a work. The reason why this results in a cough is that the dog’s trachea has become damaged. The damage occurs when the cartilage rings on the trachea become misshapen, which can occur because of genetic problems or because of external factors such as the pressure and force caused by a dog pulling on their leash.
Should I take my dog to the vet if they cough after pulling on their leash?
If you’ve noticed that your dog is coughing after they’ve pulled on a leash, you should immediately take note of a few things. Consider the following questions:
Does your dog’s breathing return to normal after a few moments, or do they cough for an extended period of time? If your dog coughs continually, then you will definitely want to see a vet sooner rather than later.
Does your dog cough normally, or do they make a “honking” sound while coughing? If your dog is “honking” while coughing, this may indicate tracheal collapse rather than a scratch or damage that may repair itself on its own, and you should see a vet.
If you notice your dog coughing after pulling a leash and they don’t exhibit symptoms that indicate a need for a vet as soon as possible, you should begin using a padded harness that doesn’t put any pressure on the dog’s neck area rather than the standard collar you were using previously. If your dog continues to cough even after switching to a harness that doesn’t put pressure on the neck, you should see your vet so that they can examine the extent of the damage.
What should I do to prevent it from happening again?
It’s very important that you ensure your dog isn’t putting too much pressure on their trachea or any area of their throat. This can lead to scratching, damaging or even collapse of the trachea, which will make it more difficult for your dog to breathe. One of the best ways to reduce the chances of your dog putting pressure on their throat while pulling on a leash is to use the type of aforementioned harness collar which doesn’t put any pressure on the neck. You should also train your dog to walk properly so they don’t tug on a leash.