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It’s only natural for you to be concerned when your dog starts making whooping, honking, and hacking sounds. Although the cough maybe something as simple as an allergic reaction or the side effect of inhaling an environmental irritant, it could also be something much much worse. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the possibilities. The most common conditions that cause dogs to cough are chronic bronchitis, heart disease, a number of respiratory infections that can be caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria, and heartworm disease.Here are a few surprising causes of coughing in dogs:Eating rat poison
Some rat poisons known as anticoagulants prevents the blood from clotting, and leads to bleeding. Although it works pretty well for rats, our dogs can also be affected. Ingesting these dangerous rat poisons can lead to your poor dog bleeding into her lungs to cause coughing. It can even be fatal if you don’t take your dog to the emergency room as soon as possible. He may even end up needing a blood transfusion. Never put out these rat poisons where your dog can easily get to them. Prevention is the best measure.Inhaling airborne irritants
These irritants can be found anywhere – even in your home. They include fireplace ash, dust mites, dandruff, dust from the litter tray, mold, second-hand smoke, household sprays, and even deodorants! Dogs have a keener sense of smell than we do. Although these irritants may not bother us, they tend to bother our dogs.Obesity
An overweight dog is more at risk of developing numerous health conditions like congestive heart failure and arthritis when compared to other, healthier dogs. The extra weight can also lead to coughing. Some dogs grow to be so obese that the extra fat puts additional pressure on their respiratory tract, leading to coughing. The only plausible solution to this being weight loss.Inhaling blades of grass
Most dogs are active. They are big fans of the great outdoors and love to run around and just play. Sometimes, a single blade of grass can be the cause of your dog’s coughing. Some types of grass have foxtails or grass awns that can cause the coughing by penetrating through your dog’s skin. It finds its way into the lungs and start doing damage. It can also cause other, more serious health conditions like lung abscesses, pneumonia, pyothorax, pneumothorax etc.Side effects from certain medications
Just like how humans can have adverse and allergic reactions to some kinds of medications, dogs are also affected by the same. Some medications have coughing has a side effect. Don’t always blame it on medications and disregard his coughing as a mere side effect though. It could just as easily be an indication of heart disease. The safer option is to go to the vet and explore the cause of the problem.