Many of the dogs usually tend to vomit or gag a little. They do that when they have some irregular food. The reasons behind you worry about why does my dog gag, can be simple to complex.

Many of the dogs exercise to quickly before they eat. This is one of the normal causes of your dog to gag. Sometimes your dog keeps retching, but they do not produce anything. Sometimes you can also witness that your dog is gagging without any vomiting. As a caretaker, you should be aware of the differences between gagging, vomiting, and retching of your lovely dog.

Why does my dog keep coughing and gagging?

Is there a horrible sound from your lovely dog, followed by a harsh gaggling sound? Here are some of the precautionary measures you should observe in such conditions.


Gagging of the dog is usually a non-scientific behavior. Many of the animals make such noise before or after their cough. But care should be taken as there is a vast difference between coughing, gagging, and vomiting of your pet. It is advised to take a video of the behavior and show it to your vet to reach a particular conclusion. 

Here are some of the useful Quick tips to sort out the difference –

  • Coughing of a dog that does not bring anything up
  • Vomiting of the dogs brings you a clear condition regarding problems in their digestion system
  • Just gagging of the dog that brings a small amount of mucus in their mouth

The main task you have to take if your dog witnesses such kinds of problems is to make an appointment with the vet. He will guide you well about the condition prevailing in your dog.

What is Gagging?

Gagging is usually a condition when a dog feels problems in breathing. If they are out of control they can even lead to heaving, retching, and vomiting conditions. There are many of the medical symptoms that can cause a dog to gag, some of the most common are –

  • Nausea or stomach disorders
  • Difficulty in swallowing of food
  • An occurrence of a lump in your throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Kennel cough
  • Intestinal parasite infestation
  • Heart disease
  • Tracheal collapse
  • Lung Problems

Reasons Behind Why is My Dog Gagging

The respiratory system of a dog’s body comprises of nose, mouth, and throat. They are connected to the trachea and finally the lungs. A lung contains plenty of bronchial trees that are responsible for supplying oxygen in their body.

Gagging usually occurs when the organs of the respiratory system find a problem in performing their task. It usually happens with the accidental presence of foreign material in their working region.


It’s quite normal for your dog to sometimes gag or retch or feel like vomiting. They are a normal part of their daily activities. But if such gagging continues for a week, there can be some serious problems within them.

Some of the major factors that you can consider in such cases are –


One of the common reasons for your dog to gag is the presence of a foreign object inside them. They accidentally might have swallowed something unknowingly during they play or eating time. Some of the common objects include fragments of bone, sticks, needles, toys, plastics, etc. These things can be anything that cannot pass through the throat of your dog easily.

These stuck objects are generally difficult to remove. You have to visit your vet for its proper and safe removal.

If you try to do it yourself it can cause severe damage to your dog. Also remember if such foreign object remains inside your dog for a longer period, use some antibiotics. These objects can be easily detected with the help of X-rays and can be removed easily with abdominal surgery.

2. Kennel Cough

Bordetella Bronchipesta is the bacteria that are responsible for kennel cough in your dog. The symptoms of these bacteria generally last for 10-12 days.

Symptoms if your dog Catches Kennel Cough :

  • A dry hacking type of cough
  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Excess discharge from the nose

If you see some of the above symptoms in your dog, visit your vet as early as possible for a quick remedy.


Motion sickness is also a possible reason for your dog to keep gagging. These symptoms usually occur when you travel with the dog in a car or some other vehicle for long distances. Along with the gagging your dog might also witness nervousness, restlessness, nausea, and vomiting conditions.

In the cases when you are compelled to transport your dog regularly for some reason, consult your vet. They will provide certain medications to your dog to overcome the problem of motion sickness. Care should also be taken from your end as well. Do not provide your dog with food or water just before a long trip. As such conditions can easily make them gag or vomit.


This is one of the most prominent reasons for the answer to the question of why does my dog gag. Providing early remedies to such dogs can be a suitable way. There are two conditions that you can observe in such cases.

  • Gastric Dilation: In such circumstances, the stomach of your dog stretches due to the accumulation of gas and liquids causing them to gag.
  • Gastric Torsion: In this condition, the stomach of the dog rotates in its longitudinal axis that prevents the stomach of your dog from being emptied. The blood circulation of the dog in that particular area also gets affected causing problems such as necrosis in the walls of the stomach and perforation. If such condition emerges your dog can witness a toxic shock and may die.

Many such conditions usually occur in larger breeds of dogs. Quickly taking of the food and having a heavy exercise right after the meal are the main reasons behind this. Common symptoms may include nausea, nervousness, and hypersalivation. Getting an X-ray of your dog can confirm such abnormalities

5.  Other Reasons for your Dog Gagging and Throwing Up

Eating of the grass is also one of the possible answers to why does my dog gag. Many of the pet owners observed that as soon as their dog eats grass they start to gag and sometimes even vomit. Although the concept is not clear till now that why some dogs prefer to eat grass. Many experts say when dogs feel abnormalities in their stomach they eat grass as it acts as an irritant in their stomach.

Similarly, some of the herbs and dirt, if entered into a dog, can also cause them to gag. Some of the worms present in their stomachs can also be the reason. These worms are easily seen in the feces of your dog. Proper deworming procedures can be the best measures in such conditions.

What does it mean when your dog dry heaves?

Many of your pet dogs vomit frequently. It is not a serious issue at all as your dog swallows the food too quickly. Due to indigestion problems they vomit. This vomiting of the dog is called as dry heaving. These conditions are often normal but if you regularly find them, it can be a threat. You should take care of the below mention parameters in such cases

  • Probability of any foreign object in their throat
  • Problems related to Gastric dilations
  • Tonsillitis conditions
  • Tumor development near throat region of your dog

Why such heavy Heaving Occurs?

Heaving occurs when the patient’s stomach is empty. Or it cannot digest the food perfectly, causing problems like gagging and vomiting in your dog. You have to take care of your lovely dog in such conditions. Try to give them a light diet with an adequate amount of water. Play with them to burn their calories. The conditions are not a threat but just an indication that your dog needs your personal care.

Why does my senior dog gag?

For senior dogs, they are easily affected by various fungi, bacteria, and parasites. They infect the upper respiratory tract in adult dogs, leading them to cough throughout the day. Kennel cough is most often found in such dogs.

The Bottom Line

Finally, these are some of the possible answers to the question regarding why does my dog gag. Gagging is definitely a kind of disorder and reasons for the same should be identified as early as possible. Many of the pet keepers often neglect such behavior of their dogs, which is not right. Many times, dogs often suffer from asthma or cardiac problems. These vets after proper check-up can provide you with proper medication. Many such tests also include an X-ray of their chest and an ultrasound.

A condition that begins gagging of your dog gives you an indication that something is wrong with them, so it is suggested to keep yourself aware and ready in such situations.