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Why is My Dog Whining While Lying Down? All About Canine Wheezing

Dogs can suffer from a range of different respiratory issues, wheezing being one of them. Wheezing in canines can be caused by allergies or respiratory diseases, indicating severe health problems. Sometimes, dog coughing and wheezing is also accompanied by symptoms associated with severe diseases. Learn the reason why is my dog wheezing and gagging, its always not a good situation for your pet’s health.

Why is My Dog Wheezing?

Ever wondered why is my dog whining while lying down? Wheezing is a high-pitched shrill or whistling sound. Usually, it occurs due to blockage in the airways or the windpipe. The normal flow of air in the windpipe is blocked, causing a coarse whistling sound which results in wheezing. In dogs, wheezing can be a symptom of severe respiratory problems such as canine asthma, bronchitis, allergies, heart failure, etc.

Since dogs have a sensitive respiratory system, inflammation in the airway passages of dogs can hinder the supply of oxygen to the lungs. This resulted in swelling and constricted breathing. Such a situation can lead to blockage in the dog’s windpipe or bronchi. As much of the blockages occur in the upper airways, dogs tend to wheeze more under these circumstances.

Causes of Wheezing in Dogs

Infectious Disease

Canine influenza or dog flu can be one of the causes of wheezing in dogs. Exposure to rapidly transmitted virus varieties can lead to respiratory infections such as kennel cough, pneumonia, and lung infections in dogs. Other symptoms include coughing, sneezing, fatigue, difficulty in breathing, etc., resulting from infection.

Heartworm Disease

Dogs suffering from heartworm disease are very likely to exhibit wheezing. Heartworm, which is transmitted to a dog via an infected mosquito, gradually grows within the pet’s body. Once mature, the heartworm travels through the dog’s heart, lungs, and rest of the body parts, causing severe illness. A canine suffering from heartworm is less likely to heal.


Can dogs have asthma? Yes, canines can develop asthma when their upper airway passages undergo blockage. Wheezing accompanied by heavy panting, persistent coughing, bluish gums, and loss of appetite are common asthma symptoms.

Seasonal Allergy

Seasonal allergies are also responsible for wheezing and coughing in dogs. Like humans, some dogs might be allergic to seasonal changes or weather conditions. Seasonal allergies can also arise due to allergens like cigarette smoke, dust particles, pollens, etc. that can prompt dogs to make wheezing noises.

Chronic Bronchitis

Wheezing could be an alarming sign of chronic bronchitis in canine. Chronic bronchitis infects a dog’s smaller airways of the windpipe, causing damage to bronchi, bronchioles, and alveoli. This results in inflammation within the windpipe constricting the airways passages. Further, limiting the supply of oxygen to the lungs.

Heart Disease

Typically, wheezing due to heart disease is observed in older dogs. The heart becomes incapable of pumping blood to all body parts due to excess pressure and fluid secretion. This fluid results in the lungs and other body parts, leading to congestive heart failure.

Nasal Mites

Frequent wheezing of dogs can also be a result of nasal mites. Nasal mites can also cause itching, bleeding, runny nose, reverse sneezing, nasal discharge, etc., in canines. Though nasal mites are not a major problem, they quickly spread from one dog to another. It is always best to get nasal mites treated with professional help.

Foreign Toxins

Wheezing due to foreign toxins is a common problem in dogs. A dog might likely have inhaled something that caused a blockage in its windpipe, responding to which the pet makes wheezing sounds. As dogs like to run around holding toys or balls with their mouths, there is also a possibility of the object being accidentally swollen by the puppy. It can cause the dog to wheeze frequently.

When You Should Be Worried About Dog’s Wheezing?

Wheezing in dogs is often an alarming sign of health problems. Pet parents should predict such indicators of health emergencies in their pets.

  • Wheezing is a symptom of breathing problems and generally occurs due to respiratory stress. When wheezing in dogs is accompanied by increased mucus secretion, it can be a matter of concern. The dog might even require immediate medical treatment.
  • Gasping for breath while facing difficulty in breathing can result in whistling and wheezy sounds. This can be a symptom of any allergy or heart-related problem.
  • Heavy breathing and a faster breathing rate followed by wheezing can cause a variety of diseases such as chronic bronchitis or severe heart condition.
  • Persistent wheezing can also be an indicator of health issues in dogs. If your dog continues to gasp for a long term and shows no improvement, there might be some underlying health conditions.
  • Coughing and wheezing altogether is often a sign of respiratory problems in pets. Coughing indicates respiratory infections such as kennel cough and other infections caused due to inhaling foreign toxins.
  • Dogs suffering from breathing problems also tend to gasp at times. This occurs when their lungs cannot supply oxygen adequately to different body parts. It also causes their gums and tongue to turn blue due to the lack of oxygen.
  • Loss of appetite is also a common reason for health issues in pooches. Wheezing, reverse sneezing and irregular eating habits, or reduced appetite can result from infections in dogs.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Early diagnosis of wheezing can help prevent worsening a dog’s condition. Physical examination or laboratory tests can prove beneficial in identifying the canines’s problem. A veterinarian might need to know about the dog’s health history, which led to wheezing. It is also important to mention the pet’s vaccination history and medication. This would help the vet identify the nature of the illness and examine its symptoms. You can adopt various ways to treat wheezing in dogs. You can also opt for easy home remedies for dog wheezing with expert advices.


In case of wheezing caused by infections, dogs are treated with the help of antibiotics. The antibiotics prescribed for wheezing work to relax the blocked airways and allow easy breathing in dogs. Some medications also help manage a dog’s condition by reducing the symptoms. Often inhalers over syrups or pills are recommended for pets as they are easily administered.


A healthy and balanced dog food diet plays a vital role in maintaining good health. Feed your dog with a diet that fulfills its nutritional requirements and strengthens the immune system. Make sure to provide your dog with a diet that best suits it. A poor physique can also result in lower tolerance, respiratory problems, and prolonged wheezing in dogs. Taking the dog for frequent walks, exercising the dog, and feeding the dog in appropriate proportions can help overcome wheezing.


To make your dog feel at ease at breathing, maintain hygiene and cleanliness in the house. Avoid using harsh chemicals or heavily scented sprays as these can cause trouble and allergic reactions in pets. Also, bathing the dog at regular intervals can reduce irritation caused by foreign particles.


Wheezing caused by infections can be controlled and prevented. However, it cannot treat some underlying health severities of wheezing. Therefore, it becomes important to look after your dogs and monitor their activities daily. Timely vaccination and parasite control can act as preventive measures against fatal health conditions.