Activities For Dogs With A Cough

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Introduction

Do you have a dog who coughs frequently, maybe a lot?  First and foremost, you need to be aware that, unless you see an obvious reason for the coughing, this can be a symptom of a health condition which could be serious and medical intervention is essential.  Dogs can cough for a number of reasons, for example, as a result of something caught in their throats or due to allergies.  The most common causes of coughing in dogs are 6 in number:  kennel cough, heart disease (including congestive heart failure), heart worms, foreign object lodged in their throats, pneumonia, collapsing trachea and reverse sneezing. Some less common causes of coughing include canine flu, bronchitis, distemper, allergies and some forms of cancer.  Though some of these are more serious than others, they are all treatable and some may involve some modification of your dog's living conditions and level of activity.

Short Walk

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Sunny Day
Free
Easy
10 - 15 Minutes
Items needed
Leash
Collar or harness
Activity description
Everyone can gain some benefit from walking, whether for short or long duration, and dogs are no different.  If your dog experiences coughing, either of the chronic variety or the infrequent type, the cause of that cough may dictate the level of exercise and activity in which your canine companion can be involved.  If the cough seems to be exacerbated by stress or exertion, then you will likely need to modify the exercise activities in which you and your furry family member participate.  Heat and cold can also have an effect on the coughing in your dog, so walking outside will likely work best when the sun is shining and the temperatures are moderate.  The only cost involved in this short trek through the neighborhood is your time and the combined energy of both you and your dog.  The time is a great investment in your relationship with your cuddly canine, being closely followed by the fact that it really can't be easier for either of you to do together.
Step
1
Consider the use of a harness
For some conditions known to cause coughing in dogs, a harness works better and more safely than a collar. The reason for this recommendation rests with the fact that when the dog gets excited and pulls on the collar, it can put unnecessary pressure on the throat and potentially increase the risk of the trachea collapsing, a situation which will require immediate medical attention.
Step
2
Attach the leash and off you go
Of course, the leash is vital for the control and safety of your pet. Not only will you be able to control the speed and activity level of your dog walk, you'll be able to keep your pet from the many potentially harmful situations which can befall an unleashed canine that you will encounter over the course of your walk.
Step
3
Enjoy the walk
This is, perhaps, the easiest thing you will likely do today. Simply open the door and step out into the beautiful sunshine with your best friend in tow...or maybe your best friend will be towing you! Keep your walk to 10 to 15 minutes duration to keep the exertion level lower so the coughing may not be aggravated. Enjoy the fresh air, sunshine and the company of your best friend several times a day for best results.
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Toy Toss

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Any Day
Free
Easy
10 - 15 Minutes
Items needed
Dog toys
Frisbee
Old socks
Activity description
This activity is one which can be practiced indoors or outdoors and can be done several times a day.  Depending on the cause of the coughing in your dog, you may need to limit the time for play to 10 to 15 minutes several times a day so that your precious pet doesn't get fatigued or overly exerted, causing the cough to begin or worsen.  The price to do this is certainly more than reasonable ... it's FREE!  If your precious pup doesn't have dog toys or a Frisbee, I'm sure you'll have just as much fun and quality time using an old pair of socks belonging to you or any other family member.  Your pup will lovingly chase those socks that have your scent on them ... though returning them to you might be a little more difficult ... after all, isn't possession nine-tenths of the law?  This activity is not only fun and easy but the time spent will be a great investment into the bonding necessary between you and your pet.
Step
1
Gather the toys
It is important to pick toys or objects which are both safe for your pup as well as something that is well loved, as their favorite toys will encourage them to chase the object. Your dog needs to want the object before it will be chased and (maybe) returned. As you select the objects to be used in your toy toss game, be sure to keep in mind the locale of where the game will be played; for example indoors versus outdoors, and keep in mind whether there windows which could be broken or people about who could become obstacles or innocent "targets".
Step
2
Get your pet's attention
This step is important if you want appropriate cooperation from your pup. Awaken the canine from their afternoon nap, pick up the food bowl or separate your pup from the family cat, whatever it takes for you to get their total, undivided attention. Once the game gets started, getting and keeping your pup's attention will take care of itself.
Step
3
Toss the toy
This is the fun part and it is so easy, too! Just toss the toy and encourage your pup to chase it. Most pups will do so most willingly but the returning part can be harder to teach. Your pup will likely want to keep the toy, especially if it is a favorite, so there can be a bit of a learning curve involved in learning to return it. Repetition, repetition, repetition ... three words which reflect what it takes to learn any new task. When your pal does learn the object of the toy toss game and willingly gives up the toy for another round, be sure to give them lots of pats and praise for doing so.
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Indoor Treat Hunt

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Any Day
Cheap
Easy
10 - 15 Minutes
Items needed
Dog treats
Activity description
This is such an easy and fun game to play with your favorite furry friend.  Your pup will absolutely love to search out and reap the reward when the treat is found!  The dog treats can be any that you choose to give to your precious pup - expensive or not - you can control the expense of this game for sure!  Canines have an incredible sense of smell and this game utilizes and develops it.  Let them sniff the treat first and even give'em a taste ... this will help to make the pup more interested in the game.  This game can be played indoors or outdoors, so the weather doesn't have to be a factor, the intensity level can easily be controlled and it is so easy to play.  There is fun to be had by all to be sure!
Step
1
Select the treats
The type and quality of the treats used in this game is totally up to you. You can use a very expensive, gourmet dog treat or something homemade. The key is to use a treat that is a proven favorite of your pup. Since dog treats can vary in caloric content, and can potentially be higher than the caloric content of their food, you will need to determine how many of them you will hide to keep your precious pet from overeating when this game is played.
Step
2
Hide the treats
A dog with a cough should not be subject to overexertion; hiding the treats on one level of the house or in fun places within the yard is ideal. You can ask a family member to keep your buddy busy while you place the treats in areas such as the corner of a room, within a shoe or even under a pile of doggy bath towels.
Step
3
The fun begins
Once the treats are hidden, set your pup loose! They may need a bit of guidance at first. If they are not sure how to begin the search, you can lead them to the area where the first treat is hidden and chances are, their nose will take over soon after! Once your dog gets used to the game, you can increase the difficulty next time around.
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More Fun Ideas...

Cuddle time

Everyone loves cuddle time ... it's that time of day when all of the kids are in bed, the dishes are done and the kitchen cleaned ... and it's just you, maybe your spouse and your furry friend.  This cuddle time could take place in front of the fireplace, outside on the lanai or sitting in your bed while you watch TV.  It's the best way for everyone to just unplug, unwind and relax!

Obedience training or practice

This activity can be done indoors or outdoors at any time of the day or night.  The intensity level should be controlled to avoid the possibilities of causing or increasing the coughing issues of your canine companion.  Keep it light and fun for all involved.

Conclusion

Activities for dogs with a cough don't have to be earth-shaking to provide fun and exercise for your precious pet.  While the cough, and concern for exacerbating it, can dictate the level of intensity and even the duration and some of the other guidelines of the game or activity, it doesn't have to dictate the amount of fun and bonding which takes places between you and your pet.  Get creative and let your imagination run wild and let the fun begin!