Hairballs in Your Dog: Causes, Treatment, And Preventions


Cats are well-known for having hairballs, but what about dogs? Hairballs occur in dogs as well. When they do develop hairballs, they make a horrible sound that sounds almost like a goose honking, and it’s usually always followed by a loud coughing sound. You might be concerned if your dog sounds like he has a hairball and wonder if this is normal for a dog.

What Causes Hairballs In Dogs?

Hairballs are formed when dogs groom themselves. Most dogs lick their fur to keep it clean, and this constant licking causes hair to be ingested. The hair will occasionally form a ball.

Hairball production can be harmful to dogs who groom themselves on occasion; if the hairball is too large to throw up, it can cause a blockage in your dog’s digestive system. Surgery may be required in extreme circumstances. Hairballs can cause dehydration because they prevent your dog from adequately absorbing fluids. Hence, prior to acquiring a dog, knowing why and how to solve dog sounds like he has a hairball can help you prevent it.

Symptoms Of Having a Hairball In Dogs

Keep an eye out for hairball warning signals in your dog especially if its skin is dry in the winter. Long-haired dogs shed more than short-haired canines. There are some signs that your dog may have a hairball such as skin irritation, the chewing of the hair, or even a behavioral change.

An intestinal blockage caused by a hairball may cause certain symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea or little appetite.

You may also see your dog gagging, but nothing appears to be wrong. Consult your veterinarian for advice on what to do next. A comprehensive skin examination, blood tests, and maybe gastrointestinal testing may be recommended by your veterinarian to look for underlying reasons for your dog’s hairballs.

Are Dog Hairballs Dangerous?

If you think “my dog sounds like he has a hairball”, it might lead you to think whether your dog’s life is in danger, and this may terrify you to death.

Hairball formation can be dangerous to a dog in some cases, despite its rarity. If hair or fur accumulates in your dog’s stomach, it will naturally cause a gag reflex, causing your dog to vomit and thus remove the hair mass. Everything will be OK if your dog vomits out the hairball. If it doesn’t, the hairball is most likely depriving your dog of important fluids, potentially leading to dehydration.

Hairballs in dogs can be dangerous if they obstruct the digestive tract and become septic, causing your dog’s normal digestion processes to be disrupted. If the situation persists, take your dog to the veterinarian.

Hairball Treatment For Dogs

In most circumstances, hairballs in dogs can be treated at home. If you suspect your dog has hairballs, try giving him petroleum jelly, canned pumpkin, and plenty of water to aid in the process of getting rid of them.

Petroleum Jelly

Vaseline, often known as petroleum jelly, is a waterproof ointment that forms a protective barrier on the skin. This barrier keeps the skin’s natural moisture in. As a result, petroleum jelly is used to treat dry and itchy skin. Vaseline is applied to animals’ skin as prophylactic therapy. It’s great for hydrating dry skin, repairing damaged paw pads, and curing nasal hyperkeratosis.

In general, this medicine is safe and non-toxic when taken orally, but this does not mean it is safe in excessive doses. Vaseline should not be used on severe burns or deep wounds.


Hairballs can cause diarrhea, which can be treated with pumpkin. Canned pumpkin has a substantially higher fiber level than raw pumpkin because it is much more concentrated.

Eating too much fiber causes constipation and bloating. It’s best to utilize lesser amounts of fiber to avoid supplying too much fiber. The AKC recommends giving your dog 1 to 4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin. This can be incorporated into your dog’s diet.

Give Your Dog Enough Water

When your dog is dehydrated, the contents of its stomach become dry, causing a blockage. This aggravates the hairball’s severity. Water also helps to soften the feces. Constipation is avoided as a result of this. Your dog will become constipated and unable to pass any hair in the stool if they do not drink enough water.

Overall, drinking plenty of water will benefit the digestive tract and alleviate hairball symptoms.

Tips To Prevent Dog Hairball

The greatest cure is prevention, and there are some techniques to keep your dog from developing hairballs.

Dog Grooming

Create a grooming routine that you can stick to. This is particularly helpful for dogs with long hair or who shed frequently, especially during the shedding season. Brushing your dog regularly will guarantee that he consumes less hair when it does lick itself.

Take Care of His Skin By Moisturizing It

Itchy skin in dogs can be caused by dry skin. Use a moisturizing shampoo during the cold and dry winter months.

Dog Amusement

Make your pet dog happy. One of the most prevalent reasons for a dog nibbling, gnawing, biting, and licking itself is boredom. To pass the time, a bored dog develops these negative habits. You can keep your dog entertained in your home by giving it plenty of playtime and exercise. To urge the dog to direct its licking toward something less hairy, provide healthy chews.

Fix Dog’s Diet

Hairballs are also linked to the food you’re giving your dog. As a result, a high-fiber diet, whether temporary or long-term, can help with hairball movement. Before beginning, consult your veterinarian to see if this is something that should be included in your dog’s diet.

Furthermore, a portion of nutritious food can aid in the maintenance of your dog’s health while also increasing the radiance of their skin. This reduces the likelihood of your dog licking itself because its skin is less irritated and healthier.

Allow Him to Graze on Grass

If a dog is nauseated or has stomach pains, it will naturally munch on grass while walking outside. Their stomachs are irritated even more by the grass, causing them to vomit. Your dog may attempt to vomit up the hairball on its own. You can try to encourage them to eat grass if you feel they have a hairball that isn’t being coughed out on their own. It’s also critical to give your dog plenty of water since this can help keep things moving in their digestive system.

Finally, your dog may be bored, nervous, or anxious if they have hairballs frequently. Keep them occupied with new toys or longer walks, so they don’t have as much time to lick their fur. This can prevent your dog from developing hairballs.


Hairballs in dogs are rare and preventive. If you’re thinking, “My dog sounds like he has a hairball,” your next thought is probably, “What do I do now?” Consulting with your veterinarian is the best option. Whether it’s a hairball problem or something else, you’ll need to devise a treatment strategy to resolve the current problem and prevent it from recurring.

Home remedies can be beneficial, but not on their own; it’s better to combine them with traditional veterinary medicine to protect your pet’s safety and wellness.