It is strange to think that dogs can lose their voice, but the reality is, yes, they can. You may have noticed that your ever-loud dog all of a sudden seems to be quiet. This goes especially for those who own dogs known for their loud barks, like the American Eskimo, Labrador retriever, and Chihuahuas, among others. They do not seem to display any symptoms of severe sickness, so they are generally okay. So what is wrong with your dog? Where did the voice disappear to?

The truth is that there is a myriad of reasons that affect your dog’s voice box. Although some of the conditions behind losing the voice are treatable, you want to ensure that nothing serious is lurking behind. Today, we will cover some of the typical causes behind your dog losing its voice and how to handle the situation.

Causes of Voice Loss in Dogs

Like we said before, there are many causes that could be affecting your dog’s voice, some will be medical, and others will be environmental. Regardless, you have to get to the real reason so that your pet can return to normal. Some of the causes include:

  • Too Much Barking

Barking is the normal way for dogs to communicate, but too much of it can indicate a problem. Dogs can bark for more extended periods if they face threats, get stressed, or anxious. While barking continuously for a longer time, they end up stressing their vocal cords. It is the same in humans because if you spend a better part of the day screaming, there is a high chance that you will lose your voice and develop a headache.

  • Respiratory Infections

Dogs get exposed to bacteria and viruses that cause infections all the time. It is hard to prevent your dog from getting an infection, so once in a while, your dog may develop an infection that affects the upper respiratory area causing inflammation of the throat. These throat infections are treatable, but the vet has to run tests to make sure the treatment prescribed suits the disease diagnosed.

Observe your dog and see if any other symptoms pop up to narrow down the cause of the dog’s loss of voice, and inform your doctor.

  • Obstruction in the Throat

In some cases, your dog is not vocalizing because there is an obstruction in their throat. It could be a tumor, swollen tonsils, or a bone wedged in their larynx. Nevertheless, inspect the dog’s mouth to check if there are any visible obstructions. If you can pry out the obstruction without causing harm to the dog, then do it. However, we advise that you seek a doctor if the obstruction needs medical attention or surgery, like in the case of tumors. 

  • Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is an infectious variety of bronchitis in dogs. This disease gets characterized by prolonged coughs that seem to strain the dog’s lungs. While Kennel cough in itself does not cause the voice to disappear, the prolonged coughing can strain the vocal cords, which will affect your dog’s bark. Think about when you have a terrible cough. Does your voice sound the same after the strenuous cough? We think not, and this goes for dogs too.

  • Laryngeal Paralysis

An older dog will develop conditions due to old age, like laryngeal paralysis. This condition is noticeable by the dog’s weakened bark and raspy, labored breathing. This paralysis possibly causes the vocal cords to swell and stick together, which affects the dog’s bark. Ask your vet about this condition if you have an older dog to advise whether surgery will be suitable.

What to Do About It

Unless you are sure that it is over barking that is causing your dog’s loss of voice, you need to see the vet. Usually, when the voice disappears due to over-barking, it will return to normal after some days. However, if the issue persists or the dog is in pain, there are other causes in action. Your vet will run tests to establish any other causes and treat them accordingly.

Preventing Dogs from Losing Their Voice

Here are a few tips that can reduce the frequency of your dog losing its voice:

  • Address the Issue Behind Over Barking

Over barking is a major cause, but you can address this easily. Find out what is causing your dog to over bark, whether it is separation anxiety or boredom, and deal with it. Give your pooch a few days to recuperate, and its voice will come back gradually.

  • Get Medication for Infections

When the doctor confirms the loss of voice is due to illness, get medication and ask the doctor how to deal with the infection when it arises again. Some common infections are treatable at home, so there is no need to rush to the vet every time.

  • Keep The Dog Hydrated

Sometimes a dry throat can be behind the straining vocal cords together with over barking. A well-hydrated dog will not have a dry throat; therefore, give your dog enough water.

  • Avoid Overexposure to Allergens

Dogs are sensitive to allergens depending on the breed you have. Some dogs have an adverse reaction to allergens around them, causing their eyes to water and their throats to inflame. If your dog’s voice disappears every time they get exposed to what they are allergic to, that is the cause.

  • See The Vet

Surgery can be intense, but it is the only remedy for some conditions. If your dog is developing tumors or laryngeal paralysis, see the vet at once. Once the issue gets solved, your dog can relax and vocalize normally without any obstructions.


Dogs that cannot vocalize will eventually get stressed because they cannot pass any messages across. Save your pet the frustration and seek remedies for its lost voice as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to go to the vet at any given point because you never know if there is more to the condition than seen. When you hear your dog bark normally, you will appreciate all the efforts you made.


Leave a comment