How old is your dog?What breed?Is she otherwise fine?
There are a few things that can cause a dog to hack and cough like you have described.By far the most common cause is a respiratory virus such as kennel cough. These viruses are airborne and while they are more likely to be picked up in an environment such as a kennel they really can be picked up anywhere as the virus travels through the air. The good news is that most dogs get over this on their own, just like we would get over a cold. The fact that your girl is bright and alert is excellent. There really isn't an over the counter cough suppressant that is safe to give until we know what the cause is for sure however.So, as long as your girl is bright she should be ok. Kennel cough usually goes away in about 5-14 days. Now, if she is getting lethargic or if there is a nasal discharge that turns to green or yellow, or her appetite gets worse then she may have developed a bacterial infection. If this happens she will need to see the vet for some antibiotics. Also, if she is bright but you think she needs something to stop the coughing you can see your vet for some cough suppressant medication.There are other things that can make a dog have a hacking cough, such as a heart problem, a nasal or sinus infection, a fungal infection or a foreign object up her nose. If the problem is not getting better then you will need to see a vet to get a diagnosis and some treatment.Hope she does oK!