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Why Does My Dog Cough After Drinking Water?

Puppy with a bowl of water in the background.

It is not new that dogs cough after drinking water. The reason for that may be as harmless as liquid going down the dog's wrong pipe. Sometimes, when a dog tries to swallow water fast, it gets into the pet's trachea that is mainly responsible for guiding air in and out of the lungs. The trachea AKA windpipe is right in front of the esophagus, the tube that carries food to your dog's stomach.

When your dog gulps down food and water speedily, the substance may miss the esophagus and enter its windpipe. That means the cough reflex is expected since your pet's breathing is being interfered with just as it happens in humans. Such coughs are expected to stop within 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

However, if the cough persists for more than 2 minutes or becomes frequent, you should take your dog to see the vet. That is because the reason for the cough may be one of the reasons highlighted in this article. Read on to find out!

What Makes a Dog Cough After Drinking Water? — 3 Reasons Why Your Dog Coughs After Drinking Water

French- bulldog drinking water.

  • Kennel cough: Canine tracheobronchitis or kennel cough in dogs is like the common cold in humans. It may be caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica (bacterium) or parainfluenza virus. A dog with a kennel cough has its trachea inflamed and irritated. And the more such a dog coughs, the worse the trachea inflammation becomes. Signs that your dog may have canine tracheobronchitis include; Low fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, honking cough sound, sneezing, and runny nose. Note that kennel cough is contagious to other dogs around the infected one. As soon as you notice any of the above signs listed above, take your dog to see a vet.
  • Gagging: When your dog chokes on food or water, there is a possibility that its cough reflex gets triggered. Gagging is common among dogs that rush their food or water. When that happens, the muscles in the canine's lungs suddenly contract to result in frequent coughs. Your dog may also end up throwing up such ingested substances affecting it at that time. If careless, the effect may affect the trachea and result in inflammation of the trachea. To prevent your dog's condition from getting worse, you should watch it if the cough escalates. And when that happens, it is best to visit the pet doctor with such a dog.
  • Hypoplastic trachea: The symptom of hypoplastic trachea usually becomes evident when your puppy turns 5 to 6 months. Since the condition entails abnormality in the growth of your dog's trachea cartilage rings, one of the symptoms is frequent coughing. A dog with a hypoplastic trachea has the cartilage rings of its trachea growing narrowly Leading to breathing difficulties. Other signs of hypoplastic trachea include; Aspiration pneumonia, trachea collapse, noisy beating, breathing difficulties, and bronchopneumonia. If you notice any of the above-mentioned signs plus coughing in your dog, especially puppy, visit the vet.

Is It Normal for A Dog to Cough After Drinking Water?

In any case, if your dog coughs after drinking water, it is not normal. Something must have caused your dog to cough after downing the liquid. If you ever notice that your dog coughs after drinking or eating, do not assume it is harmless gagging.

Watch such a dog closely to check if the cough persists and comes with other symptoms like running nose, breathing difficulty, and illness.

Sheepdog drinking water.

If there are other symptoms, separate such a dog from other pets you have as it may be infected with something as contagious as the kennel cough. The next thing you should do is invite your pet doctor or visit one. Even if the cough is not a complex condition, it will pay you to be assured of that by a professional vet. And in the case of a complex ailment, visiting the vet on time will curb such conditions at their early stage.


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