Why Does My Dog Cough After Drinking Water? 2023

Why Does My Dog Cough After Drinking Water

This Article Was Written By Israel Olaniran Reviewed By Dr Jenna Fred.

Last Updated on August 10, 2023 by israel olaniran

We all adore the sight of our furry companions happily lapping up water after playtime or a stroll. However, it can be concerning when your beloved dog starts to cough after drinking water. This seemingly perplexing behavior can actually have several underlying causes, each requiring a closer look. Understanding why your dog coughs after drinking water is crucial for their overall well-being and happiness.

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Table Of Contents show

Why Does My Dog Cough After Drinking Water?

1. Ingesting Water Too Quickly

Dogs, especially those with a ravenous appetite for life, might gulp down water rapidly. This can lead to what’s known as “water intoxication.” The sudden intake of a large amount of water can cause a spasm in the trachea or irritation of the throat, triggering a coughing fit.

Why Does My Dog Cough After Drinking Water
Image by Angel from Pixabay

2. Allergic Reactions to Water

Just like humans, dogs can develop allergies, and in some rare cases, they might exhibit an allergic reaction to certain minerals or contaminants in the water they drink. This can result in throat irritation, leading to a coughing response.

3. Underlying Respiratory Issues

Dogs can suffer from various respiratory problems, such as tracheal collapse or infections. Drinking water might exacerbate these conditions, causing coughing as a natural physiological response to clear the airways.

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Understanding the Role of Excitement

Physiological Response to Excitement

Excitement plays a significant role in a dog’s life, and it’s not uncommon for them to get overly thrilled during play, exercise, or even mealtime. This heightened excitement can lead to a temporary change in their respiratory pattern.

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Link between Excitement and Coughing

When a dog is excited, their breathing rate increases, and their airways might temporarily narrow. This narrowing can cause a coughing episode, especially if they’ve just had a drink of water. It’s their body’s way of readjusting to the excitement.

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How To Prevent dogs from coughing after drinking water

1. Use of Elevated Bowls

Elevated food and water bowls can help in reducing the speed at which your dog consumes water. Slower drinking reduces the risk of coughing due to water intoxication.

2. Training Techniques to Slow Down Drinking

Teaching your dog to drink water at a moderate pace can be achieved through training. Encourage them to take breaks while drinking, ensuring a more controlled ingestion.

3. Filtered Water and Water Additives

Using a water filter can eliminate potential allergens or irritants from your dog’s drinking water. Additionally, water additives designed to soothe the throat and prevent irritation can be beneficial.

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When to Consult a Veterinarian

1. Persistent or Worsening Cough

If your dog’s coughing episodes persist or worsen over time, it’s essential to seek professional veterinary advice. This could indicate an underlying health issue that requires attention.

2. Accompanying Symptoms

Pay attention to any other symptoms that might accompany the cough, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, or difficulty breathing. These could provide vital clues to the underlying cause.

Diagnostic Procedures

Your veterinarian might recommend various diagnostic tests, including X-rays, blood work, or even endoscopy, to accurately identify the root cause of your dog’s coughing after drinking water.

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How To Care for a Coughing Dog

Humidifying the Environment

Maintaining a humid environment can help soothe your dog’s throat and reduce irritation. A humidifier in their living space can work wonders.

Proper Nutrition and Hydration

Ensure your dog’s diet is rich in nutrients that support their immune system and respiratory health. Proper hydration, with a controlled drinking pace, is equally crucial.

Following Veterinarian Recommendations

If your dog receives a diagnosis, make sure to follow your veterinarian’s recommendations diligently. Administer prescribed medications, make necessary lifestyle adjustments, and provide the care and attention your furry friend deserves.

Can excitement really cause my dog to cough after drinking water?

Yes, excitement can temporarily affect your dog’s respiratory pattern, leading to coughing after drinking water.

Is water intoxication a serious concern for dogs?

Yes, water intoxication can lead to severe health issues, so it’s important to monitor your dog’s drinking behavior.

How can I train my dog to drink water more slowly?

Training techniques, such as encouraging breaks during drinking, can help slow down your dog’s water consumption.

When should I be worried about my dog’s coughing?

If the coughing persists, worsens, or is accompanied by other symptoms, consult a veterinarian.

What does it mean when a dog coughs after drinking water?

Coughing after drinking water can have various causes, including excitement, rapid ingestion, allergies, or underlying health issues. It’s essential to observe your dog’s behavior and consult a veterinarian if the coughing persists.

Why does my dog cough after eating or drinking?

Coughing after eating or drinking could be due to the rapid intake of food or water, excitement, or underlying respiratory concerns. Monitoring your dog’s habits and seeking professional advice if needed is important.

What happens when you cough after drinking water?

Coughing after drinking water is a reflexive response. It can be triggered by various factors, including irritation of the throat, excitement, or underlying health conditions.

How do I know if my dog’s cough is serious?

If your dog’s cough is persistent, worsening, or accompanied by other symptoms like lethargy, loss of appetite, or difficulty breathing, it could indicate a serious issue. Consulting a veterinarian is advisable in such cases.

Why does my dog cough after drinking water but not eating?

Coughing after drinking water but not eating could be due to different swallowing patterns. It might also relate to specific sensitivities or irritations triggered by the act of drinking.

How to stop coughing after drinking water?

To alleviate coughing after drinking water, focus on preventing rapid water intake, using techniques like elevated bowls and training. If the issue persists, consult a veterinarian.

My dog gags after drinking water. What should I do?

Gagging after drinking water could result from various causes, including excitement, swallowing air, or underlying issues. If it’s a frequent occurrence, consider consulting a veterinarian for guidance.

Could my dog have kennel cough if it’s coughing after drinking water?

Kennel cough is a contagious respiratory infection that can lead to coughing. If your dog has been in contact with other dogs or is showing other symptoms, such as nasal discharge or lethargy, consult a vet.

Why does my dog sneeze after drinking water?

Sneezing after drinking water might be a reflexive response to water entering the nasal passages. It’s usually not a cause for concern unless it becomes frequent or is accompanied by other symptoms.

My dog starts coughing after playing in water. Is this normal?

Coughing after playing in water could be due to water entering the airways or excitement-induced changes in breathing. If the coughing persists or worsens, consider seeking veterinary advice for a thorough evaluation.

Why Does My Dog Cough After Drinking Water? (video)

Final Thoughts On Why Does My Dog Cough After Drinking Water?

Understanding why your dog coughs after drinking water can bring you closer to ensuring their comfort and happiness. Whether it’s a matter of drinking speed, excitement, or an underlying health issue, your attentive care and prompt veterinary attention can make all the difference.


  • israel olaniran

    Israel Olaniran is an accomplished animal content writer with five years of expertise in creating engaging and educational material about cats, dogs, and other animals. When he's not writing, he dedicates his time to caring for his beloved four-year-old rescue puppy. Israel's work has been featured in renowned publications like "Pethouse," and he actively collaborates with local animal shelters and rescue organizations to raise awareness about their important work. His vast knowledge in animal care and ownership, as well as his up-to-date understanding of various breeds, making him a trusted source for global readers seeking reliable pet content.

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