Why does my dog cough after drinking water?

Whenever the dog drinks water does it end up coughing? Would this be normal? What are the probable causes for this coughing in dogs? This post will talk about the different types of cough in dogs and what can promote coughing when animals drink water.

Why does my dog cough after drinking water?

Dogs can present different types of coughs, which can be related to different pathologies. When a healthy dog drinks water and ends up coughing, it can be a sign that the water has not gone to the right place.

When the animal is drinking water and the water ends up in the airways, there may be a physiological cough reflex to prevent water from reaching the lungs. The same goes for other types of food. And so the animal ends up coughing until it normalizes

What is a cough?

Coughing can be a sign that something is wrong with the dog’s health. Coughing is the body’s defense mechanism to expel unnatural particles from the dog’s body.

Different types of cough in dogs:

  • Dry cough
  • Wet cough
  • Choking

Dry cough

Dry cough is a cough without secretions. This cough happens in winter and can be associated with an infectious disease when associated with other symptoms. In this case, only a veterinarian will know how to treat canine cough.

Wet cough

A wet cough is a type of productive cough that is accompanied by secretions. Wet coughs can indicate infectious diseases and even heart diseases. The other symptoms of the dog should be observed and taken to a veterinarian


Choking can even feel like a cough. It usually happens when food or water ends up entering the airways unintentionally. It is common to happen when dogs eat or drink water quickly.

Causes of coughing in dogs

In addition to choking, the coughing present when dogs drink water can indicate some pathologies such as:

  • Kennel cough;
  • Eat a lot and quickly;
  • Tracheal collapse;
  • Heart diseases;
  • Parasites;
  • Pneumonia;
  • Megaesophagus.

 Kennel cough

Kennel cough, also known as canine infectious tracheobronchitis, is an infectious disease that affects the respiratory tract of dogs. It is an opportunistic disease that affects dogs with low immunity. Kennel cough dissipates easily in clusters of dogs like in hotels, day care and pet stores.

The main symptoms are cough, presence of nasal secretion and dogs may also have vomiting and diarrhea.

Eat a lot and quickly

Dogs that feed in large quantities and at very fast speeds may be predisposed to gastric torsion, which can lead to coughing and vomiting in dogs. In addition, the speed of food and water ingestion can make them go to the wrong place and even choke the dog, resulting in coughing.

Tracheal collapse

The collapse of the trachea happens due to the lack of minerals in the tracheal cartilage, causing that when a dog goes to perform a physical activity, or is excited, or must breathe more heavily, there is a collapse of the trachea, leading to constant coughing and even vomiting.

Heart diseases

Some heart diseases can favor symptoms such as coughing, commonly nocturnal coughs, in dogs. In general, coughing occurs due to the increase in the size of the heart, or due to pulmonary edema that can stimulate the airways to the coughing mechanism. 


Parasitic diarrhea can occur mainly due to parasites such as Giardia, Ancylostoma caninum, Toxocara canis and Dipylidium sp. These parasites have different cycles. Many of these parasites migrate through different organs and can lead to respiratory changes that result in coughing.


Pneumonia are infectious diseases that affect the lungs of dogs. It can occur primarily but is usually secondary to lung lesions. Pneumonia can lead to wet coughing in dogs. Fever, apathy, and lack of appetite in dogs may also be observed.


Megaesophagus in dogs is an alteration that can be idiopathic, congenital, and acquired. Mega esophagus is the result of a neuromuscular alteration of the esophagus that results in esophageal dilation. Dogs with megaesophagus may present with regurgitation, difficulty in feeding, salivation, coughing and others. 

What to do when dogs are coughing?

When a dog is coughing, pay attention to the other symptoms presented by the dog. If coughing becomes frequent something is wrong and a veterinarian should be consulted.

Constant coughing associated with other symptoms such as diarrhea, inappetence and lack of appetite, fever, when not treated properly can lead to the dog’s death.

The veterinarian can do a series of tests to diagnose the main cause of coughing. Several diseases can lead to coughing in dogs, when treated the animal tends to be normal. 


Coughing in dogs is always a sign that something is wrong with the animal’s health. In healthy animals, coughing after drinking water can indicate choking and even rapid consumption of water. But the constant coughing presented by dogs can be an indication of diseases. Therefore, the dog must be taken to the veterinarian who, through clinical and laboratory tests, will diagnose and properly treat the dog.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): ​​Dog cough and vomit

What is good for a dog to stop coughing?

Coughing dogs should not be medicated without a veterinary prescription. In cases of constant coughing, the veterinarian should be consulted and only then can he diagnose and properly treat the dogs.

What are the main causes of coughing in dogs?

Coughing in dogs can happen for several reasons such as:

  • Kennel cough;
  • Eat a lot and quickly;
  • Tracheal collapse;
  • Heart diseases;
  • Parasites;
  • Pneumonia;
  • Megaesophagus.

What are the causes of dry cough?

The dog may have a dry cough when it has allergies, sinusitis, laryngitis, kennel cough, among other reasons. A veterinarian should be consulted for proper diagnosis and treatment.


Pavelski, M., Dornbusch, P. T., Ribas, C. R., Moraes, P. F., Capriglione, L. G., & Dornbusch, P. T. C. (2012). Avaliação do lavado broncoalveolar em cães de abrigo acometidos por pneumonia. Archives of Veterinary Science, 17(3).

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