Husky Coughs After Drinking Water: 5 Reasons & What To Do

If your husky coughs after drinking water, it can be very concerning.

In most cases, your husky will cough after drinking water because they have drank the water too quickly. This can cause water to go down the wrong hole and into the breathing tract, which causes a coughing reaction to expel the water and protect the lungs.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at why huskies are not as prone to coughing after drinking water as other popular breeds and when you should consider talking to a veterinarian.

Keep reading to learn more.

Are Huskies Prone To Coughing After Drinking Water?

Luckily, huskies are not prone to several conditions that can cause dogs to cough after drinking water.

These include hypoplastic trachea, tracheal collapse, and reverse sneezing:

  • Hypoplastic trachea is a condition where the trachea has not developed to the full size and is narrower in diameter. This is more common in brachycephalic breeds like the pug or bulldog, and huskies are very rarely, if ever, affected by this.
  • Tracheal Collapse makes it difficult for air to reach the lungs as the tracheal rings flatten during inhaling due to a loss of strength and rigidity of the cartilage rings or if the membrane becomes slack and sags. Tracheal collapse is more common in smaller dog breeds like Chihuahuas and Toy Poodles, but it can affect any dog.
  • Reverse Sneezing, also known as paroxysmal respiration, is a condition where a dog inhales rapidly when trying to sneeze. These episodes can last a few seconds to over a minute and are harmless to the dog but can be very unsettling. This can occur in any dog but is more commonly seen in brachycephalic breeds.

That doesn’t mean that huskies won’t ever cough after drinking water, but it’s important to know that most of the time, it will simply be due to your husky drinking too fast rather than a medical problem.

5 Reasons Why Your Husky Coughs After Drinking Water

Here are the five most common reasons why your husky coughs after drinking water, ordered in terms of how common they are.

1. They Are Drinking Too Fast

The most common reason why huskies cough after drinking water is because they are drinking it too fast.

Huskies don’t have a great concept of how fast they should be drinking water, especially if they need to cool down quickly in hot weather, which can lead to them drinking water rapidly.

When your husky drinks, a small flap known as the epiglottis opens to create a passage to the intestinal tract.

Sometimes, when your pup drinks water too quickly, it can go down the wrong way and into the breathing tract, causing a coughing reaction to protect the lungs.

2. Airway Is Blocked

If your husky’s food bowl is next to their water bowl, it’s quite common for dry kibble to end up in the water.

If your husky drinks the water and accidentally swallows some kibble – or any other solid object that might find its way into the water – it can block their trachea temporarily and cause them to cough to expel it.

You should always keep your husky’s water bowl clean to lower the risk of this happening and change their water frequently so it stays clean and free from any objects.

I also like to keep the water bowl away from the food bowl.

3. Illness

Several illnesses can cause your husky to cough, the most common of which is kennel cough.

Kennel cough usually affects dogs from a shelter, hence the name, but it can also be spread between dogs in other places like the local park or doggy daycare.

Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease that causes a strong cough, often with a ‘honking sound,’ and other symptoms like sneezing and lethargy. If your husky has kennel cough, it will be common for them to cough after drinking water.

4. Tracheal Collapse

Tracheal collapse doesn’t affect huskies commonly, but it can in rare cases, and it does lead to coughing after drinking water.

It occurs most commonly in middle-aged to senior dogs (4-14 years).

5. Reverse Sneezing

Just like tracheal collapse, huskies are not very prone to reverse sneezing either, but it can affect them in rare cases.

If your husky goes into an episode of breathing in air through their nose and snorting after they drink water or eat food that lasts for a few seconds to over a minute, then this is very likely reverse sneezing.

In most cases, reverse sneezing is harmless and requires no treatment.

What Should You Do If Your Husky Coughs After Drinking Water

If your husky coughs after drinking water, it’s important to figure out whether your husky is suffering from an underlying health condition or illness or if they are drinking too quickly.

Here are some easy steps you can follow to help you out with this process.

Check Their Bowl First

First, check their bowl for any signs of foreign objects like dry dog kibble that might have made their way into the water.

There’s a good chance that your husky might have got something stuck in their throat, causing them to cough after drinking water.

Does Training Help?

Lots of advice online advocates for training your husky to drink slowly, but this can be very difficult to do in practice.

Huskies are not only very hard to train and stubborn, but it’s also very hard to train them to drink water slowly specifically as well. It isn’t like teaching them to sit where the reward and goal is clear.

I would opt to use a slow drink bowl instead.

Use A Slow Drink Bowl

We all know how hard huskies can be to train, so there is no shame in using a slow water bowl to help them drink more slowly. In fact, I think this is a better way to get them to drink slowly because it’s 100% reliable as long as you choose a good bowl.

These typically work by having a floating disc mechanism that moves up and down as your husky drinks, and I’ve found that they are as effective as slow feeders in terms of slowing down how quickly your husky drinks.

Take Them To The Vets

If your husky is coughing every time they drink and aren’t drinking very quickly, or if you notice that they still cough even after implementing a slow drinking bowl, you should take them to the vet.

Huskies aren’t prone to many conditions that can cause dogs to cough after drinking, but they can still be affected in rare cases by things like tracheal collapse or reverse sneezing.

There’s also a good chance that your husky might just be suffering from an illness and need medication to treat it. Many conditions can cause huskies to cough, including distemper virus, canine influenza, and even heart disease.

So, if you are ever concerned, then speak to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

In Summary

It’s a lot more common than you would expect for your husky to cough after drinking water, and most of the time, it’s due to them drinking water too quickly.

Keep an eye on how quickly they drink, and look out for other symptoms that may indicate that they are suffering from an illness that is instead causing them to cough.

If you have any concerns about your husky coughing, always take them to the veterinarian, as it isn’t always due to them drinking quickly.

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About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

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