Dogs Coughing After Eating

Dogs coughing after eating can often indicate a more serious issue with your pet's health. Although it is common for dogs to cough if they eat or drink too fast, it can also be a sign of disease of the esophagus or larynx. When monitoring your pet's health, it is better to be safe than sorry. When your dog is coughing after eating, you should look for other signs and symptoms that may indicate something serious. 

Common Causes of Dogs Coughing after Eating

The following are the most common reasons dogs cough during or shortly after eating or drinking:

  • Eating or drinking too quickly
  • Not chewing food properly
  • Tracheal collapse
  • Heart conditions or diseases
  • Disease of the larynx or esophagus
  • Ingestion of materials such as grass, seeds, bones or other foreign objects
  • Bacterial infections or viruses
  • Food allergies

Some causes of coughing in dogs are more serious than others. It is important to be very aware of other symptoms in your pet that may indicate a potentially serious condition. While coughing that is due to eating too quickly is nothing to worry about, coughing caused by heart disease or tracheal collapse is very serious. If your pet is constantly coughing after eating, keep a close eye on other symptoms that could indicate a serious condition. 

Eating Too Quickly or Not Chewing Properly

Dogs usually don't chew their food as well as they should, or they eat too fast. This will commonly cause coughing during and after eating. If your pet is coughing due to this reason, it is not a serious condition. In fact, it is one of the most prevalent reasons dogs cough during meal time. This problem is also seen in puppies quite frequently, because they have not mastered the activity of eating correctly just yet. 

Tracheal Collapse

Tracheal collapse is a more serious condition in dogs, and is usually seen in canines that are mature or overweight smaller breeds. This type of cough often sounds like honking, and usually occurs after drinking water or eating. There are several treatment options available for tracheal collapse, which may include weight reduction, cough suppressants, or surgery. 

Heart Disease

Coughing due to heart conditions will often cause coughing after eating, but usually, it causes frequent coughing episodes all throughout the day. Heart disease in dogs will usually be accompanied by heart murmurs or an abnormal heart rate. Coughing is more severe at night than during the day. Heart disease is a serious condition in canines, and should be treated properly when diagnosed. 

Disease of the Larynx or Esophagus

Diseases affecting the larynx or esophagus are commonly accompanied by intense coughing during eating or drinking. In a healthy larynx, when food is swallowed, the larynx closes so that food does not enter into the tracheal region. If the larynx is not healthy, it can remain open during swallowing, causing food to enter. The esophagus may gather all this food and become dilated. This will usually result in cough and pneumonia. 

Ingestion of Foreign Materials

Dogs commonly swallow objects or materials not meant to be eaten, and this causes cough and irritation of the throat. Puppies are especially prone to swallowing foreign objects. 

Bacterial Infection

In rare cases, coughing after eating can be caused by an infection. This is much more common among younger dogs than older. 

Food Allergies

Dogs can develop allergies to certain ingredients or foods. If your pet is allergic to an ingredient in his food, coughing may occur. If this is the case, it is recommended that you switch to a dog food that does not contain the offending ingredient, for the sake of your pet's health.