Dog dry cough after swimming

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It is always a nice experience when you take your dog to the pool or the beach. However, it is important to know that they are some risks involved especially if you leave your dog unattended to during this session of fun.

The risks posed by your dog swimming could even go as far as death if your dog drowns or inhales too much water.

Wearing a live vest on your dog is not enough. While this may prevent drowning, it cannot prevent water from forcefully entering their lungs.

Dogs are prone to have a dry cough after swimming, and this usually comes up if they inhale water while swimming.

Simply put, dry coughing is your dog chocking from water in their lungs.

What causes pet or drowning in dogs?

A lot of pet owners believe that dogs and other pets who have doggie paddle, which they use to move around water can be allowed to swim unattended to and without the need to be trained.

However, they are all wrong because there is every need to train your dog before they hit the water.

Training your dog to be able to swim is an important and crucial precaution to take so that your dog swim safely without accidents.

The swimming training is also crucial for your dog so that they develop the skills needed to have longer sessions in water without becoming tired.

Fatigue and tiredness is the major cause of drowning in dogs. It is advised that when your dog has been in the water for some time, perhaps 1 hour, you should take them out to avoid any unforeseen circumstance.

If your dog stays in the pool for more than 60 minutes, the chances of inhaling water are increased, and this will definitely lead to their dry cough once they are out.

What to do if dog drowns by mistake

Front view of a cavalier spaniel swimming in the pool

Even if your dog is well trained to swim, accidents are unplanned for and even the best precautions still get breach.

If your dog gets drown by mistake, do not panic because there are some necessary steps you can take to revive your dog.

Also, dogs that have short muzzles are a few of the dogs that are most likely to get drowned.

Here are the steps to take if you found your dog drowned in water:

  1. Clear your dog’s airway of the inhaled water

This is the first and most advised method to take if your dog inhales water and becomes unconscious. If your dog does not have too much weight, you can easily take and hold them upside down so that the water can come out from their lungs.

If your dog is large, the best thing to do is to place them on their side and lift their upper body. This method will allow the water to come out of their mouth and nose, respectively.

Once the inhaled water is out of their body, they should be revived. Also, once you have completed this process and your dog has been resuscitated, you should take him to the vet immediately to have him examined.

  1. Check your dog’s pulse

The next thing to do to revive your dog if he drowns is to check his pulse. If you find out that your dog is no longer breathing, you are advised to begin artificial respiration as soon as possible.

To commence artificial respiration, gradually cover your dog’s mouth and spread your dog’s neck to open the airway.

Proceed to close your dog’s nose, and with your mouth and put air into his lungs until you see that your dog’s chest is moving.

Repeat the above process until you are convinced that your dog is breathing. When your dog has been revived, you should then take him to the vet for additional checks.

Lastly, note that if your dog does not have a pulse, you will need a pet CPR to check for his pulse.

What to do when my dog begins to have a dry cough after swimming?

Do not panic whenever your dog begins to have a dry cough after swimming. Instead, you should check his respiratory rate and gum color before any other thing.

In a case whereby your dog’s gum is pink, and the respiratory rate is usual, you should give your dog enough time to get back to normal. According to a study, you should give your dog about 3 days to get back to normal.

On the other hand, if your dog’s respiratory rate is high and his gums turn blue, then you should take him to the vet to have an x-ray and possible treatment.

Furthermore, some vets will also recommend some drugs and antibiotics for your dog to take at intervals.

After some days of treatment, your dog should cough out his last mucus and should be perfectly normal.


Dry cough in dogs is not something that you should panic about. If it happens after swimming, you should observe him for about 3 days and if the symptom persists, you can call for the attention of a vet.

Preventing or allowing your dog to take all necessary precautions while swimming is essential for a safe and healthy state.

Typically, you can apply the procedures highlighted above to clear the water off the lungs and if you are successful with this, the dry cough will certainly subside.

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