Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Correction: It is possible illness or injury is causing the symptoms you are seeing, such as a problem with the lungs, throat, or heart and not eating much in a senior dog can become a big problem very quickly. It is best to schedule a health check with your local vet to check for any illness or injury causing her symptoms. In the meantime, enticing her to eat with warmed up wet food, adding in a canine gravy supplement or by adding a little boiled chicken and rice to her meals may help perk her up a little and get enough food in until she can be seen.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

If your dog gags after eating or drinking, there`s a good chance the cough reflex was triggered. This happens automatically anytime something gets passed the epiglottis. It`s the body`s way of protecting the lungs. Those muscles will contract, causing your dog to cough the offending substance out.
As dogs age, the cartilage rings that make up the trachea become flattened. This narrows the space inside of the trachea and makes it more difficult for air to pass through. As a result, collapsed trachea in dogs may cause a goose honking cough, gagging, and sometimes even respiratory distress.
If your dog is hacking or constantly making noises that make it sound like they are choking on something, they may have a case of canine infectious respiratory disease complex (CIRDC), or kennel cough, or sometimes called canine infectious tracheobronchitis.
Due to a weakness in the muscles that fail to contract properly, water (and food) can build up in the throat, and as your dog drinks more, it causes a reflex action which ejects anything sitting in the esophagus.
VOMITING WITH NO DIARRHEA

We as humans, go through the same thing, but if your dog is continually vomiting without any evidence of diarrhea, dehydration is a concern. The dog may gag without any vomit coming up as well, so watch for this possible sign of dehydration in your dog.

Dogs also throw up after drinking water because they are dehydrated. If they drink too much water in a short period of time, the excess fluids in their body will be redistributed, which will cause them to feel nauseous and want to vomit.
Your dog may have eaten something disagreeable, swallowed the food too quickly, or may have eaten too much grass that triggered vomiting. This type of vomiting is okay and shouldn`t cause any alarm. Older dogs who also vomit once without any additional signs are most likely fine.
If your dog is gagging more and more often or the gagging is accompanied by a cough, nasal discharge, difficulty breathing, lethargy, clawing at the mouth, fever or excessive panting/drooling, you need to see your veterinarian immediately as your dog could be in extreme distress.
Causes of Dry Heaving In Dogs

Dogs can start dry heaving or retching for many reasons including: Upper respiratory infection. A foreign object caught in your dog`s throat. Kennel cough.

The most common sign of tracheal collapse is a persistent, harsh and dry cough, sometimes described as a “goose-honking” cough. The signs may progress to a wheezing noise when breathing in, or in severe cases, difficulty breathing, gums or tongue turning blue, or fainting.
Dry heaving can sound like retching, gagging, or coughing. While occasional vomiting in dogs is usually nothing to worry about, especially if they don`t have any other symptoms, dry heaving in a dog can be a sign of a serious underlying condition.
Dry heaving can be caused by a variety of factors in dogs, including gastrointestinal problems, respiratory issues, heartworms, or even stress and anxiety. In some cases, dry heaving can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as gastric torsion or bloat, which can be life-threatening for dogs.
What are the typical signs of pain in dogs? General behaviour: Shaking, flattened ears, low posture, aggression, grumpy temperament, panting or crying, excessive licking or scratching a specific area, reluctant to play, interact or exercise, lameness (limping), stiffness after rest, loss of appetite.
Use a syringe if necessary.

If your sick dog completely refuses to drink, fill a plastic, needleless syringe with water and squirt it into your dog`s mouth. Squirt in the dog`s cheek, not directly down the throat, to prevent choking.

You should hold back giving water to a sick dog for two hours and food until 6-8 hours after their last episode of vomiting. Once this period is over reintroduce small, bland meals such as white chicken or rice gradually. If everything is ok the next day your dog can gradually return to their normal diet.
Adult dogs can contract the disease, too, if they are unvaccinated. A dog whose immune system is compromised (due to another medical condition) is also at risk for parvo. For more information on canine parvovirus, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association.
In addition to being less active, many dogs at this age begin to develop digestive issues, kidney problems and other conditions that can benefit from diet modification. Only your veterinarian can accurately assess your dog`s needs.
Less interest in food is a normal sign of aging for dogs, but not eating for more than a day or avoiding drinking their water are both good reasons to call the vet. Whether your senior dog is slowing down or still a puppy at heart, they need the right nutrition.
Signs of pain in dogs tend to be very subtle. It usually starts as reluctance to do what they have done easily in the past, like jumping up on furniture or in the car, that then progresses to inability to do these things at all. Walks become shorter, or their gait changes during the walks.
Vaccinated and unvaccinated dogs of any age can be susceptible to infection if they come into contact with canine parvovirus particles. There isn`t a vaccine that produces 100% protection 100% of the time.
Go to the Vet if Your Dog`s Coughing Up Blood

Most of the time, coughing up blood is an indication that your dog is suffering a serious health problem and needs to see the emergency vet quickly. However, in some instances, coughing up blood signifies nothing worse than a cut on the gums.

The most common natural remedy for dogs with a kennel cough, or canine tracheobronchitis, is honey. Manuka honey, which is usually imported from New Zealand, is the most preferred type of honey.
Kennel cough is rarely severe, and uncomplicated kennel cough will usually go away on its own. However, medications are commonly given to help your dog recover quicker and prevent the condition from worsening. If you suspect your dog has kennel cough, take them to the vet for an examination.
Honey can be a great home remedy for kennel cough as it can help soothe your dog`s throat and minimize coughing. You can give your dog 1/2 tablespoon to 1 tablespoon of honey mixed with a little warm water in a bowl. This can be offered up to three times a day depending on how often your dog is coughing.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My dog drinks a lot of water, should I worry?
ANSWER : A. Firstly, you should quantify if your dog is actually drinking an excessive amount of water. In a 24 hour period, a dog should drink about 1 fluid ounce (or 30mL) per pound of body weight. Therefore, the recommended amount of water intake (in fluid ounces) equals your dog’s weight (in pounds). For example, if your dog weighs 8 pounds, he/she should drink about a cup of water in a 1 hour period. This will be slightly increased if your dog gets a lot of physical activity or lives outdoors.

You can measure your dog’s water intake the following way: in the morning, measure a specific amount, a little bit more than you think he/she will drink. 24 hours later, measure the remaining amount. If the amount of water your dog drank is significantly greater than it should be, then you should take your dog to a veterinarian.

Causes for mildly increased water consumption include: food changes, increased ambient and body temperature, increased activity, urinary tract infection, and general illness.

Common causes for greatly increased water consumption include: diabetes, urinary tract infection, kidney disease, steroid use, and other systemic diseases. With large increases in water consumption, you will also usually see increased urination. Please take note of urinary patterns to discuss with your vet. Greatly increased drinking and urination is ALWAYS a reason to see a vet.

Q. Molly is 14+ she will gag like something is in her throat, she has ate very little in the last 4 days, she will drink water.
ANSWER : A. Correction: It is possible illness or injury is causing the symptoms you are seeing, such as a problem with the lungs, throat, or heart and not eating much in a senior dog can become a big problem very quickly. It is best to schedule a health check with your local vet to check for any illness or injury causing her symptoms. In the meantime, enticing her to eat with warmed up wet food, adding in a canine gravy supplement or by adding a little boiled chicken and rice to her meals may help perk her up a little and get enough food in until she can be seen.

Read Full Q/A … : Canine Coughing

Q. My 3 month puppy eats his own poop and is also biting what can I do to prevent this
ANSWER : A. When it comes to poop eating, you want to consider a few things. First off, what is his diet like? Maybe something is lacking in his diet that is causing him to want to eat his own poop. This is the most common reason why dogs eat THEIR OWN poop. Try a higher quality kibble like Taste of the Wild, Ziwipeak, Orijen.. and try feeding three meals per day, instead of the more common two meals per day. Remember to gradually switch his kibble. Add a little bit of the new kibble and reduce the old kibble very slowly.. little by little every couple of days until the bowl is mostly new kibble! You should also be cleaning up his poops IMMEDIATELY after he does them.. I mean like, you have a bag in your hand, and you are low enough to scoop it up RIGHT when he finished so he doesn’t have a chance to eat his poop.

When it comes to nipping there are a few things you can do. First, you should yelp as soon as the teeth touch your skin, stand up, cross your arms, and ignore the puppy until he is ignoring you. Once he is off doing his own thing, swoop down and calmly reward him by playing with him WITH A TOY so he doesn’t nip your hands. Whenever you pet him, or interact with him, you should always have a toy on-hand so you can give it to him. This toy should be a soft braided rope toy that YOU own. This means, your puppy is never allowed to have this toy on the floor, and your pup can never “win” tug games with this toy. This is YOUR toy that disappears when you’re finished playing, and reappears when you want to play. If you keep this up, in a weeks time, your puppy will be so excited to see that toy, that as soon as you bring it out, he stops nipping you because he wants to play with the toy. Another thing you can do is have two bags of toys. Bag#1 is full of chew toys/soft toys/squeaky toys/etc. After one week, Bag#1 disappears and out comes Bag#2. Bag#2 has the same types of toys as Bag#1, and it only stays out for one week. This keeps the toys feeling like new to your pup!

Q. My cat has eaten a dry Purina Cat Chow diet since 7 weeks old she is 14 yrs. She drinks cold water dripping from the bathtub faucet. Is this normal?
ANSWER : A. Dry cat food is fine for cats and can actually have a benefit of helping to keep their teeth clean. If she is 14 now, it may be a good idea to switch her to a senior diet in your brand if you have not already. Senior diets are usually tailored to address aging pet needs such as joint problems and weight gain from lessened activity.

Cats tend to enjoy running water sources to drink from rather than a bowl. If your cat enjoys this and you want to save money on your water bill, a cat fountain that recirculates the bowl water and keeps it dripping/streaming may interest her. If not, drinking from the tub is just fine if she enjoys it and it keeps her hydrated!

Read Full Q/A … : Veterinarians

Q. My dog just puked on the tile and layer around. He then proceeded to get up and drink 4 bowls of water. Why did he drink so much water?
ANSWER : A. He was feeling thirsty because he has lost lots of fluids with the vomit and his body was telling him to increase the water intake. It’s normally a good idea to start offering small amounts of water little and often, otherways if the stomach is still upset, too much water can cause the vomiting to occurr again.

Read Full Q/A … : Vetinfo

Q. My Bulldog puppy growls, barks and even tries to bite me when I say “no” to him. What can I do?
ANSWER : A. First, avoid scolding him and acting aggressively towards him if you don’t want him to be acting aggressively towards you. There are other methods you can use to communicate to your dog that you don’t want him to continue doing what he is doing. I recommend you stop telling him “no”, scolding him, or raising your voice at him. Everything coming from you should be 100% positive and 100% calm.

Try to figure out ways to clearly communicate what you want to your dog. If you want your dog to leave something or someone alone, I strongly suggest teaching your dog commands like “leave it”. Here is a link to a video in which I explain how to do it:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1TS5nA7z5Q

Another thing I suggest you use is a no-reward marker. This clearly communicates when your dog has done something wrong. No-reward markers have to be introduced during your training sessions. You should be doing at least three training sessions per day, that are something like 3-10 minutes long (working on different things each training session). If you are teaching your dog something BRAND NEW, do not use the no-reward marker, as you do not want to discourage your dog from performing behaviors for you. Use the no-reward marker for known behaviors only. Here is another helpful video about this:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdU5a6fXKlg

Lure each new behavior (as shown in the video) using high value treats. Let’s say you’re working on “down” which is a behavior your dog knows fairly well. Present the treat to your dog. Ask your dog to “down” (only ask once). If he does not go “down” immediately, say, “uh-oh” or “eh-eh” in a gentle tone, and then place the treat behind your back. This communicates to your dog that they did something to make the treat go away.

After you place the treat behind your back to show your pup “that was wrong” you need to communicate to your pup “let’s try again” by getting your pup to walk around for a second, and then start the behavior all over again. If your puppy is very young, chances are you haven’t taught him a solid “down” behavior yet. So, as I said, do not use this method until you have lured each new behavior as shown in the video.

This is the order in which you should teach behaviors: Lure using a high value treat as shown in the video. After a few successful food lures, lure with an empty hand. If the pup is successful with the empty hand lure, reward with lots of treats. If the pup is unsuccessful, then go back to food-luring a couple more times. After a few successful empty-hand lures, you can begin to add the cue. Say “sit”, then lure with an empty hand, and then reward. Once your pup understands the cue, begin to work on the no-reward marker.

Q. Rescued a dog almost two weeks ago, and now that her kennel cough is gone her personality shines!! No previous training, how should I start?
ANSWER : A. POST FOUR:

After your dog is familiar with the behavior you lured from scratch, and taught to your dog, you can start to use the “no-reward marker” I talked about. What you do is ask the dog to perform the behavior, and if the dog does not perform the behavior, you simply say your no-reward marker (choose one: eh-eh, hey, uh-oh, oops) show them the treat, put it behind your back, and BRIEFLY ignore your dog. Just turn your back for a second or two, before turning back to your dog and saying, “let’s try that again.” When you’re ready to start over with your dog, make sure you move around. If you are repeating the same cue while in the same position, while your dog is in the same position, you are likely to receive the same results. The more you move around, and start fresh, the better your chances are of having your dog listen to your cue the second time around. BIG rewards when they dog it successfully! Lots of praise and treats.

My no-reward marker is “hey.” When my dog does something wrong I say, “hey” and she immediately understands that she needs to offer a different behavior. This is clear to her. I don’t have to say it in a mean way, I simply say, “hey” in a normal tone of voice and she understands what the word means.

Once you’ve built up that connection and communication with your new dog, you can work on all kinds of fun behaviors! I personally enjoy the more zen-like behaviors: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruy9UMcuGh8

I like to teach my dog fun tricks that offer her a “job” to do of sorts like object retrieval: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4iertZSva8

(object retrieval training completed; what it looks like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jx0Dml28FGY)

Scent-games are fun too! Very confidence building. Hide a REALLY smelly treat in a box, and place that box in a line of boxes. Let your dog go in the room while saying something like “search!” or “find it!” and watch them hunt for that smelly treat! Lots of rewards when they find it!

Q. My 2 dogs ate 4 different kinds of aquarium fish food. Will it make them sick? What should I do?
ANSWER : A. Fish food is unlikely to be toxic, however it may cause them some major digestive upset if they ate enough. If the ate the plastic container with the food, then watching for foreign body signs may be good as well. You will likely see vomiting and diarrhea for a day or so, and feeding a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice may be best for the next day or so to help soothe and settle their stomachs.

If you suspect a foreign body from eating a container itself, or if the symptoms of digestive upset do not improve in a day or two, contain blood, or worsen, then it is best to contact your local veterinarian.