Can I Give My Dog Cough Drops?

Can Dogs Take Cough Drops?If your dog has a cough and you’ve got some cough drops handy, they may seem like a good idea at the time. But is it something that dogs can have, or are there contraindications that make this a bad idea for a dog.

If your dog has been coughing it might not seem like a serious condition, and you might be thinking that it will blow over. Many cases of kennel cough will pass on their own if left untreated, but only a vet can make a proper diagnosis as to why your dog is coughing, and can rule out any larger problems that might be looming.

Taking them to the vet for a cough that’s bad enough to want to give them cough drops is a good idea, because whatever is wrong with your dog the vet can put them on the right treatment for their condition.

Can I Give My Dog Cough Drops? Answer: Not Recommended

It’s generally not a good idea to give your dog medications that are made for humans, and cough drops do fall into the category of medicine even though we sometimes don’t consider them as such. One problem with cough drops is that they’re meant to be sucked on until they gradually dissolve.

Dogs won’t be able to do that and will crunch them up quickly and swallow them. They will not get the soothing benefit of continually swallowing the juices that come off of a cough drop, and instead will eat the cough drop as if it were a nut or a crunchy treat.

Aside from this, many of the ingredients in most of the cough drops you’ll find at the store are not good for dogs, and can lead to further complications if they are continually given to them. If your dog has a cough it could be the sign of a bigger problem, so you don’t want to mask over it with over the counter treatments. If the cough has persisted to the point of being a chronic condition it’s time to get them checked out.

Accidental Ingestion

If your dog accidentally ate some of your cough drops, you’ll have to check out the label to see what ingredients there are to determine how serious of a problem this is. If the cough drops have an artificial sweetener to them, and most commercial brands do, it will be more toxic to your dog than if you have all-natural drops sweetened with honey and lemon, for example.

The next thing you’ll want to look for is whether or not the cough drops contain menthol, which many brands do. This is what they add to the drops to give them the ability to clear the sinuses, but if your dog ate many of them it could cause a problem.

If you’re unsure how many they ate, you should call the vet and let them know the situation. You should also monitor your dog’s behavior to see if they are acting strange or there are any symptoms that lead you to believe they’re having a problem. You don’t want to panic of course, but you also don’t want to take it too lightly. Be observant and take notes if you feel it will help you remember their different symptoms and the time that they happen.

Natural Treatments for Coughs in Dogs

Dogs are very natural creatures, so it’s always best to treat them without drugs whenever possible, especially for something has minor as a cough. There are a few things you can do to help your dog recover from a case of coughing without using cough drops.

The first is to make sure that you aren’t making any harder to breath for them by putting them in smoke-filled places. You can also run a humidifier to help loosen up their airways if they’ve got congestion.

When to See a Vet

If your dog got into your cough drops and ate a bunch of them, it’s best to give the vet a ring and see what your next step should be. If they just ate one or two they should be fine. If your dog has a persistent case of kennel cough you should also take them into the vet’s office so they can assess the situation and give them the right treatment.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ellie H August 4, 2013

Aspertame in cough drops (and candy, chewing gum and many “sugar free” foods as well) can make your dog very ill and even cause death. Bad idea!

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James August 4, 2013

Agreed 100%

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