Can I Give My Dog Cough Drops?

Can I Give My Dog Cough Drops?Cough drops come in handy, particularly for a sore throat. Giving a few to your dog may seem like a good idea to some folks but let’s look into it further.

Are cough drops even effective for dogs? Or worse, should they really be taking them at all since the ingredients and contraindications could be harmful?

One thing’s for sure: if your dog has a bad cough that won’t go away, don’t use cough drops as a solution. If possible, a vet should make a proper diagnosis as to why your dog is coughing. Save the cough drops for the humans in your family!

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

You shouldn’t give your dog any cough drops and there are many reasons for that.

Instead, consider an alternative such as Tossa-K which is a herbal remedy developed for specifically for pets.

Accidental Ingestion

Maybe you are here because your dog somehow consumed a bunch of cough drops. Depending on the ingredients and several other factors, the effects could vary. If they ate a bunch of them, maybe even the wrappers, it could possibly present a problem.

When unsure, be prudent and call a vet to let them assess the situation. In the meantime, monitor your dog’s behavior to see if they’re acting strange or showing any signs of poisoning. A breathing obstruction is also possible. Be very observant and take notes to document the different symptoms and the times that they occur.

Potential for Toxicity

Many of the ingredients in popular cough drop brands, including those at the local store, are potentially dangerous for dogs. It’s possible that letting Fido have some could lead to further complications. This is especially true if they are given continually.

Sometimes cough drops contain Xylitol which is certainly toxic to dogs. That’s why sugar-free could actually be worse! But most include a combination of artificial flavors, sugar, Benzocaine and menthol. There are all things you want to keep away from a well cared for dog. At the very least, they could cause an upset stomach or temporary gastrointestinal issues.

Even if they’re ultimately harmless, the whole concept is wrong. If you put it into proper perspective, giving your dog some cough drops amounts to providing candy to them. Surely you wouldn’t consider that a good idea.

Regarding the Practicality

Besides all these serious issues, another obvious problem with human cough drops is that they’re meant to be sucked on until they gradually dissolve. Dogs can’t do that. Instead, they’ll crunch them up quickly and swallow them. The soothing benefit of continually swallowing the juices won’t be achieved.

Instead of Cough Drops

If your dog has a bad cough it could be the sign of a more serious medical problem. Don’t try to mask over it and instead treat the condition as naturally as possible and also address its root cause. In most cases, human over-the-counter treatments aren’t a great option for a beloved pet dog. Some vets do, however, recommend the use of Mucinex or Pepcid for the short term.

But if the cough persists, maybe it’s a chronic condition, get them checked out. It could be kennel cough or who knows! Vets are well trained to put your dog on the right treatment path.

Quick Cough Tips

There are a few little things you can do to help your dog recover from a case of coughing without using cough drops. Make sure that you aren’t making it any harder for them to breath by putting them in smoke-filled places. You can also run a humidifier to help loosen up their airways if they’ve got congestion.

Conclusion on Cough Drops

Do not give your dog any cough drops because it’s just a bad idea for lots of reasons. If a bunch were eaten by accident, it’s best to give the vet a ring while you continually monitor them. Usually just a few will turn out to be a non event. If your dog has a persistent case of kennel cough or something similar, cough drops certainly won’t help. Have the situation assessed and get your dog the right treatment.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ellie H August, 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!


James August, 2013

Agreed 100%


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