There will be times, like humans, where your dog will need decongestants. It may be due to a respiratory infection or other infections. There are some over the counter decongestants you can give your dog, with the approval of your vet and others will need a vet’s prescription in order to obtain them.
No one enjoys their beloved pet suffering and if you have a sick dog you are probably wanting to run to the pharmacy to help him feel better, this is sometimes more detrimental than good. Dog’s systems work differently from ours and some dogs can take human medication without side effects, while others will suffer even more.
If you are thinking of giving your dog a decongestant for whatever reason, give your vet a call. Your vet will know your dog’s medical history and will be able to advise which decongestant to buy that they feel will be safe, your vet will also be able to advise on the best dosage for your dog.
Can I Give My Dog Decongestants? Answer: Dextromethorphan
Remember to confirm with your vet before administering any human over the counter medication to your pet. Dextromethorphan is often used for dogs and one teaspoon per twenty pounds of dog every six hours should give the desired effect.
Of course the difficult part is working out exactly how much to give your pet, especially if you have a miniature dog. Too much can be lethal and too little may not help at all.
Your vet will be able to advise on the weight of your dog and how much to give. In larger breeds your dog will need two teaspoons, where miniature versions may only require three quarters of a teaspoon.
Determining Dogs Weight
There are a couple of decongestants you can buy over the counter which are considered safe for dogs. Each of these have a dosage limit and you need to know the weight of your dog before considering giving your dog any medication.
You can stand on a scale and weigh yourself and then stand on the scale holding your dog, the difference between the weights is the weight of your dog. This isn’t 100% accurate, but is one way to try and weigh your pet. Your vet should also have an indication of your pet’s weight and remember to always confirm with your vet before giving your dog any human medication.
Decongestants That Are Considered Safe
The first decongestant which is considered safe for dogs, with the approval of your vet is Dextromethorphan. You can give this to your dog every six hours, but only one teaspoon per twenty pounds of dog. So you need to confirm your dog’s weight in order to ensure you are administering the right dose.
You can also give your dog Guaitenesin, this often includes Dextromethorphan and you can also give this to them every six hours. It comes in liquid form so one teaspoon per twenty pounds of dog.
Diphenhydramamine is another safe decongestant to give your dog with the vet’s approval. This comes in tablet form. The lower the tablet dose you can find the better. Give 2mg per pound of dog. If need be you can break a tablet to ensure the right dose is being given. The advantage of this is you can crush the tablet and mix in with their food.
Hycodan is a decongestant that can only be prescribed by the vet. This will be given in extreme cases.
Remember to not give your dog any over the counter medication without first clearing it with the vet, your vet is only a phone call away.
Side Effects of Decongestants in Dogs
Some dogs are more sensitive to human medications or you may have got the dosage wrong, this can cause some severe side effects.
If your dog starts vomiting, trembling, becomes hyperactive, or appears to have an elevated heart rate, stop giving the medication immediately and contact your vet. An overdose of decongestants can kill a dog, so if you notice any of these symptoms phone your vet immediately. Your vet may suggest you keep the dog quiet, stop the medication and monitor them, while others may suggest you bring the dog in immediately.
What to Do
Deciding whether to give your dog over the counter decongestants or not is completely up to you. It is suggested that you only do so with the vets approval, you vet knows your dog’s medical history, their weight and what they can or can’t handle. If the vet has given the go ahead and you notice any side effects, stop the medication immediately.