Can you give a dog human cough medicine?

It’s best to avoid all human cough medicine because some products include xylitol, the artificial sweetener that can threaten your dog’s life. “Any medication that’s got xylitol in it—it’s very dangerous to dogs, and that’s commonly in cough drops,” Stone says.

We treat our dogs as members of the family, so it’s instinctive to reach for your medicine cabinet to treat your dog’s minor illnesses. Many human medications, but not all, are safe for dogs. Make sure you adhere to these recommendations for over-the-counter (OTC) medication for dogs before giving your dog any pills.

Always consult your veterinarian before giving your pup any medicine. Even over-the-counter medications that are typically regarded as safe for dogs can pose a risk to certain breeds or dogs with underlying medical conditions. Table Of Contents.

Dogs should not take any over-the-counter painkillers containing acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen can result in serious gastrointestinal issues in dogs, including bloody feces and other symptoms like stomach pain. These medicines can even be fatal in dogs.

Although buffered aspirin isn’t quite as dangerous, the majority of veterinarians advise against giving aspirin to dogs as an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Read our recommendations for the best pain medications for dogs for more details on OTC pain relievers for dogs.

Common antihistamines such as Zyrtec (cetrizine), Claritin (loratadine), and Benadryl (diphenhydramine) reduce allergy symptoms and allergic reactions. Although these drugs are typically safe for dogs, they sometimes make them drowsy or hyperactive.

Tip: Make sure your OTC allergy medicine contains only antihistamine. Some products could include unsuitable ingredients for dogs, like decongestants.

Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate), a common medication found in many medicine cabinets, is safe for dogs but not for cats. It’s used to treat diarrhea, vomiting and an upset stomach. The salicylate in Pepto-Bismol, however, should be used with caution as too much can upset your dog’s stomach and cause gastric bleeding. After those few doses, if your dog is still not feeling better, you should speak with your veterinarian. Learn more about Pepto Bismol for dogs.

Most dogs and cats can safely take Imodium (loperamide) to treat diarrhea. Contact your veterinarian right away if the diarrhea doesn’t stop after 24 hours because it can quickly result in dangerously high levels of dehydration.

Imodium may cause negative side effects in some breeds that are related to collies. Collies, Shelties, Australian Shepherds, and long-haired Whippets should not be given this medication.

To treat or prevent symptoms related to heartburn and stomach ulcers, popular over-the-counter (OTC) medications include Pepcid-AC (famotidine), Tagamet (cimetidine), and Zantac (ranitidine). They’re generally effective and safe for dogs (and cats). The appropriate dosage can be given once or twice per day.

It’s acceptable to use them for occasional dietary transgressions, such as when your dog eats all of your salsa or gets into a bag of chips. If your dog’s stomach issues continue, visit your veterinarian to rule out other issues.

Dramamine is a safe antihistamine that helps prevent motion sickness in dogs (and cats). It works best when administered at least a half-hour before travel.

Avoid OTC cold medications because they typically contain decongestants that are harmful to dogs. However, many over-the-counter cough medications, including Robitussin DM, contain components that are generally safe for dogs. Check with your vet before administering a cough medicine.

WARNING: Before giving your dog human cough medicine, we recommend having them examined by a veterinarian because if your dog is coughing, it could be an indication of a more serious issue like a respiratory infection, heartworms, or cardiac disease.

Your dog may experience one or more of the following conditions, either occasionally or chronically:

Hydrogen peroxide can be applied topically to treat superficial skin wounds on your dog, but it is less efficient than soap and water. If your dog consumes something harmful, you might be able to make them vomit by administering a small dose of hydrogen peroxide orally.

Is There Cough Medicine for Dogs?

There are, but you should ask your vet to either prescribe or recommend (if they are over-the-counter) the medications your dog needs.

Your dog may require expectorants to clear his lungs of mucus or canine cough suppressants, which reduce coughing. When your dog has pneumonia and needs to clear the debris and bacteria out of his lungs, that would be the situation, according to Stone.

Thats why a proper diagnosis is so important. Don’t use a cough suppressant right away if your dog has pneumonia because you don’t want to limit coughing.

According to Stone, if you stop coughing, you run the risk of not being able to get rid of the debris and making the pneumonia worse. The same is true when heart disease causes a dog’s cough. According to Stone, a cough suppressant may hasten heart failure, which could be fatal.

However, using medication made specifically for those conditions to treat heart disease and pneumonia—like antibiotics for pneumonia—can eventually make your dog’s coughing less severe.

On the other hand, a cough suppressant like dextromethorphan can help a collapsed trachea. The same is true for your dog, though you might only need to keep an eye on his cough until he leaves on his own.

The effectiveness of cough suppressants is difficult to predict, according to Stone. Depending on a number of factors, some dogs may experience better or worse coughing days. Additionally, there is the ongoing difficulty of not being able to ask our dogs how they are feeling and receive a response.

Vets may also advise using a humidifier or nebulizer, though Stone says that is uncommon. However, the fact remains that your dog’s medication needs can be best determined by your veterinarian.

Why You Should Avoid Guaifenesin For Your Dog’s Cough

Guaifenesin is prescribed by veterinarians to help loosen mucus in the throat and chest. This facilitates your dog’s ability to cough it out. But guaifenesin also has negative side effects.

If your dog consumes too much, it may experience tremors, hypothermia, and abnormal breathing. Guaifenesin is also sometimes used in combination with dextromethorphan.

Vomiting, an elevated heart rate, changes in blood pressure, eye or muscle rigidity, hypothermia, and ataxia (a stumbling or unsteady gait resulting from nervous system degeneration) are just a few symptoms that can occur.

According to the Pet Poison Helpline, “nearly 50% of all calls received … involve human medications”. Sometimes it’s from accidental overdoses and other times it’s because a dog chewed up a bottle of medicine. Some dogs may even have hypersensitivity to certain medications.

Whatever the reason, poisoning by medication is a real problem. And that includes cough medicine poisoning.

Your dog may become nauseous and vomit, feel anxious, have hallucinations, tremble, and have an elevated heart rate if he takes too much cough medicine.

If your dog swallows an extremely large amount of cough medicine, it could lead to serotonin syndrome. Serotonin is a natural mood-enhancing hormone that the body produces. But serotonin used in medicines can be dangerous. Serotonin syndrome is when your dog accumulates high levels of serotonin from medicines like dextromethorphan.

Too much serotonin in dogs can cause symptoms like confusion, vomiting, seizures, and even coma. And, if it’s left untreated, can lead to death.

… in order to avoid poisoning, serotonin syndrome, and other negative side effects.

  • Seal medicine properly when not in use
  • Be sure to pick up any dropped medication and put in a dog proof bin
  • Store in a high cabinet or drawer your dog can’t reach
  • Additionally, you should try to avoid giving your dog any type of cough medicine, even those that are advertised as being safe. Although they might lessen your dog’s cold symptoms, they come with their own set of risks, particularly if they’re used improperly.

    Never administer cough medicine to your dog if you must, without first consulting your veterinarian. Misuse can cause poisoning, illness and even death.

    You can use natural remedies as an alternative to potentially harmful ingredients and side effects. And that’s what I want to talk about next.

    What if I miss giving my pet the medication?

    If you forget to take a dose, skip it and administer it at the next scheduled time before returning to your regular dosing schedule. Never administer two doses at once or extra doses to your pet.


    What kind of cough medicine can I give my dog?

    Some canine cough medications may be considered safe by traditional veterinarians. The two most common are dextromethorphan and guaifenesin.

    What over the counter cough medicine can I give my dog?

    Pets may benefit from taking mild over-the-counter cough suppressants like Mucinex cough medicine for kids. Temaril-P can also be used to treat the symptoms of canine coughing and itching.

    Can I give my dog anything for a cough?

    Honey can help calm your dog’s throat and lessen coughing, making it a great natural remedy for kennel cough. You can provide your dog with a bowl of warm water and 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of honey. Depending on how frequently your dog coughs, you can give this up to three times per day.

    Can you give Robitussin to a dog?

    -Dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM with Guaifenisin at 100mg/5ml and dextromethorphan at 10-15 mg/5ml), for cough Roughly, 1 teaspoon per 20 pounds for dogs. Note: This is for Robitussin without Codeine. Always call your veterinarian first because a cough may be an indication of a serious condition.