Dog cough medicine: in which cases is it necessary?

It is even impressive how much pets can manifest symptoms and diseases similar to humans. Some are conditions that can be equally serious (such as cancer , for example), but others are everyday complications that can easily affect your partner.

This is the case of coughing in dogs, which can occur for different reasons. Let’s understand better what causes this problem, what remedies can be prescribed and when they are needed:


What causes coughing in the dog?

When the dog is coughing, it can be a sign that his upper respiratory tract is affected. It corresponds to the beginning of the trachea, so that there is usually no pulmonary involvement.

This symptom may be associated with a lack of vaccination, especially when the dog lives in crowds or in contact with other animals.

In addition, it can also affect dogs that already have certain pathologies – such as pneumonia , periodontal disease, allergies, etc. In such cases, when performing the correct treatment of the disease in question, you will consequently have relief from coughing.

As for the main viruses that cause coughing in dogs, we can list:

  • Canine Parainfluenza type 3 – affects the trachea;
  • Canine Adenovirus Type 2 – affects the interior of the lungs;
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria – reaches the upper respiratory tract.

However, it is worth mentioning that in order to know exactly what is causing the problem in the pet and how to treat it correctly, it is essential to seek a veterinarian.

How is the cough?

The dog’s cough can be sporadic or continuous, varying according to what triggered this problem. In general, it is usually dry, repeated and constant (as if the dog is choking), sometimes even eliminating whitish drool.

It is worth mentioning that in some cases, when the dog has a cough, he may end up suffering from other complications – such as nausea, vomiting, food regurgitation, sneezing and nasal discharge.

But the cough can also be damp and can sometimes be similar to a wheezing.

What to do when the dog is coughing?

In most cases, the dog’s cough will go away on its own between 5 and 12 days after the first manifestation, so no clinical intervention is usually necessary. However, to help you can keep the animal hydrated and even use an ambient humidifier, as it can soothe a cough.

Home treatment and care aim to alleviate this symptom and prevent the condition from progressing to problems such as tracheobronchitis and / or pulmonary infection.

As mentioned, it is very important to seek help from a veterinarian to determine the best and safest treatment for your dog. When necessary, a cough medication (antitussive) or antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed .

Dog Cough Medicine

It is not in all situations that the dog lacks the use of drugs to treat cough, however, only the veterinarian can decide this.

When the use of medicines is necessary, they are usually related to the treatment of the problem that is causing the cough – considering that it can be a symptom of other disorders, such as allergies.

Check out some of the options of these drugs and when they can be prescribed:


Dry cough is very common in dogs, which can appear due to several factors: allergies, dry weather, pneumonia, dental diseases (such as periodontitis ), viruses or bacteria, canine flu , among others.

In some of these cases, specific treatments are needed to target the problem that is causing the cough. In that sense, anti-inflammatory drugs (such as the Anti-Inflammatory MSD Meticorten Vet), anti-allergy drugs (such as Alergovet Coveli) and even antibiotics can be prescribed for conditions such as pneumonia.


When the dog has a hoarse cough, it usually emits some “squeaks”, a sound that can be very noticeable while he barks, eats and breathes.

In such cases, it may be an indication that there is secretion or fluid in the lungs ( edema ). If the hoarseness cough is “wetter”, it may point to a lung infection or even congestive heart failure.

This reinforces the need to seek veterinary follow-up in order to identify the causes of this problem. Only then will it be possible to guide the appropriate medicine.

It is worth mentioning that, when there are no other concomitant diseases and only hoarse cough in isolation, remedies such as Syrup Tossicanis Provets can be prescribed – treats cough, acting as an expectorant and fluidizer.

What is the remedy for cough of elderly dog ​​and puppy (infant)?

In general, there is no specific cough medicine for elderly dogs or puppies. However, for dogs in these stages of life, it is necessary to redouble their attention to possible diseases or complications.

The puppies’ organism is more fragile than that of an adult dog, which makes it more susceptible to some diseases. In addition, minor disorders can quickly become serious complications – so do babies.

Elderly dogs also have a more fragile health, considering the advancing age and even the fact that they can have other concomitant diseases.

Therefore, if you have an elderly dog ​​or puppy, seek veterinary assistance if it shows any sign other than the usual one (such as a cough).

As we have seen, there are few times that the dog lacks medication to treat the cough, since it tends to disappear on its own. However, if it is being caused by another disease (pneumonia, cardiac disorders, etc.), this one does need specialized treatment.

Home remedy for dog cough

Choosing home remedies is not a safe option, unless it is done with the guidance of a veterinarian. In general, whenever treatment is needed, conventional drugs are prescribed.

However, there are some precautions you can take at home that can certainly help your puppy to recover faster:

  • Keep him hydrated – if he is not drinking water on his own, you can give it to him with the help of a syringe;
  • Keep the humidity of the environment – which can be done with the help of an air humidifier or even a bucket of water;
  • Avoid walks – doing a lot of physical exercise can leave the dog gasping and, depending on the cause, can make the cough worse;
  • Avoid bathing – the change in body temperature can harm the dog and worsen the cough in cases of flu or pneumonia.

This set of factors can contribute to the improvement of your pet , without the need for intervention with recipes and home remedies. If you do not notice relief from the symptoms, return to the vet.

Can you give people syrup for dogs?

In general, no . Just as people should not use veterinary drugs, the opposite is also true. Giving dogs human syrup can cause many complications for the pet .

This also applies to medications other than syrups. Even in small amounts, they can cause changes in the animal’s nervous and gastrointestinal system.

However, in some cases, a professional may choose to prescribe human remedies for dogs. This is done considering the fact that from a pharmacological point of view the remedies are no different.

What essentially varies is the dose and type of medicine that can (or may not) be given to certain animals. In the case of dogs, the doses need to be smaller, appropriate according to their weight.

Despite this, it is always preferable to use medications suitable for veterinary use, which can even make it easier when administering the medication – considering that there are many remedies made in a smaller size or even with a greater degree of palatability (attractive for the dog to eat) .

Taking care of your puppy can be a difficult task in some cases. But remember to always count on the help of a (a) professional, even in cases of apparently simple symptoms such as cough.