Dog Cough Medicine: How to Treat Your Furry Friend’s Cough

Last updated on 22 May 2023 09:58

As a pet parent, it’s always heartbreaking to see our furry friends suffering from coughs. It’s essential to know that coughs in dogs can be caused by various factors, including allergies, infections, heartworms, or even inhaling foreign objects. While coughing is a natural reflex to clear the airways, persistent coughing can lead to complications such as respiratory distress or pneumonia. That’s why it’s crucial to seek veterinary care if your dog has been coughing for a prolonged period. In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of dog cough medicine, their uses, and when to use them.

Understanding the Types of Dog Cough Medicine

Before administering any dog cough medicine, it’s essential to identify the underlying cause of the cough. Depending on the cause, the veterinarian may recommend different types of cough medicine. The most common types of dog cough medicine include:

1. Antitussives

Dog Cough Medicine: How to Treat Your Furry Friend’s CoughSource:

Antitussives are cough suppressants that work by blocking the cough reflex in the brain. They are used to treat dry, hacking coughs that do not produce phlegm. Antitussives should not be used to treat coughs that produce phlegm as they can lead to the accumulation of mucus in the airways.

2. Expectorants

Expectorants For Dog CoughSource:

Expectorants are cough medicines that work by loosening and thinning mucus in the airways, making it easier for the dog to cough it up. They are used to treat wet, productive coughs that produce phlegm. Expectorants should not be used to treat dry coughs as they can irritate the airways.

3. Bronchodilators

Bronchodilators For Dog CoughSource:

Bronchodilators are medications that work by relaxing the muscles in the airways, making it easier for the dog to breathe. They are used to treat coughs caused by asthma, bronchitis, or other respiratory conditions.

When to Use Dog Cough Medicine

As mentioned earlier, the underlying cause of the cough will determine the type of dog cough medicine to use. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care to identify the cause of the cough. In some cases, the veterinarian may recommend a combination of different cough medicines to treat the cough effectively. Here are some instances where dog cough medicine may be necessary:

1. Kennel Cough

Kennel CoughSource:

Kennel cough is a highly contagious respiratory infection that causes coughing, sneezing, and nasal discharge in dogs. It’s common in dogs that have been in close contact with other dogs, such as in kennels or dog parks. Antibiotics, cough suppressants, and bronchodilators are commonly used to treat kennel cough.

2. Heartworms


Heartworms are parasitic worms that live in the heart and lungs of dogs. They cause coughing, lethargy, and difficulty breathing. Treatment for heartworms may include antibiotics, corticosteroids, and bronchodilators.

3. Allergies

Dog AllergiesSource:

Allergies can cause respiratory problems in dogs, including coughing, sneezing, and wheezing. Antihistamines, corticosteroids, and bronchodilators are commonly used to treat allergies in dogs.

Preventing Coughs in Dogs

While coughs in dogs can be treated with dog cough medicine, it’s always better to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Here are some tips to prevent coughs in dogs:

1. Vaccination

Dog VaccinationSource:

Make sure your dog is up to date on vaccinations, including those for kennel cough and other respiratory infections.

2. Good Hygiene

Dog HygieneSource:

Practice good hygiene by washing your dog’s bedding, toys, and food and water bowls regularly to prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses.

3. Avoid Exposure to Pollution

Dog PollutionSource:

Avoid exposing your dog to pollutants such as cigarette smoke, air fresheners, and cleaning products, which can irritate the airways and cause coughing.


While coughs in dogs can be distressing, they can be effectively treated with dog cough medicine. However, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care to determine the underlying cause of the cough and the appropriate cough medicine to use. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so take steps to prevent coughs in dogs by practicing good hygiene, avoiding exposure to pollutants, and keeping your dog up to date on vaccinations. By doing so, you can ensure that your furry friend stays healthy and happy.

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Van Hellen

Being a dog parent has never felt this good. Here at Wheaten Dogs, finding the best essentials for your dog is our top concern. My mission is to provide information and latest updates, especially about best dog products, to dog owners and lovers alike.

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