How To Choose the Best Cough Suppressant for Dogs

How To Choose the Best Cough Suppressant for Dogs

Author WDF Staff


Our furry friends can experience similar issues we can, and one of them is a cough. It might take some time until your dog’s cough is cleared, and your vet might tell you you simply have to wait it out. However, there are different cough suppressants for dogs that might help your dog deal with their coughing problem more effectively. If you wonder how you might help your dog deal with their cough, here are a few things you should know about cough suppressants.

Why do dogs cough?

Before we go into details about cough suppressants, we first need to understand why dogs cough and in what situations these medications might benefit them. Dogs can cough for various reasons. They might be allergic to something in the environment, something might be stuck in their throat, or they might have kennel cough. These are just some of the possible reasons your dog might have a cough.

SAFETY TIP: Before you decide to medicate your dog, you have to visit your vet. Have them examine your dog’s cough and see if a cough suppressant might help them. You should never medicate your dog on your own if you’re not a veterinarian.

What are cough suppressants?

Cough suppressants are medications that will deal with your dog’s dry cough. They are medications that contain an active ingredient called dextromethorphan. If you see human cough suppressants that contain a different active ingredient, you shouldn’t use them. This is the only active ingredient safe for dogs to use.

How do they work?

The active ingredient, dextromethorphan, will affect the part of the brain responsible for the coughing reflex. The urge to cough won’t be so intense, and the dog’s lungs and throat will have time to recover. Constant coughing will cause irritation and redness.

Choosing the right cough suppressant

There aren’t any cough suppressants developed specifically for dogs, so vets often prescribe different medications for off-label use. Even the active ingredient, dextromethorphan, is used for treating compulsive behavior. However, it has a suppressing effect on dry coughs in dogs, so vets often prescribe it for that reason.

However, when choosing a cough suppressant for their dogs, dog owners need to do something before giving it to their dogs - read the label. There are different cough suppressants to choose from, and some are safe, and some aren’t. Here are a few things you need to keep an eye on;

  • Paracetamol
  • Caffeine
  • Acetaminophen
  • Guaifenesin
  • Alcohol

These things are not safe for dogs, and if you get a cough suppressant that contains these things, you should not give it to your dog.

SAFETY TIP: Cough suppressants should not be given to dogs with a collapsed trachea, cough that produces mucus, pregnant or nursing female dogs, and heart conditions.

Most popular cough suppressants for dogs

As you can imagine, there are no specific cough suppressants for dogs. However, some medications are given for that purpose. Here are the most popular brands and drugs prescribed for dogs with dry coughs;

1. Robitussin

This medication is prescribed under certain conditions. It is usually given in small dosages to treat dry cough in dogs. Robitussin is meant for human use, so you must listen to your vet’s advice on how to dose it. There are possible Robitussin side effects, and if you notice them, stop giving it to your dog immediately. Those side effects are vomiting, dizziness, and allergic reactions.


2. Balminil DM

Balminil DM is another human medication that contains dextromethorphan for easing dry coughs. Again, you must follow your vet’s instructions on dosing and administration frequency. This is an effective medication, but you should never change the dog’s dosage, especially increase it without your vet’s approval. It can cause the same side effects as the drug mentioned above.

Balminil DM

3. Delsym

The third commonly “prescribed” cough suppressant for dogs is Delsym. If you ever had coughing issues, you might be familiar with it. Before you give it to your dog, make sure you speak with your vet and see if your dog needs help with their coughing. This is another dextromethorphan-based human cough suppressant that is often used in veterinary medic


In conclusion

There aren’t any cough medications specifically developed for dogs, but different human cough suppressants are prescribed to dogs. However, giving your dog these medications without consulting your vet is not very safe. Make sure you never give it to your dog on your own, and make sure you read the label before using it.

World Dog Finder team

World Dog Finder Logo