Being a pet parent, you know you have obligations to keep your pup happy and healthy. Unfortunately, sometimes our four-legged friends can get sick. One of the most common health problems dogs can suffer from is coughing. While many different things can cause coughing in dogs, coughing can still cause distress for both the pup and its owner.
When your beloved pup starts coughing, it’s natural to feel helpless. You may begin to worry and think of remedies to help them feel better and ease their suffering. While in some cases, medical treatment may be necessary; there are home remedies that can help reduce a dog’s cough in the meantime.
The initial step should be to ascertain the type of cough your dog has. Dogs have two primary types of coughs: dry cough and wet cough. An infection or irritation often causes a dry cough in the throat or airways; it usually sounds like a hacking or honking sound. A wet cough is often caused by an accumulation of fluid in the lungs and is generally accompanied by gagging; it usually sounds more like your dog is trying to expel something from their lungs and throat. Knowing which type of cough your pup has will help you decide which home remedy to try.
If your pup has a dry cough, several potential remedies could help ease their symptoms:
- Honey: Honey has natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and can help soothe a sore throat. Mix a teaspoon of honey in warm water and give it to your pup twice a day until your pup’s condition improves.
- Steam: Inhaling steam is one of the best ways to break up phlegm and loosen mucus. You can create your own steam bath by placing your pup in a small room or space with a hot bowl of water. Make sure the water is not very hot for your pup’s safety. Keep your pet in the room for 5 to 10 minutes during the steam bath.
- Herbal Supplements: Some herbs are believed to have natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce coughing and other respiratory issues. Some popular herbal supplements include Licorice Root, Slippery Elm Bark, Echinacea, and Goldenseal. Talk to your veterinarian before giving your pup any herbal supplement to make sure it’s safe for them.
If your pup has a wet cough, there are some additional remedies that could help ease their symptoms:
- Saltwater Gargle: This remedy has been used since ancient times as an effective way to clear mucus from the throat and lungs. Mix 1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 oz of warm water (not too hot). Let your pup drink or gargle the solution for at least 30 seconds. Repeat this process multiple times a day until your pup’s symptoms improve or you get professional medical advice. It’s important not to give your dog too much salt as this could cause dehydration or electrolyte imbalances; always follow the recommended ratio when making the solution.
- Humidifier: A humidifier can be beneficial in easing a wet cough because it adds moisture to the air, which helps loosen mucus in the lungs and throat. Place the humidifier close to where your pup sleeps or spends most of its time throughout the day.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple Cider Vinegar is being used for its antibacterial properties that have been known to aid in reducing throat and lung inflammation. One teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar should be mixed with 8 ounces of warm water and can be administered to the pup orally or put in their food.
If you think medical treatment may be necessary, always contact your veterinarian immediately; they will diagnose your pup’s cough properly and provide treatment accordingly. However, home remedies could help soothe your pup’s coughing symptoms while waiting for an appointment. In that case, these home remedies may relieve your dog until you get professional help.