When your dog is showing signs of a cold (yellow discharge from the nose, watery eyes, coughing that persists for several days), you may be thinking that you can give them your own cough syrup to ease their symptoms (and save you a vet bill). However, before you take your genius idea into play and start shoving Dayquil down your dog’s throat, you better be wise on whether or not this is actually beneficial for your dog.
Medication overdose is the most common cause of death among pets suffering from toxicity, claims vetinfo.com. It is not recommended to give your dog cough syrup aimed for human consumption because it is just too easy to overdose your dog, and possibly cause major harm to your pet. Rather, the website suggests that if your dog comes down with a cold, or has bloody discharge from their nasal passages, are not eating or drinking, or a high fever, get your dog to a vet right away to get antibiotics to treat their illness the best way possible.
You can help alleviate your dog’s cold symptoms by placing a humidifier near their bed, feeding them chicken broth (it has the same medicinal benefits for dogs as it does for people- it keeps the dog hydrated, opens up their sinuses, and helps ward off the nasty cold virus more quickly), or running a steamy shower and placing your dog in the bathroom to help open up their airways better as they heal. However, giving them your own cough syrup for their coughing, wheezing, and runny nose is a basic no-no, as you risk overdosing your dog and possibly killing them. No bueno.
If you must, the website suggests that you may be able to give your dog a cough syrup that contains Dextromeporthan, such as Robitussin, but only upon talking to your veterinarian first. Avoid cough syrups with aspirin or acetaminophen The FDA has not approved the use of Dextromeporthan in dogs, but the drug is often used in dogs to relieve their cold symptoms as a cough suppressant. General dosage for a dog is .5 ml per pound of your dog, but vetinfo.com warns that over dosage is fatal, so I would never give my dog cough syrup without the aide of my vet, and I would recommend calling your vet first to get the OK, or better yet, if you think your dog is sick enough to need medication, take them to the vet to get professional assessment and approved medication.