How To Treat A Dog With Cold

How To Treat A Dog With Cold


​If your dog has a cold, you will want to make them comfortable and keep them calm until it passes. You will also want to decrease any coughing or sneezing that aggravates their symptoms. In this article, we will go over how to treat a dog with cold symptoms and when you should take your dog to the vet.

What is a cold?

Cold is a common illness in dogs. Common symptoms include:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes and/or redness of the eyes, inflammation of the conjunctiva (eye surface) due to infection with viruses or bacteria
  • Dry, hacking coughs and gagging as you eat food or drink water may occur because your dog can’t breathe through its nose properly. This happens when there is an allergy to dust mites or pollen which causes inflamed nasal membranes; it’s an allergic reaction called rhinitis.

How can you tell if your dog has a cold?

Symptoms of a cold in dogs include:

  • Respiratory signs, such as sneezing, nasal discharge and cough
  • Physical symptoms, such as fever and lethargy
  • Behavioral changes, such as changes in activity level or appetite (for example, your dog may be less active than normal)

If you suspect that your dog has a cold, it’s important to take him to the vet for an exam. While some infections are caused by viruses—and therefore cannot be treated by antibiotics—there are a number of other causes for respiratory distress in dogs which can be treated with medication.

What are the symptoms of a cold in dogs?

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Malaise (general malaise and feeling unwell)
  • Nasal discharge (discharge from the nose) * Pale gums (the color of your dog’s gums may become pale in response to illness or injury, as well as during anesthesia.) * Swollen lymph nodes (swollen lymph nodes are common in dogs with respiratory infections.) * Fever (a fever is usually defined as 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.) * Increased heart rate (your dog’s heart rate may increase due to exercise or stress. An abnormally high heart rate could be a sign of cardiovascular disease.)

Can you treat a dog’s cold yourself with natural remedies?

If your dog has a cold, there are many natural remedies you can try to help them feel better. Some of these include:

  • Keeping your dog warm. A cold can make a dog feel chilly, so make sure they have plenty of blankets and warm spots to snuggle up in.
  • Don’t give antibiotics. Antibiotics don’t work for viruses like colds and flu—they only work against bacteria! If your vet tells you that an antibiotic is necessary for treating your pet’s symptoms, ask him or her if there’s any other option available first (and also tell them how important it is not to give any unnecessary drugs).

How to treat a dog with cold

You should never give your dog human medicine. While it’s tempting to treat your dog with the same medicines you take for yourself, don’t do it! Human medicines can be dangerous for dogs and may even cause death.

There are also certain medications that shouldn’t be given to dogs at all. These include aspirin or ibuprofen, decongestants like pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), cough suppressants like dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM), antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and pseudoephedrine/guaifenesin capsules or liquid gels like Robitussin Pediatric Cough & Cold Syrup Liquid-Gel Caplets.

It is important to have your dog examined by a veterinarian if it seems ill.

It is important to have your dog examined by a veterinarian if it seems ill.

Your vet will be able to tell you what the problem is, and how best to treat it.

If you are not sure whether or not your dog is sick, then look for signs of illness in them:

  • Is my dog breathing quickly? If so, this may indicate that they are in pain or discomfort.
  • Is my dog panting heavily? This can indicate that they are feeling hot and uncomfortable (or even distressed).


It is important to have your dog examined by a veterinarian if it seems ill. If you think your pet has a cold, do not try to treat it yourself with natural remedies. Call your vet and make an appointment for examination and treatment recommendations.

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