Upon realizing that your dog has eaten cough drops, you will probably want to know whether the cough drops are bad for dogs. There are also those who may want to know whether cough drops are bad for dogs out of pure curiosity. This article explores the subject of whether or not cough drops are bad for dogs comprehensively.
Are cough drops bad for dogs? The answer is ‘yes’. Some of the ingredients in cough drops may cause stomach upsets and even poisoning in dogs. Moreover, when dogs swallow cough drops, there is always the risk of choking or internal obstructions.
Therefore if your dog ate cough drops, you have a reason to be concerned. Much of course depends on the type of cough drops the dog ate, how many of the cough drops the dog ate, and how long ago the dog ate the cough drops.
If my dog ate a cough drop accidentally (just a single one), I would be concerned, but not too worried. But if my dog ate a whole bag of cough drops, then there would be real worry.
Further, if my dog ate cough drops with ingredients that are known to be very toxic, such as xylitol, I would naturally be very worried.
How long ago the dog ate cough drop is also a key consideration. If it was many hours ago, and the dog still seems to be fine, then the worst may be over.
But if I find the dog eating cough drops right now, there would be more worry – about choking, poisoning, internal obstructions and so on.
In order to be able to answer the are cough drops bad for dogs question properly, we first need to know what they are made of.
What Are Cough Drops Made From?
The first step in answering the are cough drops bad for dogs question is to understand what the ingredients in the cough drops are.
Indeed, if my dog ate cough drops, my first concern would be to understand what the ingredients in the cough drops are.
So, what are cough drops made from? The answer is that cough drops are typically made from ingredients such as menthol, benzocaine, essential oils (such as eucalyptus oil), sugar/syrup and sometimes sugar substitutes such as xylitol.
Now in answering the are cough drops bad for dogs to eat question, you need to look at each of the ingredients. Then ask yourself whether or not it is bad for dogs. We will start with menthol.
Menthol As An Ingredient In Cough Drops
Menthol is a common ingredient in many cough drops.
In our context, we need to ask ourselves, is menthol bad for dogs? More specifically, is menthol toxic to dogs?
And the answer is that menthol can be poisonous to dogs. But dogs would need more of it than they can possibly get from cough drops, to get poisoned.
The level of menthol dogs get from cough drops is too little for this. If you research on how much menthol can kill a dog, you find that it is like 1 gram per pound of dog body weight.
So that is 1000mg per pound of dog body weight. That is more than a dog can possibly get from cough drops. Menthol toxicity in dogs only occurs at quite high doses. But most cough drops have just 1 to 15 mg of menthol per tablet.
Thus if my dog ate menthol cough drop, I wouldn’t be unduly worried about this.
Still, if my dog ate a cough drop with menthol, I would be worried about the menthol’s cooling effect. This can sometimes cause respiratory depression, which is quite dangerous.
Thus if my dog ate menthol cough drops, that would be my biggest concern. For a dog menthol cough drops may lead to respiratory distress, and this can be fatal.
If, for instance, my dog ate Halls menthol cough drops, my biggest worry would be with regard to the potential for respiratory depression. That is as opposed to poisoning.
That, by the way, would also be my worry if my dog ate throat lozenges of any type: which also tend to contain menthol.
Benzocaine As An Ingredient In Cough Drops
Another common ingredient in cough drops is benzocaine.
Therefore in answering the are cough drops bad for dogs question, we have to explore it.
Now there are three risks that benzocaine brings about.
The first risk is that of stomach upsets. If my dog ate cough drops with benzocaine, the possibility of stomach upsets would be rather worrying.
The second risk is that of a condition known as methemoglobinemia. Here, you get red blood cells that are not carrying oxygen. This can in turn trigger drastic adverse effects, including organ failures.
The third risk is that of choking. Benzocaine has a numbing effect. Once a dog’s throat is numbed, the risk of choking increases dramatically.
For a dog cough drops ingestion generally comes with a risk of choking. But if the cough drops contain benzocaine, the risk is even higher.
Thus if my dog ate cough drops containing benzocaine, this is something I would worry about.
Essential Oil As An Ingredient In Cough Drops
Many cough drops contain essential oils.
Therefore in exploring the are cough drops bad for dogs subject, we need to pay some attention to these essential oils.
One essential oil we often find in cough drops is eucalyptus oil.
Sometimes, these essential oils may cause stomach upsets in dogs.
In other cases, these essential oils may cause actual poisoning in dogs – with scary symptoms such as seizures.
Therefore if my dog ate cough drops containing these essential oils, I would have reason to worry.
Sugar As An Ingredient In Cough Drops
Most cough drops contain some sort of sugar, in order to make them palatable.
Therefore in answering the are cough drops bad for dogs question, we can’t ignore the sugar factor.
Now sugar is the sort of thing that can cause stomach upsets in dogs.
But if a dog eats too much sugar, there can be further adverse effects – such as hyperactivity, aggression and even seizures.
Then again, the cough drops that contain real actual sugar may be better than those that contain sugar-substitutes.
Thus if my dog ate cough drops with actual sugar, I would be less worried than if the dog ate cough drops that are sugar free.
That is because the sugar-free cough drops often contain sugar substitutes that are even worse, for dogs.
Xylitol As An Ingredient In Cough Drops
One of the sugar substitutes we sometimes find in cough drops is xylitol.
And whenever the are cough drops bad for dogs issue is being addressed, this xylitol inevitably comes up.
The problem with xylitol is that it is very poisonous for dogs. And it is toxic at relatively low levels. It can cause fast liver damage, among other issues.
Therefore if my dog ate cough drops with xylitol, I would have a great deal of worry.
Actually, of all things that can be potentially harmful in a cough drop, it is xylitol that is most worrisome.
For dogs cough drops become very dangerous if they happen to contain xylitol.
Thus if a dog eats cough drop containing xylitol, close monitoring may be necessary. But if my dog ate a bag of cough drops containing xylitol, I would regard it as a veterinary emergency.
Can Dogs Have Cough Drops?
Quite often, alongside the are cough drops bad for dogs question comes this one: on whether dogs can have cough drops.
The person asking this may be a person whose dog is afflicted with a cough. So he is considering giving the dog cough drops. But they first want to know whether dogs can have cough drops.
The truth of the matter is that dogs shouldn’t have cough drops. As noted earlier, cough drops contain ingredients that can be harmful to dogs. And the very act of eating a cough drop can turn out to be a choking hazard for a dog.
Moreover, once inside the dog’s body, the cough drops may cause internal blockages.
For all those reasons, dogs shouldn’t have cough drops.
If a dog has a cough, a vet may recommend syrups and other medications specially formulated for dogs. But dogs shouldn’t have human cough drops.
What if a dog eats a cough drop accidentally? In that case, you would need to observe the dog closely. The dog may escape unscathed. It may suffer stomach upsets. It may even suffer the more serious internal obstruction or poisoning.
The key thing is to remember that you shouldn’t give dogs human cough drops deliberately.
Are Cough Drops Bad For Dogs?
Cough drops are bad for dogs.
It is important to understand that human cough drops aren’t meant for use by dogs.
True, we and dogs are both mammals. But our bodies and dogs’ bodies are different in certain fundamental ways.
For that reason, human medications – including the cough drops in question here – are very bad for dogs. They can harm dogs in various ways.
Therefore if you were considering giving your dog cough drops, you should desist from doing so.
If the dog has a cough, consult a vet, who will prescribe more appropriate dog medications. But don’t give a dog human cough drops. In fact, don’t let a dog near human cough drops, where it may accidentally eat them. Cough drops are bad for dogs.
Why Are Cough Drops Bad For Dogs?
There are three key reasons why cough drops are bad for dogs.
The first reason why cough drops are bad for dogs is because they often contain ingredients that can be toxic for dogs. Therefore in answering the are cough drops bad for dogs question, it is essential to mention this.
The second reason why cough drops are bad for dogs is because their ingestion can cause choking in dogs. This is something one needs to point out, while answering the are cough drops bad for dogs question.
And the third reason why cough drops are bad for dogs is because their ingestion can cause internal obstructions. So this is a factor one can’t ignore, while answering the are cough drops bad for dogs question.
So far, we have been making reference to cough drops in a general manner. We now need to sink deeper, look at several popular types of cough drops, and find out if and why they are bad for dogs.
Are Halls Cough Drops Bad For Dogs?
Halls cough drops typically contain menthol, alongside some sort of oral anesthetic. They may also contain eucalyptus syrup, citric acid and glucose syrup, among other ingredients.
Now, are Halls cough drops dangerous for dogs? Or are Halls cough drops safe for dogs?
The answer is that the Halls cough drops have ingredients that can be dangerous for dogs.
Further, by virtue of being cough drops, the very act of swallowing them can cause choking. And they can cause internal obstructions.
Therefore in answering the are Halls cough drops dangerous to dogs question, these are factors you need to consider.
If a dog eats Halls cough drops, it may choke in the process. It may also suffer harm from the ingredients. And the Halls cough drops may cause internal obstructions.
Now of course if a dog ate a Halls cough drop (a single one), there may not be much harm. That may be the case if, for instance, my dog accidentally ate a Honey Lemon Halls Cough Drop.
Indeed if you were wondering, can a dog eat a Halls cough drop without suffering harm, then the answer is ‘yes’.
Thus if my dog just ate 1 Halls cough drop, there wouldn’t be too much worry.
But if the dog ate Halls cough drops in a bigger quantity, then that would be troublesome.
Thus if my dog ate Halls cough drops in bulk (the whole bag), I would know that it is at risk of some sort of harm.
But if my dog ate a Halls cough drop (just one), then the level of worry wouldn’t be so much.
Nonetheless, if the dog ate Halls cough drop just a little while ago, I would be on the alert for something like choking.
Are Vicks Cough Drops Bad For Dogs?
Sometimes, the person posing the are cough drops bad for dogs question may be asking with reference to Vicks cough drops specifically.
Now we find that Vicks cough drops’ ingredients include eucalyptus oil, ascorbic acid, corn syrup as well as the sweetener we refer to as sucrose.
Thus if my dog ate cough drops (specifically Vicks), I would worry about things like the eucalyptus oil.
That is besides the structure of the cough drop itself: which can cause choking or internal blockages.
Are Ludens Cough Drops Bad For Dogs?
There are cases where the person asking the are cough drops bad for dogs question has an interest specifically in Ludens cough drops.
The truth of the matter is that Ludens cough drops have ingredients that can at times harm a dog.
In Luden’s cough drops, the main ingredient is Pectins – which serves as an oral demulcent. But the cough drops also contain sucrose, sodium chloride, citric acid and other ingredients.
Thus if my dog ate cough drops (Ludens specifically), I would be on the lookout for adverse reactions. At the very least, if my dog ate cough drops from the Ludens line, I would know that it is at risk of choking and/or internal obstructions.
Are Ricola Cough Drops Bad For Dogs?
There are cases where the person posing the are cough drops bad for dogs question may be making reference to Ricola cough drops specifically.
It may be a case where the dog ate a bag of Ricola cough drops. Or it may be a case where the dog ate Ricola cough drop – just a single one.
Whichever the case, one would be seeking to know, if the dog ate cough drops Ricola makes, will it be alright? Or to put it differently, can Ricola cough drops hurt dogs? Can dogs eat Ricola cough drops without suffering harm?
So those would be the concerns, if a dog ate cough drops Ricola brand.
The truth of the matter is that Ricola cough drops, like all other cough drops, have potential to harm a dog.
Some ingredients in them, like menthol, sugar and peppermint oil can be harmful to a dog.
But one may still ask, do Ricola cough drops have xylitol? And the answer, thankfully, is ‘no’. The people who make Ricola cough drops are categorical that they don’t use xylitol.
Thus if my dog ate a Ricola cough drop, at least the worry of xylitol poisoning wouldn’t be there.
Still, if my dog ate Ricola cough drops, I would be worrying about things like the choking and internal obstruction hazards.
Even if my dog ate one Ricola cough drop alone, the choking risk would still be there.
Are Sugar Free Cough Drops Bad For Dogs?
In some cases, while posing the are cough drops bad for dogs question, one may be making reference to the sugar free cough drops.
The true position is that the so-called sugar free cough drops are the most dangerous for dogs.
This is because they often contain artificial sweeteners, in the place of sugar. An example of these artificial sweeteners is xylitol, which can be extremely harmful to a dog.
In fact, while assessing the harmfulness of a cough drop, a good place to start is usually by asking whether it has xylitol.
For instance, with regard to the Halls cough drops we looked at earlier, we should have asked ourselves, is xylitol in Halls cough drops?
And if it turns out that they don’t have xylitol, then their potential for harm goes down.
Thus, in this case, the answer to the will Halls cough drops hurt a dog question depends on whether or not they contain xylitol.
Further, in answering the are Halls cough drops poisonous to dogs question, this consideration (on whether or not they contain xylitol) is very key. This applies for all types of cough drops.
In the final analysis, if my dog ate cough drops of the sugar free variety, I would actually be more worried. The sugar free cough drops – which often contain xylitol – are the worst for dogs.
Can Cough Drops Kill A Dog?
In asking the are cough drops bad for dogs question, what one may be seeking to establish is whether the cough drops can kill a dog.
So, indeed, can cough drops kill dogs?
The answer to the can a cough drop kill a dog question is ‘yes’.
The ingredients in the cough drop may poison the dog. Or the dog may choke while eating the cough drop – especially if it is a small dog. Further, the cough drops may cause internal obstructions, if a dog swallows too many of them, and with their wrappers on.
These are also the facts we would point out, while answering the are cough drops dangerous to dogs question.
And if my dog ate cough drops, these are the effects I would be on the lookout for.
What Happens If A Dog Eats A Cough Drop?
If a dog eats a single cough drop, there is a risk of choking. This is because the dog may not have the ability to chew the cough drop. So it just swallows the cough drop whole: with potential for choking.
The ingredients in the cough drop may also harm the dog in one way or the other.
And in a very small mini dog, one cough drop swallowed with its wrapper may be enough to cause internal obstructions.
Thus in answering the will a cough drop hurt my dog question, these are the possibilities.
What Happens If A Dog Eats Lots Of Cough Drops
If a dog eats lots of cough drops, it may end up with a stomach upset.
Further, while swallowing the cough drops, the dog may end up choking. We said as much earlier, while answering the are cough drops bad for dogs question.
The dog could also suffer from poisoning, due to the ingredients in the cough drops.
And if the dog swallows too many cough drops (especially with their wrappers), it may end up with internal obstructions.
Can dogs eat cough drops and suffer no harm? Sometimes it happens. But there are also cases where things go awry, and the dogs end up suffering heart wrenching effects.
My Dog Ate Cough Drops – What Is Likely To Happen?
Earlier, in answering the are cough drops bad for dogs question, we said that they can cause choking, poisoning, stomach upsets and even internal obstructions in dogs.
If you are lucky, and your dog ate cough drops, it may escape unscathed.
There are also cases where the dog may suffer stomach upsets.
But if you are unlucky, the dog may suffer choking, poisoning or internal obstructions, which are much worse outcomes.
My Dog Ate Cough Drops – What Should I Do?
Much depends on the type of cough drops the dog ate, how many of the cough drops it ate, and how long ago it ate the cough drops.
Suppose, for instance, the dog ate cough drops containing xylitol. In this case, you would know that the risk of poisoning is high. So it may make sense to rush the dog to the vet, especially if it ate a big enough number of the cough drops to cause severe poisoning.
The number of the cough drops eaten is therefore relevant too. If the dog ate just a single cough drop, it may be just alright. But if the dog ate a whole bag of cough drops, then it would be worrisome regardless of the nature of the cough drops.
If the dog suffers a stomach upset after eating cough drops, you may provide supportive care. This may be through a bland diet of chicken and white rice, to help with the diarrhea and/or vomiting.
What if the dog seems to have suffered internal blockage – with symptoms like bloating, lack of appetite, lethargy and inability to poop? In that case, what you would need to do is take it to a vet urgently.
Of course, if the dog ate the cough drops a while ago – like several days ago – and it seems to be alright in all respects, then the worst may be over. In this case, you may just observe the dog closely for any long term effects of eating the cough drops.
Final Verdict – Are Cough Drops Bad For Dogs
Cough drops that are meant for human use are bad for dogs.
They contain ingredients which can be harmful to dogs. Moreover, while swallowing these cough drops, the dogs may end up choking. And even if they swallow successfully, they may still suffer stomach obstructions after eating the cough drops.
It is best to keep cough drops away from dogs’ reach. Remember, for dogs eating cough drops can be quite hazardous.
If your dog happens to have a cough, don’t attempt to treat it by giving it human cough drops. Consult your vet, who will prescribe proper cough medications that are specifically meant for dogs.
If a dog eats cough drops and develops minor symptoms such as stomach upset, you can just provide supportive care.
But if a dog eats cough drops and develops serious symptoms such as extreme lethargy, incessant vomiting, incessant diarrhea, seizures and so on, it is best to rush it to a vet.
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Welcome to Learn About Pet. My name is Rajkumar Ravichandran and I love all pets, travel, and amazing food. I write about my passion and personal experience caring for multiple pets in this blog! ❤️
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