As much as we might hate it, dogs can get sick just like us. When humans have a sore throat or a cold, we suck on some cough drops to help soothe the inflammation. Well, dogs can get a sore throat and cold, too. So, should we give dogs cough drops to help soothe their discomfort as well? The answer is, NO! Most cough drops contain a list of ingredients that are harmful to dogs. Here is everything you need to know: 


Why Are Cough Drops Dangerous and Harmful to Dogs?  

It comes right down to the ingredients. Cough drops contain several ingredients that can be toxic to dogs. Sugar, menthol, eucalyptus oil, and other flavorings and colors are common ingredients in cough drops, all of which can potentially upset their stomach. In addition, it is vital to consider other factors in cough drops that may have catastrophic repercussions. 

Manufacturers are increasingly using xylitol in cough drops. Xylitol is a sugar-free sweetener that is toxic to dogs. If your dog ingests cough drops, they may experience hypoglycemia, low blood sugar, and liver damage due to the high concentration of xylitol. Benzocaine is an ingredient used to relieve pain and itching and is another harmful component to watch out for. Ingesting benzocaine can increase the risk of developing methemoglobinemia, which is a rare, life-threatening condition that drastically decreases the amount of available oxygen.  


What Are the Symptoms Of Cough Drop Poisoning In Dogs? 

There are various indications of cough drop toxicity. Constantly monitoring your dog for any of these symptoms is key. We know about the severe symptoms, but here are some more possible effects: 

  • depression
  • weakness
  • fast breathing
  • discolored saliva
  • jaundice
  • vomiting
  • hypothermia
  • swelling of the face or jaw


What To Do When Your Dog Eats Cough Drops 

So, your dog ate a cough drop… what do you do now? Follow these steps to take the correct course of action: 

  1.     Check the ingredients list of the cough drop to determine if it contains harmful substances.  

2.     Next, try your best to figure out when your dog ate cough drops and the quantity. Bring a sample of the cough drop, if possible, when you visit the vet.  

3.     Immediately call Pet Poison Helpline® and your veterinarian to get professional advice right away.  

4.     Closely monitor your dog for any symptoms of poisoning and take them to an emergency vet clinic.  


Dogs can experience poisoning from cough drops and it may be fatal. Immediately contact Pet Poison Helpline® (855) 764-7661 and your veterinarian to determine the severity and treatment. When it comes to dealing with cough drop toxicity, time is everything. In addition, dogs, like other small animals, are more vulnerable to poisoning because of their size. So, if your dog ate a harmful substance like a cough drop, immediately call your vet to save your pup’s life.