PetSmart Over-The-Counter Cough Medicine for Dogs

“My little dog was diagnosed with an allergic cough. The vet recommended I give him cough medicine for dogs. I had never given my dog cough medicine before so I went to PetSmart to find out what dog cough medicine was available. How can I alleviate my dog’s cough?”

Dog cough medicine PetSmart

Dog cough medicine at PetSmart

Vets can’t always be there to help, so be prepared by finding the right cough medicine for your dog. Here are the best dog cough medicines available at PetSmart.

  • Vet Worthy® Kennel Cough Drops
  • HomeoPet® Cough Relief
  • Only Natural Pet® Eye & Upper Respiratory Homeopathic Remedy

Can I give my dog human cough medicine?

In most circumstances, human cough medicine may be safe in very small doses, but it most likely will not be effective in treating the cough itself.

It is best for the safety of the dog that they are not given human cough medicine. There are a few instances where human cough medicine may be beneficial, however, the medicine itself can be toxic as it is not formulated to be metabolized by dogs.

Dogs can suffer from a variety of different coughs and cough medicine for dogs is specially formulated to treat a specific type of cough. Often, human cough medicine does not contain the correct ingredients required to successfully treat the dog.

Why does my dog keep coughing and gagging?

Generally, humans suffer from coughs due to cold or flu viruses, more severe conditions such as pneumonia or coughs due to acid reflux or similar. In dogs, a cough can be caused by a much wider range of conditions.


This is a highly contagious disease that sounds much different from other coughs. It creates a dry, hacking sound and is caused by the parainfluenza virus. Kennel cough is easily treated with the correct medication and isolation from other dogs.


Untreated canine parasites such as lungworm and heartworm can cause a severe cough, as well as other medical issues. As the number of worms increases, more pressure is placed on the lungs, reducing oxygen flow and causing tissue inflammation. Simple cough medicine would be ineffective here. A course of deworming medication is required and a short course of antibiotics for more serious cases.


Dogs can suffer from pneumonia, which causes a build-up of fluid in the lungs. Dogs with pneumonia have a persistent wet cough and will often make gurgling sounds. This is a serious condition and is fatal if left untreated.


These two usually go hand-in-hand. A dog with both conditions is likely to suffer from frequent bouts of coughing. Treatment for allergies is necessary. A generic cough medicine would not be effective.

What home remedy can I give my dog for coughing?

The best home remedy for treating a dog with a cough is a humidifier. Dogs living in hot, dry climates are more likely to suffer from coughs as the dry air can irritate the lungs. If you cannot get hold of a humidifier, you can create a steamy environment by running the shower for a short time at a hot temperature with the door closed.

Home remedies include:

  • Pet sprays containing peppermint or eucalyptus
  • A tablespoon of honey with their meals
  • Coconut oil
  • Sweep, vacuum and mop regularly, especially if your dog has known allergies or asthma

When considering home remedies, always get the advice of your veterinarian. While some home remedies are proven to be effective, others are not and a small number can even make your dog’s cough worse.

Remember, your veterinarian has had years of specialist training and they are well equipped to give you accurate guidance on safe remedies for your dog.

Can Benadryl help a dog’s cough?

Yes, it can. But you should use it only for a short period of time and you should never give it to your dog without the advice of your vet. Giving a dog Benadryl for an extended period can lead to serious health problems such as liver damage. There are better canine cough remedies available.

It is important to remember that Benadryl is not a cure for your dog’s cough or other ailments. Instead, Benadryl should only be given to your dog as needed to help ease his symptoms during an allergic reaction.

Conclusion of dog cough medicine at PetSmart

You should always consult your veterinarian before giving your pets any new medications. They’ll be able to give you a specific recommendation and help you determine whether or not certain over-the-counter medicines are safe for your particular dog.

It’s also worth noting that while OTC cough medicines may be safe in small doses, they can be harmful if taken in excess. For this reason, it’s important to keep any type of medication out of reach of children and pets.

What you choose to do for your dog will depend on the type of cough and its cause. If your dog has a chronic cough or has been diagnosed with something more serious like heartworm, treatment will have to be more aggressive.

The only way to truly diagnose your dog and get a definitive treatment plan is to take them to see a veterinarian.

A cough can be caused by an illness or allergies, so there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for all dogs. Your vet will likely prescribe something for the symptoms and then treat the underlying cause.

But if you think your dog may have kennel cough, you need to act fast. Kennel cough is highly contagious and it can spread quickly through shelters, kennels, and other places where dogs stay temporarily in close quarters.

As always, it is important to consult with a vet before giving your pet any kind of medication.

Dog Coughing: How To Quickly Stop It With 7 Natural Remedies
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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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