When your dog has a cold, it's important to provide him with the proper care, and home remedies can help with that. Like with humans, a cold is often treated with home remedies to help soothe and relieve cold symptoms and letting the dog recover from the cold.
Be aware that dog cold symptoms can often be a sign of other ailments, and it's important to get him checked out by a vet to make sure it's just a cold and nothing more serious. (Here's a quick checklist on How To Tell If Your Dog Has A Cold.)
If your vet says home care is the best way to go, here are some easy dog cold remedies to get you started.
Dog Home Cold Remedy #1: Feed Your Dog Chicken Soup
While it may sound strange, lukewarm (not hot) chicken soup can sometimes be as beneficial to dog's to fight off a cold as it can be for humans. Chicken soup with chicken breast, brown rice, and low sodium chicken stock will give him the energy and nutrition he needs to help fight off the cold. Science support the fact that chicken soup is actually helpful in fighting off a cold. Chicken soup will work to keep your dog hydrated, and his immune system up. It can also be easier for him to eat when he's lacking energy.
Dog Home Cold Remedy #2: Steam Up Your Home
Steam will make it easier for your dog to breathe when he has a virus by keeping his bronchial passages open and moist. You can do this by running hot water in the bathroom with the door closed (without letting your dog into the water), and letting him breathe the hot water in for 10 minutes or so. You can also take advantage of a good vaporizer like Vicks Warm Mist Humidifier. If you like, you can add some essential oils like Eucalyptus Oil or Peppermint Oil to the steam to help your dog breathe more easily.
Dog Home Cold Remedy #3: Give Plenty Of Fluids
Dog's need to stay hydrated to recover fully from a cold. Soup can help with this, but they'll also need plenty of other fluids. Make sure your dog is drinking plenty of water. If you are thinking of giving your dog a bit of orange juice, don't do it. It is better to simply give him plain water.
Dog Cold Remedy #4: Make Time For Rest
Like us humans, dog's will need plenty of rest to start feeling better. Provide your pup with an insulated, warm place to sleep. Give him a nice warm blanket to sleep with, and consider heating up his bed with a warm water bottle or a heating pad. Or you can even spoil your dog with this excellent heated bed for your dog. (Here are some additional well-rated heated products to keep your dog warm and also some tips on 5 Ways To Keep Your Dog Warm This Winter.)
Dog Home Cold Remedy #5: Add Vitamins, Herbal and Natural Remedies
Some herbs and supplements are thought to help stave off dog colds. Vitamin C is a good choice to help build the immune system. I think the best Vitamin C for your dog is the sodium asorbate version as found in supplements like Ester C Canine Supplement. You can also give your dog a slice of apple or a few sliced baby carrots.
Some other herbal remedies you can give your dog include:
Be sure to check with a holistic vet to determine which herbs would be best for your dog, and the proper dosages to prevent any potential complications or interactions with other things you are feeding your dog.
You can also try giving your dog honey and/or coconut oil. Honey has impressive antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties. Giving your dog a half-teaspoon to full teaspoon of honey a few times a day should be helpful to your dog in fighting off his cold. Coconut oil is also well known as an infection fighter, since it helps kill harmful bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungi, and parasites. The recommended dosage is 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of dog weight per day.
If you are wondering if you should give your pet some more serious medicines, it's be best to consult with your doctor about that. With most colds, vets are likely to let the cold run its course itself unless it is due to a bacterial infection that they need to treat with antibiotics.
If you're wondering if you should give your dog some of your OTC cold medicine, do not do that without consulting with your vet. BE CAREFUL GIVING HUMAN COLD MEDICINE TO YOUR DOG. Some ingredients in some cold medicines like caffeine or acetaminophen can be toxic to your dog and anything that is usually safe like Robitussin (dextromthorphan) will have to be given in the proper dosage. Be careful about giving your dog cold medicines!!
If your dog has a cold, it's important to give him with the proper care to help him get better. As I mentioned earlier, be sure to take him to a vet to get his symptoms evaluated if he looks sick, so you can be sure it's not anything serious, and to get the medication necessary to help him start to feel better.
Editor's Note: We received many emails and comments asking what can be done to help treat a dog's cold without a visit to the vet. If you can't afford to visit a vet, but you still need to take care of your dog, you can try to treating your dogs symptoms yourself. Here's an excellent article on diagnosing your dog's cold and how to treat it. Here's an article on some natural antibiotic options. As mentioned above, honey and coconut oil can be of great help to your dog in fighting his infection. You can also buy antibiotics for your dog online here. A short video on the topic is available below.
Hopefully these tips will help your dog to feel better soon!
How To Tell If Your Dog Has A Cold
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