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According to many holistic vets, coughing is actually an effective way to help purge foreign particles and bacteria from the respiratory tract. It is therefore not advisable to use cough suppressants to suppress the cough.
However, if your dog's coughing is keeping everyone up at night, you may want to use some of the following natural treatments to help soothe the dog's throat, ease the cough, and boost the immune system so that the dog can recover faster.
Natural remedies for coughing in dogs include herbs, essential oils, honey, and supplements (vitamins C and E, N-acetylcysteine, essential fatty acids, probiotics).
Useful herbs that can be used to effectively soothe and manage coughing in dogs include:
Dogs that have weak immune systems are more likely to get infectious respiratory problems (e.g. kennel cough). Herbs such as echinacea, astragalus, and Oregon grape can be used to strengthen the dog's immune system.
This natural herbal formula contains herbs such as coltsfoot, mullein, licorice root, and more, and is extremely effective in treating dogs with cough and respiratory problems.
This all natural herbal formula contains immune boosting herbs such as Echinacea, Elderflower, Goldenseal, Lemon Balm, Licorice, and more and can greatly help a dog weakened by infections such as kennel cough.
You can also use essential oils to help soothe the respiratory tract, and to calm your dog.
Essential oils of lavender, eucalyptus, and niaouli are antibacterial and antiviral. Chamomile essential oil has a calming effect. Use them in a vaporizer or diffuser to help your dog relax and breathe easier.
You can also use diluted oil(s) to massage your dog. Add a drop of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) and a drop of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) to a tablespoon of carrier oil (e.g. sweet almond oil, jojoba oil).
Use the oil blend to massage your dog.
Use a sweeping, stroking pattern in a downward direction, start under the throat over the windpipe, and over the chest area between the front legs.
Then massage between the shoulder blades along the back in a back and forth motion. Massaging these areas can very often lessen the frequency or severity of the cough.
(Interested in using essential oils with your dog? Here is a useful eBook for you!)
Not only is manuka honey soothing for the throat, it is also antibacterial and antiviral and can speed up recovery from a case of infection, such as kennel cough.
For a more soothing effect, try adding 5 to 10 drops (depending on dog's size) of a tincture of the herb to the manuka honey.
As mentioned above, licorice is soothing to the mucous membranes and has long been used to alleviate coughs.
Natural supplements that are beneficial to the lungs can be used to manage coughing in dogs. In particular: