Home Remedies for Canine Colds

by Katherine Barrington, Demand Media Google
    When your dog has a cold he may become lethargic.

    When your dog has a cold he may become lethargic.

    Like humans, dogs do fall ill on occasion. When your dog comes down with a cold, taking quick action to treat his symptoms may help prevent the cold from fully developing. Making home remedies is a great way to treat your dog's cold without exposing him to harsh medications.

    Symptoms

    Many pet owners do not realize that, just like humans, dogs are susceptible to colds. In dogs, a cold typically manifests in the form of coughing and labored breathing. The cough is often moist. In some cases, a dog with a cold may breathe rapidly. In addition to these symptoms, a dog with a cold may also exhibit nasal discharge. In most cases, you will be able to diagnose a cold based on your dog's symptoms, but your veterinarian will be able to confirm the diagnosis by running a few simple tests.

    Causes

    The two most common causes of colds in dogs are Bordatella and the flu virus. Bordatella, more commonly known as kennel cough, is a respiratory disease caused by the Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria. This condition is particularly common in puppies because their immune systems have not yet fully developed. Canine influenza, or the dog flu, is highly contagious and may be exacerbated by crowded, humid conditions. Poor diet and sanitation can also contribute to a dog developing a cold.

    Fluids and Rest

    One of the most important things you can do to help your dog when he has a cold is give him plenty of fluids and rest. Encourage your dog to drink water and feed him plenty of nutritious food. If you find that your dog loses his desire to eat, try warming up his food a little bit to make it more appealing. Try to keep your dog warm and limit the amount of time he spends outside, especially if it is cold out. Cold air can constrict the bronchial tubes, making your dog's labored breathing even more difficult.

    Herbal Remedies

    To boost your dog's immune system, try crushing up a quarter of a vitamin C tablet in his food once a day for several days. Garlic and zinc supplements may also help combat the early symptoms of a developing cold. Elderberry extract is not only used to treat colds in humans, but it can also be effective for dogs. Giving your dog elderberry extract as soon as you notice symptoms could help prevent a cold from developing completely. Colloidal silver, typically used as an antiseptic, can also be effective in treating canine colds. The proper dosage of colloidal silver will vary between 1/2 teaspoon and 1 teaspoon, depending on your dog's weight.

    About the Author

    Katherine Barrington has written on a variety of topics, from arts and crafts to pets, health and do-it-yourself projects. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a creative writing concentration from Marietta College.

    Photo Credits

    • Collie Dog on Dog Bed image by Janet Wall from Fotolia.com