If your dog has a sore throat, there should be a physical cue, such as coughing, gagging, excessive drooling, refusing to eat, fever and obvious discomfort when swallowing. His throat might be red and inflamed, or show drainage. Depending on the severity, different treatments are available to ease his discomfort.
Avoid all dry, rough food for a few days. Instead, give your dog soft, wet food that will go down his throat easily and not provide additional irritation. Make sure to give him healthy alternatives to his usual dry food, however, to help raise his immune system and fight off the infection.
Natural throat soothers also can boost your dog's immune system. Give him 1/2 to one teaspoon of honey three times a day, or one teaspoon of coconut oil for every 10 pounds of his weight daily. Do not give the coconut oil to him all at once, but over the course of the day in smaller increments. Honey and coconut oil can be mixed together for greater effectiveness, and your dog will probably love the sweet taste. Herbal products are also available that contain a mixture of essential oils and various natural products to ease a dog's sore throat. Look at pet stores or online sources that sell holistic pet products. Peppermint tea, made strong with honey added, can be given to soothe your dog's throat, as well; make sure it's not too hot. Plenty of fluids and rest also can help healing.
Always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your pet, especially for symptoms that persist or worsen. Your vet might prescribe giving your dog an aspirin, depending on his size, weight and the severity of the discomfort; however, many vets do not recommend this to avoid accidentally overdosing your pet. An over-the-counter cough syrup might be recommended if the sore throat is caused by persistent coughing, such as kennel cough. And antibiotics are often prescribed for sore throats caused by coughs that last past the usual viral stage.
In extreme cases, a veterinarian might recommend the removal of your dog's tonsils. This usually follows persistent or recurring symptoms, and can indicate other health problems. It is rarely needed, but is more common in small dog breeds when it is required.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
Lori Lapierre holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science in public relations/communications. For 17 years, she worked for a Fortune 500 company before purchasing a business and starting a family. She is a regular freelancer for "Living Light News," an award-winning national publication. Her past writing experience includes school news reporting, church drama, in-house business articles and a self-published mystery, "Duty Free Murder."