101 Dog Care Tips: Tip 148 - How to Treat a Doggie Cold
Dogs can get colds just like their owners. If your dog has a cough, runny nose and eyes, sneezing, general lethargy and loss of appetite, he or she might just have a cold. Also similar to human colds, dog colds aren't severe. Here are a few tips on helping your pup get back to romping around.
Comfy & Cozy: Keep Your Dog Warm & Dry. You'll need to make sure your dog stays inside as much as possible. Cold air can further constrict a dog's bronchial tubes if they are having a hard time breathing. Routine potty breaks outside should remain normal, but when inside keep your pup warm by adding blanket to their bed, covering them up or putting a hot water bottle in their covers.
Calories Every Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Making Sure Your Dog Eats and Drinks. If your dog seems indifferent toward their food, there are a few ways to get their calorie intake up. If your dog won't eat dry food, try a hot low sodium chicken broth, or mixing up a combination of veggies, boiled chicken and rice. Your dog is certain to be interested. Making sure your dog stays hydrated is equally important. If they don't seem to want to drink water, try a sports drink or add an electrolyte mix to their water. (Always check with your vet about the ingredients on these products!) This helps to replace fluids that your pup may be losing to mucus production.
Doggies In The Mist: Vapor & Moisture. There are a few ways to help break up your dog's congestion. Turn on a very hot shower and sit in a closed bathroom with your dog. You can also use a humidifier, which creates the same effect. Both of these will help loosen any mucus your dog has built up.
The key to helping your dog get over a cold is pretty simple--If it works for you, it just might work for your dog. If the symptoms become more intense, please take your dog to the vet. It could possibly be something more serious than a cold. Illnesses such as Parainfluenza, Kennel Cough or Canine Distemper are all more serious ailments that could be disguised as a cold. If you're an attentive dog owner, you'll pick up on the difference in a common cold and something more serious. Never second guess taking your prized pup to the doctor.