Canine cold is caused by a viral infection that attacks the upper respiratory tract of the dogs. The virus is highly contagious in nature. It may get transmitted from an infected dog to others through direct contact or it may get an air borne infection and pass it on to other dogs. It can be identified with some typical symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, persistent cough and dry mouth. They may get fever as well because of a secondary bacterial infection. The sick dogs exhibit sluggish behavior and avoid their daily activities. As they lose the sense of smell, they cannot smell their food and refuse to eat anything.
When you notice cold symptoms in your pet dogs, you must take them to the vet for proper diagnosis. Canine cold is not something serious but there are a number of other serious respiratory illnesses like pneumonia, etc. which have similar symptoms. So, you have to take your vet's opinion about the exact cause of the infection. Moreover, cold symptoms in puppies and old dogs should be treated under medical supervision only, as their immune system is quite weak and a mild infection may lead to serious health complications. Apart from studying the physical symptoms, a chest X-ray is conducted to check if there is a pneumonia infection or not.
A serious cold is treated with antibiotics. Even though antibiotics are ineffective on viruses, still, it is given to reduce the chances of any bacterial infection, which tend to attack the sick dog with a weak immune system. Vitamin C supplements are widely used for the treatment of canine cold. It does not cure the cold but it makes their immune system strong. Thus, it can fight off the infection well. The daily dosage of vitamin C for dogs is 45 mg. If your dog can swallow the pill, then you won't face trouble in giving him this medicine. If he cannot, then crush the pill and mix it with dog food. A pediatric cough suppressant like Robitussen is often given to dogs who are older than 2 years for cough relief. It decreases irritation and inflammation of throat and the cough subsides. Usually, half teaspoon of this cough medicine is recommended 4 times in a day. However, you should use it as per the instructions given by the vet.
If your pet is diagnosed with a mild infection, then you can treat him at home too. A few such home remedies that can reduce the suffering of your pets are as follows:
Colloidal Silver: A daily dose of colloidal silver has an amazing effect on canine cold. Its antibiotic qualities are quite strong. So, you have to be extra careful about its dosage. It should vary according to the age and size of the dog. Small-sized dogs or old dogs should be given half teaspoon of colloidal silver daily while large sized adult dogs need one teaspoon of colloidal silver every day for complete relief from cold.
Honey: Honey forms a thin coat on the lining of the dog's throat and prevents recurrent cough. One teaspoon of honey should be administered directly into their mouth. It should be repeated 2-3 times everyday. If your dog refuses to take honey, then dilute it with water and pour a few drops of this solution into his mouth after a gap of every one hour.
Steam Treatment: This treatment works really well on runny nose. Turn on the hot shower in a closed bathroom and let it get filled up with steam. Your pet should spend 15-20 minutes inside this steamy room. Inhaling the hot steam thins up the phlegm and it will drain out easily. Now, they can breathe freely without any difficulty.
Dog Diet: When your pets are dealing with cold, you must provide them with proper food that can strengthen their immune system. You can offer them chicken soup, which has a soothing effect on the irritated throat and at the same time will give them enough nutrition. Boiled chicken combined with brown rice is another option available with you. Feeding the dog in this condition is challenging and you must act patiently.
Humidifier: Keep a humidifier in the sleeping area of your dog. It adds moisture to the indoor air, which in turn will open up their clogged air passage. Thus, they can breathe easily and will be relieved from the annoying cough too.
The symptoms of canine cold usually last for around one or two weeks. Once your pet dog has recovered with the help of canine cold remedies discussed in this article, you must ensure that they do not catch cold all over again. Limit their exposure to cold weather conditions. Do not allow healthy dogs in the house to mingle with sick dogs, thus preventing spread of the infection.