Has your dog just come down with kennel cough and you want to give him or her a kennel cough home remedy but you dog doesn’t like what you’re offering?
No worries, there are several approaches you can take to get your herbal or other type of home remedy in your dog’s system without having to stress yourself or your dog out too much in the process.
Giving Herbs To Your Dog
Herbs are sometimes bitter and your dog may not like the taste so one thing you can do is mix some of the herb, usually from a pinch, 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp of powdered herb in either their wet food, a treat, or with a spoon of honey.
NOTE: If your herb of choice isn’t already powdered, say if you have licorice root sticks for example, what you can do is first cut the herb up into 2 – 3 cm pieces, then put them in a cleaned out coffee grinder (you don’t want to get any coffee into your sick dog) and buzz it till you get the herb as close as possible to a powder.
If some stringy parts remain, simply take a sieve with medium size filtration and sift the powder from the larger particles, then store the powder in an air tight jar and keep it in a cool dark place.
If one of the herbs you want to use are olive leaf, mullein, worm wood for your dog’s kennel cough, don’t use them together as they are each quite bitter and would best be given with honey to help counter their unpleasant taste.
If they still won’t take any of these herbs even when mixed with honey, there’s still another way, just have your dog’s favourite treat on hand for an immediate ‘reward’ afterwards.
In a small dish or cup (a medicine cup is good too) mix up to 1/2 tsp of the powdered herb with an equal amount of water (or chicken stock if you have it), make sure it’s liquidy enough to be picked up by a large oral medicine dropper (you may have to add a little more water).
After getting it in the dropper, place the tip of the dropper in the side corner of your dog’s mouth and make a little circular motion to encourage them to open their mouth, when they do squirt it in quickly.
NOTE: with smaller to middle size breeds try to keep the amount you put in the dropper proportionate to the size mouth they have, if you have a 9 lb dog for example you don’t want to squirt more then 2.5 ml in their mouth at once as it can make them choke.
This may require you to use the dropper a few times in a row to make sure they get it all. Also, when you restrain your dog to give them the medicine via dropper, try not to be too firm or restrictive as it can make them uneasy.
Have them on a table or chair that will allow you to rest their head on your chest or stomach while you gently hold their head in place with one hand and hold the dropper in the other.
When you’re done give them their treat right away to help prevent any hard feelings over the taste of the medicine you’ve given them.
Giving Peppery And Savory Herbs
If you want to give your dog an herb that’s a bit on the hot or spicy side such as garlic (fresh or powdered), mustard seed powder, black seed, thyme or sage mixing these with their food may make it taste even better to your dog.
However if your dog doesn’t like it, you can add them to some buttery mashed potatoes to give to your dog.
Try to substitute the milk in the mashed potatoes with water though, because while the butter is for taste and may actually help soothe your dog’s throat as well, milk and other dairy products aren’t good for dogs or people with throat infections.
If you like you may even want to try and substitute the butter for olive oil too if you’re concerned about your dog’s weight.
If Your Dog Is Picky
If your dog doesn’t like the flavour changed in his or her food, and doesn’t like herbs that have a taste, one of the best home remedies for kennel cough is slippery elm. It’s best to make a tea from it to get the most effect from it’s throat healing, toxin and mucus absorbing properties that are activated when stirred into boiling water (1 tsp to 1 cup of boiled water).
However, if your dog still won’t take the tea by itself or mixed with his or her food, no problem, just mix the powdered herb with their food and an equivalent amount of extra water (as the powdered herb will absorb the moisture in their food and make it stiffer and dryer if you don’t a little extra moisture).
Giving Your Dog A Steam Treatment
You want to keep the air in your home warm and humidified enough as dry and/or cold air can irritate your dog’s lungs and throat and encourage more coughing.
You may also want to get them to breath in some medicine as well.
Now it may be a little difficult to get some dogs to sit still in order for you to wrap a towel around their head and have them breath in steam from a small bowl or pot of hot water to which you’ve added essential oils such as lavender, ravensare, eucalyptus or lemon balm.
Rather then using the towel approach or spraying them and the house with water to which you’ve added these oils you can use a vaporizer. Add one or two of these essential oils to the water in your vaporizer and place it in the smallest room in your house.
Put a folded towel or blanket down in the spot the vapour is being directed but have it far enough away that your dog won’t get hurt from the steam and have your dog sit in the spot and breath in the steam for a quarter of an hour to 20 minutes every hour for up to five hours in a row.
Keep doing this for 2 to 3 days till your dog is doing better.
To discover more about giving your dog a kennel cough home remedy or learn more about home remedies for your dog click here.