Robitussin for Dogs

Robitussin is available as an off-the-counter cough suppressant that is mainly prescribed by vets for treating tracheal and bronchial irritations. The principal active ingredient in Robitussin is guaifenesin which works with other secondary ingredients like Dextromethorphan, acetaminophen, pseudoephedrine, and codeine. Dogs, like human beings, are susceptible to various respiratory complications such as kennel cough (tracheobronchitis) and chronic bronchitis.

If any of these respiratory conditions are not treated in time, it might aggravate the condition, leading to bronchial compression or a collapsed trachea (windpipe). Robitussin may help your dog get temporary relief from symptoms like irritation in the airways which causes coughing thus preventing the condition from worsening. When Dextromethorphan is administered in combination with guaifenesin, the medication helps break up the mucous, and disgorge it, besides relieving cough.  

Robitussin at a Glance

Brand Name

Robitussin DM

Generic Name


Drug Type

Cough Suppressant

Has FDA approved the drug for pets?



Only for dogs



Available forms

Tablets, cough gels, oral liquid (syrup

Is It Safe to Give Robitussin to Dogs?

You can offer Robitussin to your dog for helping the pet deal effectively with cough and cold, provided you follow your vet’s instructions. Though the medication is available off-the-counter, it doesn’t necessarily imply that the formulation is safe. Furthermore, FDA has not sanctioned the use of Dextromethorphan for use in pets.

You should first consult your vet, and discuss your pet’s medical history and overall health so that the professional can figure out whether it’ll be safe to prescribe Robitussin. Robitussin is available in two broad formulations-Robitussin AC and Robitussin DM-and vets normally prescribe the latter. The codeine ingredient in Robitussin AC is considered unsafe for canines, and hence this variant is not prescribed by vets.

However, you should refrain from giving Robitussin AC to your dog if the pet is hypersensitive to the drug or has other allergies. Additionally, the medication is not recommended for nursing or pregnant dogs or pets suffering from chronic coughs or heart disease.

What is the Mechanism of Action of Robitussin in Dogs?

The chief active component in Robitussin, guaifenesin acts as an expectorant by hindering the formation of mucous in the airways. This ingredient helps in breaking up, loosening, and dislodging the accumulated cough in the chest, thereby offering relief from coughs. On the other hand, the Dextromethorphan action mechanism entails obstructing the cough stimuli from getting to the brain.

The Right Dosage of Robitussin for Dogs

Robitussin is widely available in the form of tablets, cough gels, and syrups. To make sure that your pet ingests the drug thoroughly, crush the tablets and mix them completely with food. Your vet will determine and decide the exact amount of the medication that you should be administering to your pet.

The professional will review numerous factors such as the dog’s breed, age, size, and weight before coming to a decision. So the exact amount may vary depending upon the aforementioned factors but usually, vets prescribe up to 0.5mg/lb for an adult dog. You should administer this dose to your dog every 10 hours but be very careful not to exceed this amount.

Common Side Effects

Some common side effects associated with Robitussin include reduced appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, salivating, anxiousness, and much more. If you notice even a mild form of any of these side effects, you should get in touch with your vet. 

Overdosing Signs and Symptoms

Usual signs and symptoms of Robitussin toxicity (resulting from overdose) comprise hives, facial swelling, seizures, muscle tremors, and rapid heartbeat. Inform your vet immediately if you observe any of these overdosing signs or contact the Animal Poison Control Center Helpline (1-888-426-4435).

When is Robitussin Not Suitable for My Dog?

Don’t give Robitussin to your pet in the following cases:-

  • If your dog is pregnant or nursing
  • If the pet experiences chronic cough, and/or the phlegm is wet
  • If the pet has liver or kidney disease or atopic dermatitis

Drug Interactions

Robitussin could interact with any of the following medications you might be offering to your pet:-

  • Tramadol
  • Terbinafine
  • Trazodone
  • Naloxone
  • Fluoxetine
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Buspirone


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