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Robitussin for Dogs

By | Last Updated: 22nd February 2023

What is Robitussin

Robitussin is an over-the-counter cough and cold suppressant. The primary active ingredient is guaifenesin which may be in combination with dextromethorphan or other secondary components like acetaminophen, codeine and pseudoephedrine [4, 7, 8].

Can you give your dog Robitussin

The two main formulations of Robitussin easily available are Robitussin DM and Robitussin AC. Vets usually avoid prescribing the AC variant, as its codeine component is not safe for dogs. But, Robitussin DM [generic name(s): guaifenesin/dextromethorphan HBr] is often prescribed for coughs stemming from a collapsed trachea or dry kennel coughs. [1] [2]. It is considered reasonably safe for both smaller and larger dogs.

Quick Information


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Generic Name: Dextromethorphan/Guaifenesin

Brand Name: Robitussin DM

Type: Cough Suppressant

Who can take it: Dogs

FDA Approved: No

Availability: OTC

Available forms: Oral liquid (syrup), Tablets, Cough Gels

How does Robitussin DM work in dogs

Guaifenesin is an expectorant that works by reducing mucus obstruction in the airways, loosening chest congestion [6], while dextromethorphan is a cough suppressant that works by blocking cough signals from reaching the brain [5].

How much Robitussin DM to give a dog

Never give more than the prescribed dose. The generally recommended dosage of Robitussin DM is within 1 mg/lb every 8 hours; however, this can vary based on the cause and severity of a cough, as well as the age and overall health of your pet [2].

Signs of overdose

Overexcitement or confusion, with or without labored breathing, is a possible sign of overdose [2].

Immediately contact your vet or call the Animal Poison Control Center Helpline (1-888-426-4435).

Side effects

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting [2]

Call your vet as soon as possible in case of any of these side effects.

When not to give Robitussin to your dog

Robitussin DM is not recommended for dogs suffering from pneumonia, or if the cough is moist and producing phlegm [3].


It is usually not prescribed:

  • Within 14 days of using a MAO inhibitor,
  • Alongside other sedatives like tranquilizers, antihistamines, narcotics or CNS depressants. [2]


    1. Can I Give My Dog Robitussin – Canigivemydog.com
    2. Dextromethorphan (Benylin, Robitussin) – Peteducation.com
    3. Using Dextromethorphan to Treat Kennel Cough Symptoms  Vetinfo.com
    4. Robitussin – Webmd.com
    5. Dextromethorphan – Drugs.com
    6. Guaifenesin – Drugs.com
    7. Robitussin Cold & Cough – Webmd.com
    8. Robitussin-DM – Webmd.com

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