My Dog Ate a Halls Cough Drop – Should I be Worried?

It’s the time of the year again when cough drops become a necessity. Getting sick is unavoidable, but you shouldn’t forget about your dogs as you stock your medicine cabinet. Cough drops are common remedies for seasonal flu and cold. They are good for humans but can be dangerous for your pets.

So, what happens if your dog eats cough drops?

Try not to panic if your dog accidentally swallows cough drops. Make sure that your dog isn’t choking on the cough drop, and look at the ingredients. If you notice a toxic ingredient, head out to the emergency hospital immediately. 

Read this guide to find out more about protecting your furry friend.

What to Do When Your Dog Eats Halls Cough Drops

Most people have eaten Halls cough drops, and so have many dogs. You may want to freak out, but you shouldn’t because this could make matters worse. Observe your dog and check the ingredients on cough drops before consulting your vet.

Halls® cough drops contain a wide variety of flavorings and ingredients. Some of these can be toxic to dogs. If your dog ate a handful of cough drops, then you need to take quick action. Check the label to see if they are sugar-free. If your cough drop has Xylitol as one of the ingredients, it can seriously harm your dog. Here are some common ingredients and their effects on your dog:


Xylitol is sugar-based alcohol, and it sweetens cough drops. It is extremely dangerous for your dogs – too much of this toxic chemical can cause liver failure. It can poison dogs, leading to seizures or even death. If your dog ate a handful of cough drops containing Xylitol, then you may want to consult your vet.

It might be safe if your big dog only ate one cough drop, but this isn’t always the case. They probably ate more, and you shouldn’t take any chances. Xylitol also causes a severe blood sugar decrease in dogs, and this can be extremely dangerous. If your cough drops only contain corn syrup, glucose, your dog may be safe. Just keep an eye on your dog for signs.


You’ll find menthol in many cough drops. It soothes our throats and helps suppress whooping cough. However, menthol can be potentially fatal for a dog. It may not cause severe damage to an adult dog, but it can lower blood oxygen levels in puppies. The ‘quick cooling’ action can cause breathing difficulties in newborn puppies. Otherwise, menthol isn’t a big concern, and there are several medicated shampoos for adult dogs with menthol.

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You won’t find this ingredient in many throat lozenges or maximum-strength sore throat relief drops. They help numb our throats, so you don’t feel any pain. If your dog ingests it, it may cause their tummies to be upset. However, it can cause Methemoglobinemia (a type of anemia) if consumed in higher doses. Check if your dog is vomiting non-stop or has a swollen face and jaw. It can also numb your dog’s tongue and throat and be a choking hazard.

Choking Hazard

Aside from the risks of chemicals in cough drops, they’re a high risk for choking. Your dog may swallow an entire cough drop, which may lead to choking. Smaller dogs are more susceptible to choking on cough drops.  


Cough drops can cause intestinal obstruction. Your pet can ingest cough drops but can’t digest plastic wrappers. If your dog eats a handful of cough drops with wrappers, it can cause intestinal blockage. Your dog may need surgery to remove this obstruction. They won’t be able to use the bathroom and end up having a fatal blockage. You should consult your vet immediately if this happens.


Sugar isn’t good for dogs and will make them hyperactive. If they consume too much sugar, it can also cause diarrhea and vomiting. There is a high risk of your dog developing diabetes, liver failure, and tooth decay.


These include the flavors and colors that manufacturers use in cough drops. Most manufacturers use artificial additives to enhance the appearance and taste of the cough drops.

Eucalyptus Oil

Most essential oils are bad for dogs. If your dog inhales or ingests eucalyptus oil, it can badly affect their health. When your dog ingests a Halls cough drop, expect them to develop eucalyptus poisoning. The effects start with vomiting but will quickly turn into seizures, depression, and other health complications.

Induce Vomiting in Your Dog (Video)

So, What Should I Do?

If your dog eats cough drops, observe their symptoms, and take notes. You can share these notes with the veterinarian. Find out how many Halls cough drops they ate. Did you catch your dog eating one or a whole bag?

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Check to see if your dog also ate the plastic wrappers. This will increase the risk of intestinal blockage. Keep in mind that not every cough drop can cause damage, so make sure that the cough drops don’t contain harmful ingredients that can cause severe health issues.

How Long ago was it? Depending on how long ago you think your dog ate the cough drops, your vet may have to have a different treatment approach.

Final Thoughts

If your dog eats a cough drop, you should look for distress signs. You need to monitor behavioral changes like lethargy, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. Consult a vet immediately if your dog’s health aggravates.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can cough drops kill a dog?

Some ingredients found in cough drops are toxic to dogs. One cough drop can cause only minor gastrointestinal upset. Seek immediate veterinary assistance if your dog’s health or behavior changes.

Can cough drops make you sick?

You can suffer negative symptoms from ingesting too many cough drops. Always read the label and never exceed the recommended dose. If you’re concerned about overdosing, look for cough drops that don’t contain any menthol.

What happens if my pet eats ten cough drops?

If your pet ate ten cough drops, you should contact your veterinarian.  

Can dogs smell menthol?

Dogs don’t like menthol-based products because they are sensitive to the strong smell. Dogs can smell more vapor than humans with their super-powered noses. Smelling menthol or Vicks can cause a burning sensation, skin irritation, and watery eyes.

What health problems do dogs have?

Dogs can suffer from various health problems ranging from digestive issues, ear infections, eye problems, skin, and dental disease. Many of these conditions cause uncomfortable symptoms for our favorite pets.

Is my dog dying or just sick?

If your dog is eating less, chances are they’re just sick, and you should consult your vet. When a dog is dying, they may experience extreme lethargy and difficulty breathing. Shallow breaths are a clear sign of a dying dog.

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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