Dog Sounds Congested When Breathing: Reasons and Possible Treatment 

There are many diseases that we do not generally associate with dogs. Many pet parents wonder whether dogs can even get cold when a dog sounds snotty. The truth is that, yes, dogs can actually get cold. Although when your dog sounds congested when breathing, it might not be a life-threatening condition for them but is as uncomfortable as it is for us humans. When we speak about cold, we generally refer to a state wherein one is inflicted with various viruses. These cold viruses lead to similar symptoms like runny nose, congestion, and more. When your dog sounds congested, it can also indicate nonallergic rhinitis, which is a more complex diagnosis requiring a physical examination from a trusted veterinarian. 

Do you have a specific question about the reasons why dog sounds congested? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

What does it mean when your dog sounds congested when breathing?

If your dog sounds congested when breathing, there are many reasons that this can be attributed to. For some dogs, for example, congested breathing is an anatomical problem that is normal for them. On the other hand, obesity can also cause congestion in your dog. However, some of the most common reasons for congestion in dogs are cold or allergic reactions. Cold is relatively common in dogs and takes the same course of progression as in humans. On the other hand, an allergic reaction can also cause congestion. Suppose the problem persists for a long time. In that case, it is best to see a veterinarian as it can suggest some obstruction in the nasal passage or even a tumor. 

What causes a dog to sound congested?

If you’re wondering why does my dog sound congested, you have to keep a keen eye on it to notice patterns. Breathing patterns, even abnormal ones, can fall into various categories. For example, suppose you hear extremely loud breathing. In that case, it is generally caused by a strange air passage through a narrow route. 

The airflow is met with resistance that can be indicative of a partial blockage. The origin of the blockage can be in the throat, the back of the throat, the windpipe, or even the voice box. Within this frame of reference, you must remember the concept of stertor and stridor. Stertor occurs during inhalation and almost mimics a snoring sound. On the other hand, stridor is rather noisy and high-pitched breathing. They are both caused by the blockage in some part of the air passage and need medical attention. 

Puppy sounds congested when sleeping: reasons and fixes

If you have noticed that your puppy sounds congested, this can be because of some nasal passage blockage or even a cold. There are some symptoms that you should be looking out for:

  • An acute inability to bark; or partial or complete loss of voice. 
  • Acute or chronic breathing sounds that have become especially noticeable in the recent present. 
  • The breathing sound may be of different kinds, such as high pitched, low pitched, mimicking the sound of snoring, etc. 
  • The breathing sound can be heard from a distance even without using a stethoscope. 
  • Noticeable problems in breathing efforts indicate that the dog is having difficulty breathing properly. This can include body changes accompanied by breathing, the opening of the mouth in an attempt to breathe, and more. 

My dog sounds congested- what can I do? 

If I ever feel that it sounds like my dog is congested, I rely on some natural remedies that have proven benefits. While opting for a medical opinion is equally important, if your dog has a history of cold and congestion, home remedies will become your best friend. These remedies are not harmful to your dog in any way, shape, or form. Alternatively, they provide a great solution when you need something to alleviate your dog’s discomfort. If your dog sounds congested when breathing, here are some home remedies that you can rely on with your eyes closed (although you might still want to consult the vet first):

  • Honey with some herbs: While honey is not advisable for dogs who have diabetes or are obese, honey can be given to adult dogs in moderation. Honey is excellent for soothing colds and coughs and can effectively reduce congestion in your dog. You simply have to mix it in their meals, and the job is done. Some varieties of canine honey are also available that are safer for your dogs. No matter what, ensure you do not provide more than a teaspoon of honey per day. Some herbs like sacred basil and elderflower are also great for treating cough in dogs. 
  • Steam: Steam is one of the book’s oldest tricks when treating cold and congestion. It is a very valid method as the steam opens up the bronchial passages and keeps the airway moist. While this applies to humans, you might wonder if it can also be used for dogs. The good news is that, yes, steam works for congestion in dogs as well. However, it is not recommended for dogs like pit bulls or pugs as they have structural differences. Make sure to acclimate your dog when starting the steam treatment and ensure that the exposure is limited and progressive. 
  • Aromatherapy: Essential oils can also work really well when it comes to treating colds in dogs. Strong essential oils can be too much for your dog, so you must always use them in diluted forms. Eucalyptus, lavender, and peppermint oils have been seen to have a good effect on dogs in treating congestion. 

Treating Congestion in Dogs

If the dog or puppy’s stuffy nose sound persists even after administering home remedies or if you are a new pet parent, consider visiting a vet before the problem worsens. While there are ways to help your dog in treating them at home, there are also things that you should never do and be very mindful about. While there are methods to relieve your dog from congestion as provided in the video below, you must consult a doctor if the problem becomes extensive. 

Make sure to administer proper care to your dog as they heal from congestion. They need care and attention just like us, so empathy is vital when being a pet parent. 

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