Why is My Dog’s Nose Running & How Do I Fix It? 

Dogs’ noses have evolved to function much better than human noses. How much better? Human noses have 6 million olfactory receptors – dogs’ noses have 300+ million. However, despite their superiority, both human & dog noses have one thing in common – they run from time to time. It’s common for dogs to get runny noses – even super-healthy dogs. So, if you see your dog’s nose running or dripping – don’t panic. 

Just like we humans start sniffling & sneezing during the allergy season, dogs get runny noses from time to time. Elder dogs are more prone to getting runny noses. Occasional senior dog nose dripping is very common and not a cause for concern. However, if this problem persists & the discharges coming out of your dog’s nose don’t stop – you should seek treatment. Let’s learn all about nasal discharge in dogs. 

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Can Dogs Have a Runny Nose?

Yes. In most cases, dog runny eyes and nose are symptoms of seasonal allergies. Other times, they signal deeper health conditions that need to be addressed by qualified veterinarians as quickly as possible. Due to genetic reasons, dog nose dripping is very common in some dog breeds. Brachycephalic & Dolichocephalic dog breeds are likelier to develop infections & suffer from runny noses. 

The same goes for flat-faced dog breeds like English bulldogs, boxers, & pugs, who often have breathing problems due to the shapes of their nasal airways. Surgery is the best solution if your dog has a runny nose due to biological factors. But, if your dog’s nose dripping is caused by other factors – other types of treatments will be required.

Why Does My Dog Have a Runny Nose? 

There are many possible causes behind your dog’s nose dripping. Identifying the underlying cause is key to creating the right dog sneezing and runny nose treatment plan. Here are the most common causes of dog nose dripping & running –


Allergies to specific food items, environmental allergens (dust, heat, etc.), & fleas can cause dogs to get runny noses. Typically, allergy-induced nasal discharge is clear & transparent. This condition comes with symptoms (other than runny noses) like – excessive grooming, itching, inflamed skin, & digestive issues. It’s also harmless and treatable at home. Just identify the specific allergen affecting your dog & eliminate it from their surroundings. 


Your dog’s runny nose and panting can be caused by a common cold. That’s right, just like humans, dogs can catch a cold too. Watch out for the following cold symptoms in your dog – sneezing, congested nose, persistent coughing, & watery eyes. If your dog has stuffy nose syndrome for over 48 hours, seek veterinary treatment. Also, watch out for more severe symptoms like fever, vomiting, diarrhea, change in appetite, & other abnormal behaviors.


Various bacterial, fungal, or viral infections can cause runny noses in dogs. If your dog’s nose drippings are green or yellow-colored & have an unpleasant odor – it’s most likely an infection. Before your dog start’s experiencing nosebleeds & excessive coughing, take him/her to the vet to have the disorder diagnosed. Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex is a group of viral and bacterial infections that affect dogs. 

The most common viral causes of CIRDC are – canine parainfluenza virus, canine adenovirus, canine herpesvirus & canine influenza viruses. The most common bacterial causes of CIRDC are mycoplasma infections, Bordetella bronchiseptica infections, & S. zooepidemicus infections. A fungal infection like Nasal aspergillosis or a parasitic infection like nasal mites may also cause this condition.  


Dogs sweat through the sweat pads on their feet and noses. So, your dog’s runny nose and panting could simply be signs that their body needs cooling down. Moving your dog to a cooler location should stop the dripping.  

Foreign Objects

Overcurious dogs often sniff around their surroundings & get foreign objects like wood splinters or blades of grass stuck in their noses. These objects cause them irritation, runny noses, and in some cases, nosebleeds. A dog’s runny nose caused by blockages in its nasal passages is a serious matter. If left unremoved, foreign objects can cause deep wounds or infections. 

How to Help Dog With Runny Nose?

Not all dogs with runny noses require veterinarian attention. Some of the underlying causes of your dog’s runny nose (e.g., seasonal allergies or cold) can be treated at home. Here’s how you can treat these relatively mild conditions at home –

  • Make lifestyle changes to reduce your dog’s exposure to potential allergens. 
  • Wash your dog’s toys, blankets, etc., with non-allergic cleaning products.
  • If your dog’s allergic to dirt or grass – only take your pet for walks on paved paths or artificial turf fields.
  • Use wet wipes to clean your dog’s nose.
  • Remove potential irritants from your dog’s fur by giving them hot baths.
  • Install air filters inside your dog’s room. 
  • Give your dog limited ingredient diets (LIDs) for one to two weeks.

If these at-home solutions don’t work & your dog’s nose dripping doesn’t stop, seek professional advice from a qualified veterinarian. Don’t wait until thick, blood-laced discharges come out of your dog’s nose. Take him/her to the vet as soon as possible.

Dog Sneezing and Runny Nose Treatment

Schedule an appointment with your vet if you suspect something is seriously wrong with your dog. Promptly reporting your dog’s symptoms will help the vet determine the proper diagnosis. The earlier the diagnosis, the quicker the treatment starts. When visiting the vet, make sure to carry –

  • Your dog’s medical history
  • Samples of your dog’s nasal discharge
  • Clothes & food for your dog as diagnosis may take a while

Vets typically ask afflicted dogs to undergo various physical examinations. They include – x-rays, rhinoscopies, urine tests, blood tests, stool tests, & other lab tests. Once the vet detects the root of the issue, an appropriate treatment plan will be drafted. Of course, treatment will vary depending on what’s causing your dog’s runny nose. 

As a dog parent, the best thing you can do in such situations is seek medical treatment on time. Follow this guide & don’t refrain from reaching out to experts for assistance. 

Thanks for the blog graphics: Canva.com

Thanks for the blog graphics: Canva.com

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