Last Updated on May 31, 2023 by Becky Roberts
Stuffy nose is my worst enemy. I hate how it makes breathing difficult and how it ruins the way my food tastes. (Everything but the food, please) But did you know that our dogs can suffer from a clogged nose as well? Dogs explore the world through their noses. If we are miserable from stuffy noses, imagine how they must feel when they do. Thus, pet owners must recognize the signs of nasal congestion and learn how to help their dogs.
This article will talk about the symptoms of stuffy nose in dogs, their causes, and how you can treat them at home.
The medical term for a canine’s clogged nose is rhinitis and sinusitis. Rhinitis is the inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose. While sinusitis is the inflammation of the lining of the sinuses or the nasal passage. There are many reasons why your dog has nasal congestion. The next section will be all about this.
Causes of nasal congestion in dogs
If your dog is suffering from a clogged nose, it may be caused by:
- A foreign body inside the nose
- Bacterial infection
- Fungal infection
- Some of the uncommon but not impossible causes are:
- Tumor in the nose
- Traumatic injury
It’s important to note that nasal congestion can be caused by a lot of things. Hence, blood samples and laboratory tests may be necessary to determine what’s causing it in the first place. There are also some ailments that some breeds are more inclined to get, like lymphocytic-plasmacytic rhinitis. It commonly affects dachshunds causing nasal discharge and irritation.
My pet is suffering from nasal congestion. Should you take him to the vet immediately? Not necessarily, but there are certain conditions when it is needed.
Do I Need to Take My Dog to The Vet for Nasal Congestion?
Usually, a simple stuffy nose does not need a trip to the vet. This is especially true if it clears up after 24 hours and your pet appears healthy. However, if his stuffy nose lasts for more than 48 hours, affects only one nostril, then you need to take her to the veterinarian immediately. Additionally, if his clogged nose is accompanied by a fever and has a green discharge, he needs to be examined by the veterinarian.
Other alarming symptoms include holding his head in a strange position, uncoordinated movements, and having trouble balancing himself. If you want to know what’s considered typical of nasal congestion, the next section is what you’re looking for.
Symptoms of Nasal Congestion
You will know your dog has sinusitis or rhinitis when he is:
- Excessively sneezing
- No appetite
- Reverse sneezing
- Breathing through his mouth
- Nasal discharge
- Bad breath
- Rubbing or pawing at his face
How to treat your dog’s congested nose?
For mild cases of nasal congestion, there are several ways you can relieve your dog of this affliction. Keep in mind that when his stuffy nose doesn’t disappear after 2 days, you need to take him to the vet.
Without further ado, here are the best home remedies you can try.
- Massage your dog’s nose. For humans, massaging the bridge of our nose when we have sinusitis or nasal congestion alleviates the pain and helps us breathe better. Our dogs might also benefit from this technique. To do this, just lightly massage the upper part of your dog’s nose.
- Have your dog lay on the bathroom floor while you take a hot shower. The steam will open his nasal passage and allow the mucus to drain, making him breathe better.
- Give your dog warm food. Just like the idea of using the steam from the shower, the steam from his warm food can also be effective. You can heat wet dog food or make a dog-friendly soup for him. To give you an idea of what ingredients he can and cannot eat, you can jump right on to Toxic Food Dogs Cannot Eat.
- Give him food that will help strengthen his immune system. Apart from his regular dog food, you can help him recover quickly by adding supplements that boost his immune system. Fish oil is a good supplement that you can just add to his dog food. Apart from that, it’s normal for dogs with illness to lose their appetite. Thus, you need to make sure he eats. As a remedy, feeding him with a delicious meal can help.
- Use a nasal aspirator or use cotton swabs to rid your dog’s nose of the excess mucus. Be very gentle and careful when you do this. When using a nasal aspirator, just insert the tip into your dog’s nasal passage. Clean thoroughly after every use. The same rule applies to cotton swabs.
- Use a humidifier. Making use of your humidifier can increase the amount of moisture in your home.
Can you give your dog decongestants?
As a rule of thumb, never give over-the-counter medications to your dog without asking your veterinarian first, especially decongestants. There are only a few decongestants that are safe for dogs. There’s a good chance what you plan to give him is toxic. For your dog’s safety, consult your veterinarian.
Also related: Can Dogs Take Allegra?
Similar to humans, dogs can suffer from nasal congestion. And just like us, there is an underlying cause that pet owners need to identify. Is your dog allergic to anything? Did he contract a virus? These are questions you need to ask yourself. If you are unsure, your vet can do several tests to find out the cause. For mild cases, try some of the home remedies mentioned above. Consult your vet if it still doesn’t go away.