Reasons Why Your Dog Has a Runny Nose

Your dog’s runny nose may be a cause for concern, but there are many different reasons why your pup might have a sniffly schnozz. Below we’ll go over some common causes of the condition, how to tell if it’s serious, and what you can do about it.

Infectious diseases

Your dog’s nose can be affected by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Other causes of a runny nose include parasites and other types of infections. Infections that may cause a runny nose include:

  • Bordetella (kennel cough)
  • Canine influenza virus (dog flu)
  • Coccidia protozoans (parasites)

If your dog has an infectious disease like bordetella or kennel cough, he will have symptoms including coughing and sneezing. If your dog has canine flu, his symptoms might include fever; lethargy; vomiting; diarrhea; loss of appetite; coughing or sneezing with discharge from the nostrils

Congestion or a foreign object in the nose

If you have a dog with a runny nose, there may be several different causes. A foreign object in the nose can cause a runny nose. A cold may also cause your dog to have a runny nose. If your dog is allergic, then he or she might have allergies that cause the snotty noses we’re all familiar with.

If you suspect that there is something in your pooch’s nostril (like dust), then don’t try to use tweezers or even grab it by hand! You could puncture their eardrum or tear their ear canal if you’re not careful and end up hurting them instead of helping them feel better!

Immune system issues

There are many possible causes of a runny nose in dogs. The most common ones include:

  • a virus, bacteria or fungus (such as kennel cough)
  • parasites (like fleas and ticks)
  • allergies
  • cancer (although this is rare)
  • foreign object in the nasal cavity that irritates it when he breathes in or out. Injuries to the nerve endings in your dog’s nose can also cause irritation which results in excessive mucus production.


If you have a dog and he’s constantly sniffling, sneezing and snuffling, you might be wondering if it’s just allergies. That’s definitely possible. Allergies are one of the most common reasons for a runny nose in dogs.

Allergies can be seasonal or year-round. They’re usually caused by pollen, dust mites (found in carpeting), mold spores and pet dander (the skin flakes that birds shed). If your dog has allergies he may also develop itchy skin or red eyes when exposed to these allergens.

The treatment for canine allergies depends on what is causing them: antihistamines treat seasonal allergies; steroids help year-round ones; anti-inflammatories help both types of allergy symptoms but only last for several days before needing another dose or two—so it may take several weeks before you notice any significant improvement with this type of medication alone!

Injury, trauma, or tumors

Your dog may have a runny nose if he or she has suffered an injury, trauma or a tumor. Dogs with certain kinds of tumors can develop blood vessels in their nasal cavities, which causes them to bleed when they are injured. In addition to injuries and tumors, dogs that often get into fights can also develop nasal bleeding as a result of damage caused by these altercations.


If your dog has a runny nose, don’t panic! There are many reasons that your dog may have a runny nose. It could be something serious or something as simple as hay fever. The best thing to do is to find out what the cause is so that you can treat it correctly. If at any time you think your dog’s nasal discharge isn’t normal, it is best to take them to a veterinarian for an exam and consultation.