How to Clean a Dog's Runny Nose

Is your pup’s nose a faucet? A dog with a constantly drippy snout can drive you crazy as you watch trails of gunk form everywhere they go. But don’t panic - dealing with a runny dog nose isn’t too tricky.It’s common for pups to occasionally get the sniffles. But as a caring owner, you need to understand why it’s happening and how to help clean up your dog’s snotty snout.

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A runny schnozz can point to allergies, sickness, or stuff stuck up their nostrils. Being able to wipe away goop and properly care for their snoot provides relief and prevents bigger issues.In this article, we’ll chat about reasons for doggie nasal drippage, safe cleaning methods, home remedies and prevention, and when to call the vet.With some prep and supplies, a gentle approach, and diligent monitoring, you can keep your pup comfy when they have a drippy nose. We’ll empower you to get boogery snouts back to wet-nose bliss in no time!

What Makes a Dog’s Nose Run?

It’s normal for dogs to occasionally have a little clear nasal discharge. But if you notice thick, discolored gunk or pus flowing from your dog’s nose - that’s a sure sign something more concerning is going on. There are a variety of possible reasons why your pup’s schnoz may start overdripping.

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Allergies are a common culprit when it comes to excessive nasal discharge in dogs. If allergens like pollen, mold, food proteins or dust mites get to your furry friend, it can create swelling, irritation and extra mucus production in their nasal passages. Plus all that itchiness from allergic reactions leads dogs to rub their noses constantly, further irritating the area. Bacterial or viral infections in your dog’s nasal passages or sinuses are another frequent cause of runny noses. You’ll often see thick yellow or green mucus if infection is the culprit. Other accompanying symptoms like sneezing, coughing, lethargy or fever can also indicate illness or sinus problems. Curiously, certain scents can also trigger negative reactions in dogs, although these typically aren't the root cause of allergic nasal discharge. If you've ever wondered about your dog's sense of smell and how it affects their reaction to different odors, discovering What odors do dogs hate? may provide insights into what can make your furry friend turn up their nose.

Dogs love shoving their noses into everything, so it’s quite possible a small foreign object like a grass seed or tiny twig got lodged up their nasal cavity. All of their pawing and snorting to try and dislodge the irritant can then lead to nose rubbing, swelling and discharge. Dental infections from bacteria lurking in gum disease and bad teeth are another avenue for nose drainage issues to arise in dogs. The infection can easily spread from the mouth to nasal passages and lead to pus-filled discharge. Stinky dog breath is usually a dead giveaway of dental problems. Finally, larger older dogs can sometimes develop benign or even cancerous nasal tumors. These growths often lead to atypical nasal discharge.Curiously enough, this inquisitive behavior is similar to the digging habits of dogs, which can sometimes be puzzling or troublesome to their owners. To better understand and address these instincts, learn more about Understand and manage your dog's digging habits.

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If your dog has had a constantly runny nose for over a week, the amount of mucus seems excessive, or they seem under the weather, it’s definitely time to get them checked out by a veterinarian. They can help diagnose the underlying cause of your dog’s drippy snout distress and get proper treatment.

Getting Prepped to Pick Your Pup’s Nose

Before going spelunking up your doggo’s nostrils, get set up with the right supplies to make it stress-free for you both:

  • Soft tissues or cotton balls - Use these to gently dab away any drippage. Go easy - you’re not scrubbing stuck lasagna off a pan!
  • Saline spray or nose drops - Look for pet-safe products to flush out your pup’s sniffers.
  • Warm, damp washcloth - Drape this over their snout for a few minutes to loosen up any dried snot chunks.
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  • Humidifier - Add moisture to the air to lubricate nasal passages and ease congestion.
  • Yummy treats - Have your dog’s faves on hand to reward them and keep them relaxed.

Pick a calm, quiet room without chaos to tackle your dog’s schnoz situation. Let them get comfy and settled before you go poking around their sniffer. Speak softly and move slowly so you don’t startle them as you inspect and clean their nose. Patience and calmness from you will help make the process peaceful instead of distressing.

How to Clean Your Dog’s Runny Nose

  1. Inspect the nose gently for any foreign objects lodged inside. Look for grass seeds, dirt, or other debris stuck in the nostrils. Be extremely careful and do not insert anything into the nose canal, as this can cause injury.
  2. Use a soft tissue to lightly dab and absorb any mucus or discharge on the exterior of the nose. Avoid rubbing forcefully or irritating the skin. Be gentle and patient.
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  3. Tilt your dog’s head back slightly and spray a pet-safe saline solution into each nostril to help flush out mucus and soothe inflammation inside. Saline helps thin mucus so your dog can expel it.
  4. Allow your dog to shake their head naturally to expel the saline and loosened mucus. Praise them calmly for cooperating, as head shaking can be uncomfortable. Offer treats as positive reinforcement.
  5. Continue rewarding your dog with small tasty treats and affection throughout the process to keep them still and comfortable with having their nose cleaned. This prevents stress.
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  6. Monitor the color, thickness, and frequency of nasal discharge over a period of days. Take notes on any changes to help identify causes and determine if veterinary attention is needed.
  7. See your veterinarian promptly if the runny nose does not resolve within a week or if discharge worsens despite cleaning. Do not attempt to clean deep inside nostrils. Leave extensive nasal exams and treatment to the vet professionals to avoid harming your dog.

How to Give Your Pup’s Nose Some TLC (Tender Loving Care)

Giving your dog some extra TLC can help ease a drippy nose along with keeping their snout clean. One way to provide relief is to make sure your pup stays well-hydrated by giving them more fresh water. The extra hydration helps thin out mucus so their body can better flush congested nasal passages. In addition to hydration, you can add moisture to the air around your dog using humidifiers or placing bowls of water around the house. The increased humidity in the environment will help ease your dog’s nasal stuffiness and make breathing easier.

Another useful home remedy is to let your dog breathe in the steam from warm chicken broth without onion or garlic. Having your dog put their nose near the bowl and take some breaths of the vapor can help clear up congestion. You can also try stirring a small teaspoon of local raw honey into your dog’s meals. Honey has natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can provide healing relief for sinus issues.

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Checking with your veterinarian about supplements like vitamin C, oregano oil, omega-3s or antioxidants may give your dog’s immune system an extra boost to help them recover. Additionally, adjusting your dog’s diet to include more immune-supporting foods high in vitamins A, C and E like carrots, fish oil, and yogurt can support healing.For more comprehensive guidance on your dog's wellness, including nutrition, exercise, and mental health, dive into our 10 Essential Tips for Keeping Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

Implementing some natural remedies can bring soothing relief to your pup’s sniffles while also promoting long-term nasal and respiratory health as their issues clear up. It’s always wise to check with your vet before starting any new supplements or remedies. With a little TLC and the right treatment plan, you can get your pup’s snout back in tip-top shape!

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Is Your Dog De

aling with Allergies?

It’s quite possible allergies are to blame if your dog is dealing with a chronically runny nose. There are several telltale signs that point to allergic reactions being the culprit behind your pup’s sniffly snout. For starters, look for itchy skin, ears, paws or eyes. Excessive licking or chewing focused around their paws and nose area can also indicate allergies. You may notice more nasal discharge during certain seasons when pollen and mold are higher. The snot itself is often clear and watery if allergies are the cause.

Dogs can develop allergies to all kinds of triggers like pollen, mold, dust mites, fleas, certain foods, chemicals, and more. If you suspect allergies are making your pup miserable, your veterinarian can run blood or skin tests to pinpoint the exact allergen.

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To help make your dog more comfortable, the vet may recommend starting antihistamines or steroid medications to reduce swelling, itchiness, and excess mucus production. They may also suggest “allergy shots” to gradually desensitize your dog’s immune system to whatever is causing their reaction. Additionally, antifungal or antimicrobial medication can be prescribed if secondary infections develop from bacteria or yeast.

At home, you can take steps to reduce your dog’s exposure to known allergy triggers. Try keeping them away from areas with high pollen, wash their bedding regularly, use air purifiers, and feed a hypoallergenic dog food. With some diligence and proactive veterinary care, those pesky doggie allergies can be managed for a happier, healthier pup!

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Final Thoughts

Figuring out why your pup’s snout is leaking is step one - is it allergies, sickness, or something stuck up their sniffer? Gentle nose wiping and saline sprays can flush away goop and provide relief as their schnoz heals.

Staying hydrated, using a humidifier, supplements, and keeping allergens away in allergy cases can all help them recover. Prevent more drippy noses in the future by staying up to date on vet visits, vaccines, hygiene, and controlling what triggers their allergies.

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Keep a close eye on any changes in your dog’s nasal sitch. Follow up with the vet promptly if their snout dripping persists or gets worse. With attentive cleaning, TLC, and preventive care, you can get your dog’s nose back to wet and healthy in no time!

Having a happy, energetic pup relies on compassion and vigilance when issues like runny noses pop up. While it’s no fun to deal with doggie drippage, you’ve got this! With some patience and TLC, you and your four-legged friend will be back to making happier memories together in no time.