Dog Runny Nose in Cars, Stuffy Nose and Eye Discharge

Dog runny nose with thick colored discharge indicative of an infection
Dog runny nose thick colored discharge

Are you concerned about a dog runny nose? This post explores main concerns regarding the same including a runny nose in dogs while in the car, stuffy nose and eye discharge as well as what to make out of the nature of nasal drainage your dog is having. We also have suggestions on how you can help your dog avoid a running nose.

Dog Runny Nose

A dog nose has many more receptors than those found in a human being and is thus likely to react to a lot of things. It is not a wonder then that a dog runny nose is a common problem in these pets. In most cases, a visit to the veterinarian is not necessary as this could be a sign of something as simple as excitement.

This is more so if a runny nose only has clear discharge with no other symptoms. Where this is the case, all the dog requires is close observation and monitoring. In some cases though, the discharge could be an early symptom of something as serious as cancer.

Dog runny nose with clear discharge
Dog runny nose with clear discharge

The underlying problem whose symptom is nasal discharge will become obvious with time and if there was nothing much to the nasal drainage, it will decrease with time. Any nasal discharge that is not clear should be a point of concern to the dog owner. This includes drainage that is gray, green, yellow, cloudy, smelly, vicious, bloody or purulent. These are in most cases signs of greater underlying problems. Some of the common problems that result in a runny nose and their accompanying home remedies are as discussed below.


There are a whole lot of allergens that dogs react to just like human beings. These include food, chemicals, pollen, spores, mites, and drugs. Where your pet is experiencing some clear nasal discharge, it is possible to have been triggered by allergens. This is a common cause of abnormal nasal drainage in them which does not occur in isolation and will be observed together with other symptoms. It can be accompanied by dog nosebleeds, coughing, itching, sneezing and problems in breathing.

To deal with an allergic dog runny nose, try and identify what the trigger of the reaction is and eliminate it. If this is hard for you to identify, visit your veterinarian so that they can administer antihistamines after conducting the necessary allergy tests.

Unilateral Dog Runny Nose From Nasal Blockage

In some cases, dogs may have foreign objects trapped in their nostrils. In such situations, the discharge is likely to be from one nostril as opposed to coming from both nostrils. This will be accompanied by frequent pawing of the nose, nosebleeds, coughing, and sneezing.

Where the foreign body that is inside the nose is visible, take a pair of tweezers and pull it out. If you are not in a position to or the object is invisible, visit the vet so they can dislodge whatever is in as well as prescribe drugs where necessary.

Infection-Triggered Running Dog Nose

A runny nose can be indicative of nasal infection. The discharge produced in such situations could be pus or mucus. These could signal fungal, bacterial or viral infection within the sinus system. The drainage will appear colored as opposed to the usual colorless discharge. In cases of postnasal drip, choking and coughing may also be observed.

Nasal Mites Running Dog Nose

Nasal mites are common parasites that normally infest the sinus passageways of domestic dogs. Most dogs when infested rarely display any abnormal symptoms. However, those that do may experience chronic nasal discharge, nose bleeds, and sneezing.

In case you recently had your dog housed in a shelter or a kennel, it is possible for them to suffer nasal mites. The good thing is that even the most severe infestation can be easily treated using oral doses of heartworm drug.

Dog Runny Nose as a Symptom of Kennel Cough

A kennel cough is an upper respiratory tract infection. The condition is highly contagious and is caused by a number of things. Uncomplicated kennel cough symptoms include a white foamy mucus discharge. The running nose may also be accompanied by dog eye conjunctivitis. In most cases, the energy level and appetite remain unchanged.

Where the condition gets severe, the dog may have decreased appetite, lose weight, appear lethargic, have fever and shortness of breath. It is important to seek treatment for the dog before the symptoms become severe as this can be life-threatening.

A runny Nose in Dogs Examination and Precautions to Take

My dog has a runny nose, what should I do? Like said earlier on, a runny nose with a clear fluid discharge is a common problem. What you need to be aware of is what to look for so that you can know when a discharge is normal and when it is indicative of more serious problems.

Settling your dog down to examine its running nose
Examining dog runny nose discharge

To be in a position to make the right decision, you need to thoroughly examine the nasal discharge. To begin with, get a comfortable place and get your dog to sit or lie down calmly. Observe the nose and note if the nostril is from one nostril or both. Use a white paper towel to wipe it off and observe the color. Once this has been done, here is what to derive from what you have seen.

Nasal Discharge Color

A watery discharge that is clear is never an emergency. This is more so where there are no other associated symptoms. However, any nasal discharge that is creamy, thick, inconsistent and is colored green, yellow, pink or brown should be of immediate concern. Even worse is a discharge that is blood tinged. These are signs of greater problems which may include benign respiratory illnesses or something worse where it is caused by a tumor which could be a symptom of cancer. Visit a veterinarian immediately you observe such symptoms.

Nature of Nasal Discharge

A running nose can be bilateral where it is coming from both nostrils or unilateral where it is coming from one nostril. When the discharge comes from one side, it could be an indication that only the side is affected by whatever is causing it. In most cases, the dog will have inhaled a foreign object. Where the discharge is persistent, it is important to have your pet checked.

Other Symptoms

Dog runny nose with thick colored discharge indicative of an infection
Dog runny nose thick colored discharge

It is important to observe if the dog has other symptoms accompanying the running nose. In addition to it, some dogs may sneeze often. This may not be anything serious if the dog has an appetite and remains energetic, and playful. However, if it is inactive, exhibits signs such as lethargy, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea in addition to the running nose, it is important that the dog gets checked by a veterinarian. This will help get it diagnosed to help eliminate doubt about the cause of the symptoms.

Keep Up to Date with Vaccinations to Avoid a Running Dog Nose

There are some viruses that easily attack your dog and which lead to a low immunity. With this comes upper respiratory illnesses which also result in opportunistic organisms affecting the dog. These, in turn, cause a running nose in your pet.

Ensure that you keep up to date with vaccinations against parainfluenza, distemper, bordetella among others to ensure protection against upper respiratory disease-causing pathogens. With these conditions, a runny nose may be an early symptom that the respiratory system has been affected. In case it continues and with time the dog starts panting, this will be an indication that the infection has affected the lungs. Apart from preventing further infections and aiding quick recoveries, the vaccines will also ensure that other pets remain safe and the diseases are not passed on to them.

Dog Nose Running in Car

Pet owners may observe dog nose running in car whereas they are fine during the other times. “Why does my dog have a runny nose every time I travel with him?” is a common question in our pet forum. Where this is the case, it is most likely that your dog is okay. If you regularly observe some watery drainage when he has a ride only, a few things could be causing it. To begin with, it could be as a result of excitement or anxiety. Some dogs get overwhelmed by these emotions and you may end up observing running dog nose before and during the ride.

In others, a runny nose in a dog may be caused by high temperatures inside the car. The nose may be running as a way of cooling themselves when it is too hot. To deal with this you can keep a back window slightly held down where possible.

Dog Stuffy Nose and Eye Discharge

A stuffy nose in your pet is normally as a result of nasal congestion. At times it will be accompanied by eye discharge as the condition affects the whole sinus system. This could be caused by a number of things. Where the stuffy nose is accompanied by nasal drainage from one nostril, pawing at the nose, nosebleeds, sneezing, coughing and panting or general breathing problems the pet could be reacting to some kind of nasal blockage. Try to observe the dog and if you can see any foreign object use a pair of tweezers to get it out. If you can’t, visit the hospital.

In other instances, congestion may be caused by infections. Where this is the case, the dog will have nasal drainage that is colored green or yellow. In addition to this, the dog could exhibit signs of lethargy and cough or choke consistently. In this kind of a situation, it is necessary to visit your veterinarian so that they can examine the dog and administer appropriate medication.

In case your dog gets a stuffy running nose with eye discharge when exposed to specific environmental settings, there is a high chance that they are suffering from dog allergies. Different dogs may be highly sensitive to different things. The reactions vary and may include nasal congestion, itchy watery eyes, vomiting and skin hives. The best way of dealing with these is to find out what allergens are affecting your dog and getting rid of them.

Sources Nose and Sinus Inflammation in Dogs Runny Nose in Dogs Nasal Congestion in Dogs Diagnosing a Dog with Running Nose Symptoms Dog Nose Discharge: Common Causes and Treatments


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.