Why is My Dog’s Nose Dripping?

Most of the time, when a canine has a runny nose, they could have allergies, or they may have some kind of infection. A runny nose is not typically a significant concern for an otherwise healthy pup.

Your dog’s nose may be dripping due to an allergy to pollens, dander, or mold. They also may not like the perfume you wear, the candles you burn, or the cleaning products you use. If that is the case, helping your pup is an easy fix. 

Limit your dog’s exposure to irritants as much as possible. If you want to understand more about why your dog’s nose is dripping, check out this article.

Dog with runny nose

What Are Some Common Reasons Why My Dog’s Nose is Dripping?

Your pup’s nose may be runny, but it is difficult to determine why. If your dog’s nose is dripping, it could mean that there are irritants caught in their nasal passages. However, there may be other problems going on as well. The following include some possible reasons why your dog has a runny nose:



Seasonal allergies will often trigger a runny nose in dogs. If your pup occasionally has a runny nose, they may have seasonal allergies. There are many different allergies that a pup may experience:

  • Pollens
  • Dander
  • Dust mites
  • Mold
  • Spores
  • Foods
  • Prescription drugs
  • Chemicals


If your dog has a runny nose due to allergies, other symptoms usually include sneezing, coughing, itchiness, and sometimes eye discharge or watery eyes. Dogs may suffer year-round or only seasonally, depending on the cause of irritation.


If allergies cause a runny nose, the nasal discharge will likely be evident. If the allergies are food-related, they typically present in the form of rashes and hives.


The safest way to help your dog prevent these allergies is to remove the trigger, which means that if it is the time of year that allergies are common, limit their exposure to the outdoors as much as possible. Antihistamines can also help your pup with allergies.

Environmental Irritants

Certain items can irritate your dog’s nose, triggering nasal discharge:

  • Candles
  • Incense
  • Dust
  • Perfumes
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Cleaning products


Also, if your pup was outside and inhaled dirt or debris, it can cause nasal discharge. The best treatment for environmental irritants is to limit exposure. Your vet may prescribe antihistamines for this issue.


Sweat is the most common and least serious trigger for a dog with a runny nose. It occurs because dogs cannot adjust their body temperature through their skin as humans do. To compensate, they sweat through their paw pads and noses. This runny nose is the type that goes away all by itself.

Foreign Bodies

Your pup’s runny nose could be caused by having something lodged or stuck in their nose that does not belong. A foreign body occurs due to the inhalation of objects that are small enough to come into the nose like:

  • Blade of grass
  • Pieces of gravel
  • Part of a flower
  • Small insect


Some of the symptoms a dog will display when they have a foreign body stuck in their nasal passageway include nasal discharge, sneezing, head shaking, and pawing at the nose or nosebleeds. If you can easily view the item stuck in your pup‘s nose, you may be able to remove it with tweezers carefully.

If you do not think that you can safely accomplish this task, get your dog to your vet, who will remove the blockage. A surgical procedure may be essential to remove the foreign object if the item is not retrievable by scoping.


A dog can get many types of infections:

  • Bacterial
  • Viral
  • Fungal
  • Nasal mites


Some of the symptoms of an infection include odor, bloody nose, coughing, or choking on mucus. Viral and bacterial infections can occur due to kennel cough, which is very similar to the common cold in humans.

Kennel cough is highly contagious, and if your pup is experiencing it, they should be kept away from other dogs. If you have an idea that your dog has kennel cough, take them to the vet to be sure.

Nasal and Sinus Inflammation

Rhinitis is a nasal infection, and sinusitis is a sinus infection. Both conditions can cause unpleasant symptoms, such as sneezing, nasal discharge, or gagging from mucus. These particular ailments may have a variety of causes, including cigarette smoke, house dust, mold, or air fresheners.

There are some common symptoms of nasal and sinus inflammation:

  • Odors
  • Bloody nose
  • Coughing
  • Fever


Treatment will usually depend on the cause of inflammation. If you see that your pup has any of these symptoms, get them to the vet to avoid further harm to your dog’s respiratory tract.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease in dogs is the result of untreated gingivitis. It is caused by the build-up of tartar and plaque on the teeth and gums, leading to serious health issues. Complications from periodontal disease can trigger chronic nasal discharge and infections.

Nasal discharge resulting from these issues is often chronic, pus-like, and comes from one nostril. If you notice that your pup’s appetite is lacking and they have pain when eating, periodontal disease could be causing their runny nose. If your dog exhibits any of these indications, take them to the vet, as they may need veterinary dental work done.

The Specific Breed of Dog

Certain breeds of dogs are prone to having runny noses more than others. A chronic, runny nose will often affect flat-faced breeds:

  • English bulldogs
  • French bulldogs
  • Boxers
  • Pugs


For these breeds, breathing may be an issue due to how their noses are structured. A runny nose may occur if the cartilage in their nose becomes weak due to these pups constantly needing to breathe heavily. Hunting dogs are also more prone to getting runny noses because their noses are always close to the ground.

Dog with runny nose



The symptoms of a runny nose in dogs can vary depending upon its cause. Runny noses are rarely a cause for concern unless it persists. Your pup could have a cold or infection. If that is the case, a simple trip to the vet for some medicine and removing the irritant is just what the doctor ordered.

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About Lincolnway Veterinary Clinic

Lincolnway Veterinary Clinic is a full service, AAHA accredited veterinary practice located in Mishwaka, Indiana. In addition to general wellness care like vaccinations and wellness exams, we also provide holistic veterinary care such as acupuncture and a variety of alternative medicine options.