How to Treat a Dog With Nasal Congestion

By Mary Beth Swayne

Canine nasal congestion may be caused by a variety of factors ranging from nasal mites to the common cold. Treatments vary depending on the diagnosis. Regardless of the cause, there are ways to ease man's best friend's symptoms until he is back on his feet.

Close-up of a puppy, Lake of the Woods, Ontario, Canada
Dog's nose
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Treat the Symptoms

Close-up of a person's hand squeezing a cloth
Hands wringing washcloth
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Step 1

Clean your dog's nose using a warm, wet washcloth. Gently rub crusted mucus from your dog's nose, allowing further congestion to seep out.

Running shower
Water and steam from a shower head
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Step 2

Turn your bathroom into a makeshift steam room by running a hot shower. Allow your dog to clear his nasal passages by breathing the steam for 5 to 10 minutes, according to Dog Health Guide.

Dog Eating Food From Chrome Bowl
Dog eating food
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Step 3

Ask your veterinarian if it is safe to give your dog Benadryl to temporarily alleviate symptoms. Either put the pill in his food or hold his mouth open, drop it into his throat, hold his snout shut, and massage his throat while he swallows.

Identify the Cause

Lost your pen?
Dog holding a pen
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Step 4

Write a list for your veterinarian of other symptoms your dog may be experiencing besides nasal congestion. Collect a stool and urine sample in case the veterinarian requests one. Having one prepared will allow for a quicker diagnosis.

Vet doctor with stethoscope looking at the dog
Dog with vet
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Step 5

Take your dog to the veterinarian if his stuffy nose lasts longer than a few days. Specific treatment regimens may only begin once the underlying cause has been identified, according to Dog Health Handbook.

Boy And Mother Taking Dog For Examination By Vet
Veternarian gives advice
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Step 6

Use glucocorticoids in conjunction with veterinary advice if the cause can not be determined. Treatment may last from 3 weeks to 3 months.