Pet Wellness Guides > Why is My Dog's Nose Running? - Pet Insurance Review

Why is My Dog’s Nose Running?

Posted: 08/14/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Dog , Health problems , Pet care

When a dog is healthy, their nose will be cool and wet to the touch. But sometimes a dog’s nose is more than wet, it’s actually running. Is this something to be concerned about? If you’re wondering “why is my dog’s nose running,” keep reading to learn the most common reasons.

why is my dog's nose running?

7 Common Reasons a Dog’s Nose Will Run

If you see your pup’s nose is running, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cause for worry. Most of the reasons for a runny nose are quite harmless, though some causes require some attention and treatment. 

The following are the most common causes of a runny nose in your dog:


Certain flat-faced dog breeds are more prone to having runny noses than others. The following breeds are known to have chronic runny noses:

  • English bulldogs
  • French bulldogs
  • Boxers
  • Pugs

 These breeds have a particularly challenging time breathing because of how their noses are structured. Often a runny nose occurs if the cartilage in their nasal cavity has become weak due to heavy breathing. If you have one of these breeds and are concerned about their runny nose, bring them in to see your vet.


If you or someone you love suffers from allergies, you know that a runny nose is part of the condition. Dogs can have allergic reactions to all sorts of things. Some of the various things dogs can be allergic to include: 

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

 Dogs can suffer from seasonal allergies or year-round allergies. Other symptoms you’ll typically see in addition to a runny nose are sneezing, coughing, itchy skin and ears, and sometimes watery eyes. 

If your dog’s runny nose is due to allergies, the best thing you can do is to remove the trigger. If they are allergic to pollen, it will be impossible to keep them indoors 24/7. In these cases, you should speak with your vet about using an antihistamine to control your dog’s allergy symptoms.

why is my dog's nose running?

Environmental Irritants

Imagine being a dog, living with humans who use all kinds of products in the home that may irritate your incredibly sensitive nose. Some of the things in your home that can potentially cause your pup’s nose to run include;

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

It’s really best to limit your pup’s exposure to as many environmental irritants as possible. For example, consider using battery powered candles that can offer an atmosphere without the smoke. And speaking of smoke, if you smoke tobacco products, do so outside or in your garage, and use vinegar to clean your house instead of products with harsh chemicals. 


Have you noticed your dog’s nose tends to run after playing or going on a long walk? Like people, dog’s need to adjust their body temperature, especially during times of activity. But unlike people, dog’s can’t sweat through their skin. Instead, they sweat through their paws and nose.

Foreign Bodies

Dog’s explore their surroundings with their noses. Everything MUST be sniffed and sniffed thoroughly. This means a LOT of stuff can be sniffed up into your dog’s nasal cavities, which can irritate them and cause your pup’s nose to run. Foreign bodies can include things like: 

  • Blades of grass
  • Dirt
  • Pieces of gravel
  • Part of a flower
  • Small insect

 In addition to a runny nose, your dog will most likely show other symptoms if they have a foreign body stuck in their nasal passageway. These can include shaking their head, pawing at their nose, sneezing and nasal discharge. 

It’s never a good idea to try and remove the item yourself, unless it’s a blade of grass that you can easily grab with your finger tips and gently pull out. Never place tweezers or anything else up your dog’s nose in an attempt to remove a foreign body. Take your dog to your vet to have the object removed. In some cases a surgical procedure may be necessary to remove the object. 

causes of runny noses in dogs


It is quite common for dogs to have an infection in their nose. These infections can include bacterial, viral, fungal and nasal mites. Symptoms of a nasal infection include coughing, a bloody nose, and an odor. 

Viral and bacterial infection often occur due to kennel cough, which is similar to the common cold in humans and highly contagious. If you have multiple dogs in your household, keep your fur baby with kennel cough (or that you suspect has kennel cough) away from the others and get them to the vet as soon as possible. 

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is very common, particularly in older dogs. It occurs as a result of untreated gingivitis, which forms tartar buildup under the gumline. Chronic gum inflammation is painful for your dog and can easily lead to nasal discharge and infections. 

This kind of runny nose will appear very differently from, say, sweating or allergies. There will be a pus-like discharge and usually only in one nostril. You may also notice your dog is refusing to eat. This could be from the pain associated with periodontal disease. 

If you see any of these signs, take your dog to the vet pronto.

Final Thoughts

Why is my dog’s nose running? As you can see, there are a variety of reasons. The majority of causes are benign and don’t require much attention. But in the case of a foreign body, infection or periodontal disease, you will want to bring your pup into the vet for treatment.

Help Your Pet Stay Healthy with Pet Insurance

Sometimes a runny nose is nothing too serious. But in the case of foreign object removal, which may require a surgery, or periodontal disease, which may require multiple teeth extractions, you can suddenly get hit with a large, unexpected vet bill. How will you pay for that?

A pet health insurance plan can cost as little as $19 a month. Some plans will even reimburse you for up to 100% of the vet bill.

If you haven’t enrolled your fur baby into a policy yet, take two minutes to get a free, customized quote from top providers in the country.

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  1. “Why is my dog’s nose dripping?”
  2. “Rhinitis and Sinus Infections in Dogs”
  3. “Signs Your Pet May Have Something Stuck in Their Nose”



The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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