How to Treat a Dog With Nasal Congestion

Updated April 17, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


Canine nasal congestion can be a symptom of a more serious condition, such as kennel cough or sinusitis. Although antibiotics can treat certain conditions, some illnesses are highly contagious to other dogs and animals. Veterinary care is highly recommended if symptoms persist.

Things You'll Need

  • Veterinarian
  • List of dog's symptoms
  • Benadryl
  • Wash rag
  • Warm water
  • Bathroom
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About the Author

Mary Beth Swayne is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in newspapers including the Greater Philadelphia Newspaper network. She has also written for seven magazines and non-profit organization publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Pennsylvania State University.