3 Reasons Why Your Dog is Sneezing Snot (Nasal Discharge)

Disclaimer: The content on MyPetChild.com is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.

Dogs are similar to people in that they can start sneezing and end up with some nasal discharge in the form of snot. There are several different reasons why your dog might be sneezing, although most of the reasons are fairly minor. We are going to tell you about a few of the most common reasons as to why your dog has nasal discharge and sneezing.

1. Your Dog is Suffering from Allergies

The most common reason as to why your dog is sneezing or suffering from nasal discharge is that your dog has allergies. Dogs can develop allergies just like people and it can be caused by a variety of things. Allergies in dogs could be from environmental causes, food, skin issues, and even an acute allergic reaction.

Environmental allergies often times involves flowers, trees, and pollen outside. Skin allergies could be caused by fleas, ticks, bug bites, or a skin condition. Food allergies could be related to any kind of ingredient found in the type of food you feed your dog. The most serious out of all of these is the acute allergic reaction and it can be life-threatening.

Anaphylactic shock can happen if your dog ends up with a severe allergic reaction to something. If this happens you need to seek veterinary assistance immediately, though this is fairly rare. One of the most common causes of an acute allergic reaction is a bee sting or wasp sting. If you give your dog a new food, medication or vaccine, you should keep an eye on them for a few days to ensure that an allergic reaction does not develop.

2. The Dog’s Nasal Passage is Blocked

Your dog could also have blocked nasal passages causing the sneezing and discharge. Any number of possibilities could cause this such as a foreign object like grass or pine needles. If teeth are the problem then they might need to be pulled out. If the nasal passage is blocked due to foreign objects, tumors, or polyps, often times surgery is required.

Antihistamines, intravenous fluids, subcutaneous fluids, nasal decongestants, and antibiotics all are other possible treatment options. An appetite stimulant might also be needed depending on if your dog is lacking the desire to eat. Don’t give any medication without a vet consultation.

3. Your Dog May Have Kennel Cough

Kennel cough could also be the reason behind your dog sneezing and having issues with nasal discharge. This is a very contagious disease that impacts the dog’s respiratory system and often times is the result of being in close vicinity to a large number of other dogs. It can be spread through the air, through contaminated items, and direct contact.

Kennel cough can be treated using just rest and staying away from other animals. If other symptoms develop a round or two of antibiotics might be required and the veterinarian might prescribe cough medicine as well. If you notice a fever, lethargy, runny nose, loss of appetite, and sneezing it could be caused by kennel cough.

When You Should See the Vet

While sneezing and nasal discharge is not usually a sign of something serious, there are other signs that you want to keep an eye out for. It might be time to see a veterinarian if you notice the sneezing and nasal discharge has gone on for more than a few days or the amount has increased.

You should also see a veterinarian if you notice changes in the consistency or color of the discharge or your dog is rubbing his nose often. Other signs of an illness might be present as well, such as vomiting, coughing, decreased appetite or eye discharge.


  • MMadison | 30/05/2022

    My house has turned into a dog snot factory. My 16-year-old dachsund is trashing the place. We took him to the vet several times, and he has had 2 courses of antibiotics. It’s not working at all. The snot has blood in it. it never, ever stops unless he is sleeping. He limps and falls down and is hungry all the time. The vet said “oh, he just has a sore neck, give him gabapentin, but no, he’s not in any real pain”. Meanswhile he has begun to defecate and pee all over the house randomly and as if it’s no big deal. He is old and has a little dementia, but he was never this way. And he doesn’t want to play outside anymore. All he does it sleep, eat, sling snot all over everything and crap or pee on every rug we have. We had to ban him from the kitchen because we don’t want snot all over anything below knee height. On top of that he barks and cries at 4am because he wants to eat. No none is getting a good night’s sleep anymore. It doesn’t matter how much we feed him. I’m no longer comfortable eating in my own home I’m so grossed out. The floors are filthy. He trolls around looking for things to lick up, and shoots puddles of snot as he does it.

  • Lisa Dinkelacker | 21/08/2022

    My 13 year old Beagle/Pit mix is doing the same thing. 3 times to the vet and a course of antibiotics and she (vet) said it is the beginning stage of heart failure where fluid accumulates in the stomach, causing the nasal discharge. I’m having difficulty believing there is nothing that can be done. The snot IS gross and a pain to scrape off the walls, furniture and floors. My sweet dog has no other symptoms, outside of naturally slowing down with age. I would love to know if there is a medication/treatment he can take/do to help with the excessive snot.

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