How to Clean a Dog's Runny Nose

Easy
5 - 10 Minutes
1 Day

Introduction

If your pup has a clear runny discharge coming from his nose, this is quite common as long as he doesn't have any other symptoms of being ill. However, most vets recommend you keep an eye on the discharge in case an underlying cause should decide to make itself known. While you should keep an eye on any type of discharge, if you see any that has blood in it, is purulent, gray, or viscous in nature, you should take your pup in to see his vet. Once you get the hang of cleaning your dog's nose, it should only take a few minutes to get the job done. 

Dog's Perspective

You might think your pup doesn't care too much about that mucus buildup on his nose. But, if you watch, you will see him constantly licking at the side of his nose with the buildup. He doesn't like any more than you do, it probably interferes with his breathing and is far from comfortable. 

The Soft Warm Cloth Method

Effective
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Towel
Step
1
Choose a workspace
Choose a room to work in where you have access to warm running water, the bathroom typically works best.
Step
2
Warm and wet
Take a soft washcloth and soak it in warm water, no too hot or you can burn your pooch's nose. Wring it out, but leave it a bit on the soggy side.
Step
3
Apply gently
Apply the washcloth gently to your pup's nose and let it sit there for a minute or so. The idea is to loosen the crusty mess on his nose.
Step
4
Wipe away
Now gently wipe your dog's nose to remove as much of the mucus buildup as you can.
Step
5
Repeat
You may have to repeat these steps several times to remove all of the buildup. Remember to be gentle and let the warm water do its job. Never try to rip the buildup off as this can rip the tender skin on your pup's nose, causing pain and an open wound.
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The Steamy Shower Method

Effective
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Towel
Step
1
And you thought they were kidding
Everyone said it was a good idea to take a shower with your dog, but you thought they were kidding. When your dog has a crusty nose, steamy air is a good way to loosen it up.
Step
2
On with the shower
Turn on the shower, bring your pooch into the bathroom and close the door. Leave the vent fan off (you need lots of nice warm steam) and take a nice long shower. This will help loosen the mucus in his nostrils and soften the buildup.
Step
3
Massage
Give the top of the pup's nose a gentle massage. This will help loosen the mucus and relieve any irritation.
Step
4
Suction, please
Using a baby nasal suction bulb, insert the tip into his nostril and gently suck out the mucus. Repeat until the nostril is clear.
Step
5
Moist is good
Apply a warm, moist washcloth to any crusty build up on the pup's nose and let it sit there until the crust softens. Then use the washcloth to wipe his nose clean. Finish up by coating the area with coconut oil. This will soothe raw skin and help prevent infection.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • When applying a warm washcloth, keep a close eye on the temperature. If it is too hot for you to handle, it could burn your dog's nose.
  • Never attempt to pull dried on mucus from your pup's nose. Doing this can rip tender skin, causing a painful injury.
  • Use a soft cloth, the skin on your dog's nose is very thin and easily damaged. A rough cloth would be like using sandpaper to do the job.
  • Be very careful using a suction bulb. Do not insert it more than just inside the nostril, you could cause serious injury.
  • Be sure to keep talking to your pup in a nice soothing voice to keep him from moving while you work.
  • Finally, be sure you give your pup a treat and plenty of praise. Letting you touch his nose is a major step in the bonds of trust between your dog and you. 

Conclusion

Go slow and let your pup get used to having his nose cleaned. Even if you have to do the job in stages, the more time you give to the task, the more your pup will learn to enjoy this kind of treatment. This is one of those jobs that is sure to help build an even stronger bond between the two of you. 

Be gentle, the skin on your pup's nose is very thin and easily damaged. If you see any changes in the color or consistency of the mucus, be sure to take your dog in to the vet for a check up. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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