3 min read


Can Dogs be Congested?



3 min read


Can Dogs be Congested?


We've all been there - sniffly and miserable, noses running and stuffing up, wiping and using more tissues than we can count. But did you know that your dog can suffer from being congested, too? Unfortunately for your pooch, he can't do a thing about his sniffly, runny, condition on his own, and unless you're aware of the signs and body language he's trying to give you, he could possibly suffer in silence! 

Don't let your pooch suffer from congestion! Instead, be aware of what to look for, how to tell the signs, and what you should do if you suspect that your doggo is suffering from some serious congestion. These can be hard to detect, especially if your pup's lungs are congested! So, it's important to keep a lookout for the signs. 

How do you do that? We've got you covered! Check out our guide on how to tell the ways your pup is congested, what to do, and how to prevent it! 


Signs That Your Pup Is Congested

Once you think about it, it's probably pretty obvious that your doggo can be congested. Your pup's nose and lungs can become congested relatively easily, and it can happen from a multitude of things. 

There's no need to worry though, your puppy can't catch congestion from you! Instead, they can develop respiratory congestion from inhaling smoke, coming into contact with something they're allergic to, becoming infected with bacteria or viruses, and in even more serious cases, congestion could be a symptom from heart failure or Chronic Obstructive Pulminary Disease, but that's rare. 

There are plenty of signs that should signal that your dog is suffering from congestion. For example, you'll hear a hacking cough and your pup will struggle to breathe easily. You can probably spot discoloration around your dog's gums and lips, too. Your pooch will likely have a fever and will have mucus running from his or her nostrils.

Body Language

Your dog will give you plenty of body language cues to let you know how he is feeling, but you have to know what to look for. If you're concerned that your dog is suffering from congestion, keep an eye out for these signs:

  • Head Tilting
  • Shaking
  • Cowering
  • Panting
  • Pacing
  • Sniffing

Other Signs

Other Signs That Might Point to Doggy Congestion

  • Fever
  • Gum And Lip Discoloration
  • Mucus Running
  • Reverse Sneezing
  • Decreased Air Flow
  • Loss Of Appetite
  • Hacking Cough
  • Panting
  • Nasal Discharge
  • Sneezing

History of Doggy Congestion


While historically, congestion in dog's is a fairly common, and highly treatable condition, according to many case studies and a long history of vet visits, congestion in dogs can sometimes be more serious. 

In some cases, congestion can become life-threatening for pooches. If your pup has congestion, and in the process, his lungs become filled with fluid, this may result in a life-threatening state called respiratory distress. 

Take your pup to the vet immediately, as the dog-tor will need to use a syringe to remove fluid from your dog's lungs. Additionally, as isn't the case with humans, historically, doggo congestion can be a symptom or a tell-tale sign of congestive heart failure. Your vet will need to remove the fluid from your pup's lungs and will advise you to monitor your pooch heavily as well as change their diet and exercise regimen.

The Science Behind Congestion


Congestion is typically on a spectrum for pups, ranging from a stuffy nose caused by an allergic reaction to respiratory congestion that's a result from congestive heart failure. 

While it's impossible to narrow down without the help of a vet, it's important to know how to spot signs of congestion and to do that, you need a better understanding of what congestion is. 

Typically congestion is a sign of fluid in your dog's lungs and can result from conditions and diseases like infections, kennel cough, allergies, and like we said, heart failure. Like humans, dogs will get a runny nose, coughing symptoms, have difficulty breathing, and will often have a fever as well.

Training and You: How to Train Your Pup to Avoid Congestion


If your pup has been diagnosed with a congestion condition, it's important to train him to get used to taking certain, vet-approved medicines. 

When teaching your pup to swallow pills, it's important to make sure they're used to and comfortable with the process. We suggest training your pup by either sneaking it into his food, using catch-and-eat tricks, or hiding it in a treat. Some pups might be able to just take the pills out of your hand! 

If you have to train your pooch to use a liquid medicine, we suggest syringe training. Start with water, and teach your pup how to calmly and confidently use a syringe for their medicine. 

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By a Great Dane lover Hanna Marcus

Published: 01/26/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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