Why Does My Pug Have A Runny Nose And Should You Worry

You wake up one morning and you notice your Pug has a runny nose and it’s not even cold season. Before you start panicking, it’s important to understand this is completely normal for this breed. Let’s take a look at why Pugs have runny noses.

Why Does My Pug Have A Runny Nose?

dog runny nose treatment
Pugs are prone to nose issues such as runny and congested noses.

Yes, Pugs can get runny noses like humans. In fact, it’s totally normal for flat-faced brachycephalic breeds like Pugs, Shitzu’s, French Bulldogs and etc to secrete clear snot from their nose. All dogs regardless of breed can get runny noses, it’s just going to be more visible on your flat-faced pooch.

Just because your dog has a runny nose, doesn’t always mean your dog has a cold. In most cases, it’s completely normal and there’s nothing you need to do.

why does my pug have a runny nose

However, if your dog’s nasal discharge displays other signs such as lack of appetite, increased body temperature, abnormal behavior, or sleeping way too much, you will want to see your veterinarian.

So let’s take a look at your dog’s nasal discharge to help give you an idea of what to expect.

Why Are Pugs Prone To Runny Noses?

Pugs are not only prone to runny noses, but they’re also known to suffer from stuffed noses as well. Unfortunately, these nose problems are due to the conformation of their skull and nasal passages, which is the main reason they struggle with several breathing problems.

Watch this video to find out what’s really going on behind your Pug’s nose.

Causes and Treatments For Pug Runny Noses

Now that you understand why these small dogs are prone to nose issues, let’s take a look at some of the things that can plague your four-legged friend as well as the symptoms and treatment options.


Like us, dogs are prone to seasonal and environmental allergies. They can be allergic to tree pollen, mold spores, plants, dust, chemicals, food and etc.

While allergies are not typically dangerous for dogs, they are known to cause extreme discomfort for your pooch. Dogs with allergies will tend to scratch, chew, and lick more often that it can drive you crazy.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to tell if your pup has allergies because they can’t come out and tell you.

Instead, you’re going to have to learn how to spot the signs to help you determine if your Pug has developed allergies.


Every dog is different and can display one or several of the following symptoms:

  • Patchy skin or skin irregularities
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Dirty or smelly ears
  • Licking of the paws and anus
  • Hair loss
  • Itchy ear infections
  • Sneezing
  • Respiratory congestion


If you suspect your Pug has allergies, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with your vet. They will be able to perform an allergy test to determine what’s causing the allergic reaction.

Depending on the severity of your dog’s problem, vets will usually recommend antihistamines, fatty acids, topical therapies, steroids, or doggie Cortisone to help alleviate your pup’s discomfort.

Nasal Blockages

pug has dirt in nose
Foreign objects and dirt can be the result of your dog’s runny nose.

Pugs are curious creatures and use their great sense of smell to sniff everything and anything they can reach. Maybe it’s something as simple as your dog has something stuck in their nose.

For instance, if your dog loves digging in the dirt, she could’ve easily gotten some dirt, a bug or a piece of grass stuck up her nose.


Unfortunately, if your dog doesn’t have dirt or grass all over her face, it can be hard to tell that she may have an obstruction.

Here are some signs to look for when dealing with a doggie nasal obstruction:

  • Sneezing
  • Nosebleeds
  • Pawing at the nose


Most of the time you should be able to remove the object with a pair of tweezers, without hurting your pooch. If you don’t feel comfortable or the object is too far for you to reach, then you’ll want to contact your veterinarian.

They will sedate your pup and remove the object, as well as prescribe antibiotics to help prevent infections.

Mites & Parasites

When you think of canine parasites most people think of fleas. However, there are little bugs that are known as nasal mites that will love to take up residence in your dog’s nose and sinuses.

Your dog can be exposed to nasal mites when digging in the dirt with her face, or touching another dog’s nose that has been infected.


  • Extreme itching of the nose
  • Sneezing fits
  • Chronic nasal discharge
  • Nosebleeds


Unfortunately, there isn’t one proven method to remove nasal mites. Most veterinarians will prescribe anti-parasitic medications that have been proven to be effective.

Dental Diseases

Pugs are prone to dental problems, that’s why it’s so important to keep their teeth clean. Tooth root abscesses in the upper teeth have been known to cause nasal discharges.


Some of the signs that your Pug may have an abscess tooth are:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Halitosis (caused by the abscessed tooth)
  • White looking gums
  • Swollen face or eyes
  • Tenderness or pain
  • Redness or bleeding gums
  • Swelling along the gumline
  • Difficulty chewing


If you suspect your Pug has an abscessed tooth, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately. If left untreated, your dog can experience tooth loss, eye infections, periodontal disease, or organ failures.

Nasal Tumors & Polyps

Nasal polyps are a type of tumor that consists of pink polypoid growths which are most often benign.


Some of the symptoms to watch for are:

  • Seizures
  • Facial deformity
  • Nasal discharge that doesn’t respond to antiobiotics
  • Bloody nose
  • Noisy breathing when inhaling
  • Nasal congestion


If your pooch is showing any signs or symptoms of nasal cancer, have your pet examined as soon as possible. Your vet will perform a physical examination, check their blood and tissue, and determine the best treatment options.

Canine Dog Flu

Yes, your dog can catch a canine flu, which is very different than the type of flu you and I get. Dogs tend to get affected by the canine flu when they are around other dogs such as; the dog park, doggie daycare, groomers, kennels and other social canine places.

While it’s not always easy to know when your dog has the flu, here are some of the symptoms to watch for.

  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Fever
  • Lack of appetite


As long as your pet is still eating and drinking normally, they will usually get over the symptoms on their own. You may just have to sit them on your lap and give them some extra love and attention to make them feel better.

If your pooch has more than a mild flu case and is not eating, drinking, their behavior has changed and showing signs of discomfort, it’s time to take them to the veterinarian.

Your veterinarian will want to know when they started exhibiting the cold symptoms so be sure you mark it down on your calendar.

Recovery of Runny Noses In Pugs

dog nasal discharge one nostril
You can wipe your Pug’s nasal passages with a soft cloth or tissue.

The best thing you can do is to follow your veterinarian’s treatment recommendations, especially when it comes to your dog’s medications. Always follow up with your veterinarian to monitor your pup’s recovery.

If sneezing and discharge continues, wipe your dog’s nose with a soft tissue or cloth. Make sure that your dog’s living environment is clean, avoid using harsh chemicals in your home, give them access to high-quality food and clean water, and brush your dog’s teeth on a regular basis.

I’ve put together a list of the best toothpaste for Pugs to help keep your dog’s teeth clean and breath smelling good.

Final Word On Do Pugs Get Runny Noses

Runny noses are completely normal in dogs with short flat faces. All dogs have runny wet noses, it’s just more noticeable on your Pug.

As long as your pet is acting normal is hasn’t lost their appetite, there’s usually no reason to panic.

If you notice any of the signs above or you believe something is wrong, then seek medical attention. After all, it’s better safe than sorry.

References And Further Reading

Vet Help Direct – David Harris BVSc MRCVS – Ask A Vet – Help I’ve Got A Stuffy Nosed Pug

Pet Guide – Lauren Corona – 7 Common Veterinary Treatments For Dog Allergies

Merck Manual Veterinary Manual – Ned F. Kuehn – Canine Nasal Mites

Pub Med – Hold DE< Goldschmidt MH – Nasal Polyps in Dogs: Five Cases (2005 to 2011)

Black Pug Site