German Shepherd Has A Runny Nose – Causes And Solutions

To a German Shepherd, their nose is an extremely important part of their body because they use it to perceive much of the world around them. So when a German Shepherd’s nose is runny and it doesn’t function as intended, it can lead to a lot of discomfort and problems. In this article, I will discuss why your dog has a runny nose and five different things that you can do to help remedy the problem.

This will cover:

  • The importance of a German Shepherd’s nose
  • Why your German Shepherd may have a runny nose
  • Five things you can do to help your German Shepherd

Research shows that a German Shepherd has up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their nose. In comparison, humans have only 6 million. The area of the dog’s brain that explains these is 40 times larger than our own brains. As you can see, smell is a big deal for your dog.

German Shepherds use their noses to gather information about humans, other dogs, and their environment to help them understand and survive in the world in which they live.

German Shepherds don’t just smell things with their noses. They breathe through their noses, just like us. Although the function of a German Shepherd’s nose when breathing is quite different from that of a human nose. The German Shepherd’s ability to inhale air while exhaling creates a continuous air cycle.

If a German Shepherd’s nose is blocked or features excessive nasal secretions, its nose function can be severely limited.

Common reasons for a runny nose

German Shepherds naturally have wet noses. They like to keep their noses moist because moisture increases their ability to absorb more odors from the environment.

In fact, sometimes if your German Shepherd’s nose is dry, you may have reason to worry because it may be a sign of dehydration or even disease. Most of the time the wetness of a German Shepherd’s nose varies from dog to dog, so no need to worry.

If your German Shepherd’s runny nose is unusually runny for them, then you may have good reason to worry.


Something in your German Shepherd’s environment may cause a reaction in your dog’s nose. Examples of irritants include dust, smoke, perfume, incense, and cleaning products. Remember, German Shepherds’ noses are highly sensitive. These strong odors can be overwhelming for your pet and also cause nasal secretions.


At certain times of the yar, more allergens in the air can affect German Shepherds, such as pollen. Although most pet owners expect their dog to show an allergic reaction in spring and summer, winter allergies are not uncommon and often cause the dog to get a runny nose.


Upper respiratory tract infections are the most likely cause of your German Shepherd’s runny nose, especially when they exercise excessively. Nasal discharge is a common symptom that can cause coughing when both viral and bacterial infections occur. If your German Shepherd has a cough other than a runny nose, you should take them to a vet. Infected dogs are contagious and should be isolated from other dogs for several weeks to prevent the spread of the disease.

Temperature adjustment

German Shepherds don’t sweat like humans. Instead, they sweat through the pads of their paws and nose. If your German Shepherd’s nose looks too wet, your dog may sweat from their nose to cool down. One indication of the problem is if your German Shepherd is also out of breath.

Inhaling dangerous things

A more serious cause of your German Shepherd’s runny nose may be obstruction. If your pet inhales something, such as grass seeds, then you may see nasal secretions. Or, the toxins that your dog inhaled may cause their nose to flow.

A more serious problem

One of the most common respiratory diseases in dogs is rhinitis and sinusitis. These usually cause dogs to get runny noses, severe nasal discharge, and breathing difficulties.

In addition, although very rare, runny noses in German Shepherds can be caused by more serious diseases, such as dental problems, blood clotting, and even nasal cancer. If all of the above reasons have been ruled out, your veterinarian will need to investigate further.

What should you do?

Be sure to consult a veterinarian so they can rule out more serious underlying causes of the symptoms. Don’t hesitate to take them to the clinic even if it’s just for a runny nose. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Watch your German Shepherd for other symptoms

Check your German Shepherd for any other symptoms, other than a runny nose, which may give you a clue as to what the problem may be. If you find your dog is looking happy and healthy but does have a runny nose, at least you will know that there is no need to panic. Things to note include loss of appetite, cough, strange secretions, or even blood.

What to do if your German Shepherd’s nose is bleeding

If you notice that blood comes ou with normal nasal secretions, tilt your German Shepherd’s head back and hold a tissue, towel, cloth or anything that can absorb the nose. if the bleeding is heavy, you can control it.

You can also apply a cold compress between the eyes and nostrils on top of your dog’s nose. However, do not insert anything into their nostrils. Immediately after this, send your dog to the veterinarian to get checked out.

Avoid allergies

If you are lucky enough to know that your German Shepherd is allergic or sensitive to certain irritants, then you can simply reduce your dog’s exposure to these things.

This may mean not light strong candles or incense around your dog and to make sure that their bed/box is well ventilated.

The typical symptoms of allergies in German Shepherds are sneezing, coughing, eye discharge, runny nose, and itchy skin with breathing problems.

What if your German Shepherd inhales an object?

Another reason for your German Shepherd’s runny nose could be because they inhaled something such as a sharp piece of grass or seed. Generally, it is best to take your dog to the vet. Or, if you can see it and your dog is calm and patient, you can have a friend try and remove this object carefully using a pair of tweezers.

If the object is larger or higher up in the nostril, do not attempt this operation because you may end up making it worse.

Take your German Shepherd for a veterinary inspection

Even if you think that you have solved the problem, you should still continue to check in with your vet just in case your dog needs antibiotics to prevent an infection.

Visit your veterinarian and listen to their professional advice. Sometimes having an expert explain what to do can really help out and make the situation easier for you and your dog.

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