Canine Rhinitis Allergy Symptoms

Of the many different causes of canine rhinitis, allergy issues are among the most difficult to diagnose and to treat properly. Rhinitis, or a nasal infection that can spread to the sinus passageways and the breathing passages as well, is characterized by a number of symptoms that resemble a human cold.

While dogs also do contract colds and other related minor illnesses, rhinitis will tend to be more permanent and long lasting. It will also have more severe symptoms and will oftentimes be affected by the seasons. In the case of allergy related rhinitis, the symptoms themselves will come about following an incident in which your pet is exposed to the allergen.


As the infection in your pet's nasal passages causes his tissues to swell, his body assumes that there is some sort of foreign body inside of his nose. The result is that it will try to compensate for this issue and to expel the invading object by sneezing frequently. Dog sneezes oftentimes sound like coughs as well, so be prepared to take note if your pet seems to be making frequent and repeated sneezing or coughing sounds.

Nasal Discharge

While dogs can develop a minor nasal discharge for a number of different reasons, nasal discharge due to rhinitis or a sinus infection are particularly notable. First, you're likely to find that the quantity of discharge is much greater than for many other reasons. You'll also be able to tell that the infection is present because of the color and quality of the discharge itself. Expect the discharge to be thick in texture, creamy and white looking, and for it to generally smell foul. Your dog may or may not be able to control the discharge as well, so look for signs that he has rubbed his nose against other items in your home to try to rid himself of the uncomfortable discharge.


If your pet experiences post-nasal drip as a result of his rhinitis, he will likely either spit up the contents of the drip or may start to vomit. It's not uncommon to see dogs with rhinitis either throw up regularly or attempt to throw up and dry heave, even if there are no contents in their stomachs. Look out for repeated vomiting sessions after eating or at other times as well.

Other Considerations

If you notice these symptoms, it's best to take your pet in to a veterinarian for diagnoses. The first part of the diagnostic process is to determine that your pet is indeed suffering from rhinitis. After that has been confirmed, you can then search for the cause of the situation. Allergens that commonly cause rhinitis are those that are present in the air. Particulate matter like dust is a common cause of rhinitis. In order to treat allergies of this type, you'll need to consider purchasing air purifiers, limiting the use of certain items in your home, purchasing hypo-allergenic bedding and other fabrics, and generally working with your vet.