Saline Nasal Spray for Dogs

A saline nasal spray may be used in a number of instances and will aim at decongesting the dog’s nose and cleaning it. The saline nasal spray can be obtained from pharmacies, but it may also be prepared at home, using the ingredients indicated by your vet.

When Is a Saline Nasal Spray Recommended

A saline nasal spray may be used in various conditions that affect the dog:

  • Respiratory infections, to decongest the nose and allow the dog to breathe normally
  • Allergies, which may also manifest through a congested nose
  • Sinusitis or other infections that may affect the nose and the area
  • Dry nose, which can be caused by various infections or an elevated fever
  • Frequent sneezing
  • Cleaning of the nose

Certain dog breeds that have shorter noses (i.e. Pugs) may need a regular nasal cleaning, as they may have difficulties breathing if there is any matter stuck in the nose.

The saline solution can be administered in the form of drops or as a spray, which is easier to apply in the nasal cavity. The solution may also contain antihistamines or corticosteroids, which can alleviate symptoms such as irritation and swelling.

The solution shouldn’t be administered if there are foreign objects in the nose or the dog is suspected of having a tumor.

How to Use the Saline Nasal Spray

The saline nasal spray should be applied twice per day or as recommended by the vet. You should spray just a bit of the solution in each of the dog’s nostrils. You should make sure that the solution gets in the nose and not outside. You may also massage the area, so that the saline solution gets further in the nose. Wipe the excess solution with a towel or a tissue. The dog shouldn’t swallow the solution, as this may cause stomach upset or even vomiting. You should also pay attention not to get any saline solution in the dog’s eyes.

The dog is likely to sneeze after the administration of the solution and this may mean that the solution is eliminated together with the sneeze. In this case, you should administer the saline drops again or consult your vet, as your dog may be allergic to the solution and you may not be able to administer these drops.

Saline Nasal Spray Side Effects

While it is generally safe to use the saline nasal spray, some dogs may display certain side effects, especially if the spray is being used for a longer period of time. Watch out for symptoms such as:

  • Nasal bleeding
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharges
  • Swelling of the nasal mucosa, if the pet is allergic to the saline substance

If these allergic reactions occur, you should notify your vet and discontinue the administration of the saline solution. The vet will establish if the dog’s reaction is to the spray or if there are other factors contributing to the occurrence of these symptoms.