Dogs have noses that come in all shapes and sizes, from long to smushed. Just compare the long, classic nose of the Collie to the pushed in nose of the Pug. They have plenty of room in their nasal passages to accommodate about 220 million smell receptors, too, that gives them a much better sense of smell than people have. Humans only have 5 million scent receptors. But can they have boogers lingering in their noses? Well, yeah.
Dogs can get upper respiratory infections from kennel cough, canine distemper, and other diseases. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, spread by ticks, can produce nosebleeds. Dogs can also have allergies that give them watery eyes and a clear nasal discharge. In fact, allergies are the most common cause of extra nasal discharges in dogs. It’s just like a runny nose.
A nasal discharge can also mean that your dog has something stuck in his nose like a blade of grass. This is often the case if your dog only has a discharge from one side of the nose. He might paw at his nose like he’s trying to remove something.
Dogs can also have a nasal discharge with some mucus or pus if there is a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection.
Nasal discharge can also be due to a tumor or polyps inside the nose. You might notice mucus or pus or a nosebleed if your dog has a nasal tumor or polyps. Your vet would need to examine your dog’s nose and recommend a treatment. Surgery or other treatments are often effective.
Any of these nasal discharges can produce boogers, depending on how thick the discharge is. The discharge can be thick or runny. It can show signs of infection or be something from a dirty nose. Usually the discharge from a dog’s nose is nothing to worry about. However, if the discharge, including any boogers, is pus-like, bloody, or looks like there might be an infection, you should contact your vet. It’s best to have your dog’s nose checked out.
If you examine your dog’s nose yourself you need to be careful because a dog’s nose is sensitive. Poking it, especially inside, is likely to produce a nosebleed. Dogs with short noses are especially likely to have a sensitive nose if you start trying to examine it.
Most people believe that a cold, wet nose is a sign of a healthy dog but this isn’t necessarily true. If your dog is sick his nose could be wet, dry, hot, or cold. And it’s very possible that he could have some nasal discharge, including boogers.
Many owners probably don’t notice boogers in dogs because they see things like drool and other secretions first. When a dog is prone to slinging drool, it’s a lot more noticeable than any boogers he might have. Just ask someone who owns a Saint Bernard.
The best thing you can do is get to know what your dog’s nose (and secretions) look like when he is healthy and normal. Then you will be able to judge what is going on with him when he produces some kind of discharge that isn’t normal.