If you're suffering from a stuffy nose, you might use Afrin or its generic equivalent to clear your nasal passages. Oxymetazoline, the active ingredient in these medications, can also clear up your dog's congested nose, but don't use it without veterinary recommendation. While not approved for use in animals by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, veterinarians can prescribe it for "extra-label" use.
Oxymetazoline works by constricting the blood vessels in the nasal passage, offering quick relief. If your dog has any open wounds near the nose, don't use oxymetazoline. Dogs suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism or diabetes shouldn't receive oxymetazoline, either. It's best used just once or twice for symptom relief over a 24-hour period. Overuse can cause symptoms to worsen.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.