Like humans, dogs also experience respiratory congestion from colds and allergies. Stuffy noses can be treated by a veterinarian or treated and monitored at home if the congestion is not serious. At-home nasal decongestant treatments such as vaporizers help temporarily reduce stuffiness in dogs.
If your dog is congested, place him in a small room, like a bathroom, and set up a vaporizer. Let him sit in the room until the vaporizer is finished. If he is sleeping, set up the vaporizer near him and let him breathe in the medication as he sleeps. This may help temporarily decongest him. Or, apply vapor rub to his nose. He may be tempted to lick it off, so only apply a small amount to prevent him from salivating a great deal.
When to See Your Veterinarian
Although difficulty breathing is not always a medical emergency for dogs, other symptoms in addition to this may require the attention of your veterinarian. See your veterinarian if your dog is wheezing, choking or breathing raspy, as these are often signs of a foreign body stuck in your dog's respiratory pathway. Do not try to remove an object yourself since the object may become further embedded; instead, immediately visit your veterinarian.
Amanda Williams has been writing since 2009 on various writing websites and blogging since 2003. She enjoys writing about health, medicine, education and home and garden topics. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science in biology at East Stroudsburg University in May 2013. Williams is also a certified emergency medical technician.