Dog Sneezing Reasons

Dog Sneezing Reasons

Author WDF Staff


Seeing a dog sneezing can be really fun and cute, and it is usually something you shouldn’t worry about. It all depends on how often your dog sneezes, and if there is any discharge.

The most common reason dogs sneeze is because something is irritating their nostrils. It is just a reaction to something itching them, and you shouldn’t think too much about it. It is also possible that sneezing indicates something a bit more sinister, and as a dog owner, you should know how to spot that.

Let’s dig in.

Why do dogs sneeze?

Dogs often sneeze as a reaction to something that is irritating them. There are plenty of things that can make their way into your dog’s nose and force them to sneeze to get rid of it. Things like perfume, pollen, cleaning items, dust, or even dirt or grass from running or digging can cause your dog to sneeze

Dogs have noses that are a lot more sensitive than ours, and they can easily get irritated enough for them to sneeze and try to remove the thing bugging their nose. They are known for going nose-first, and if your dog loves to snoop around the bushes or undergrowth, make sure you check their nose.

Be careful when spraying around your dog. Air fresheners, deodorants, or perfumes can easily cause your dog to sneeze. It is a good idea to check your dog’s nose if they are sneezing too much to make sure there isn’t a leaf or a twig lodged in there.

Other reasons dogs sneeze

Dogs can sneeze for other reasons and not just because something is stuck or irritating their nose. Some reasons can be:


Just like humans, dogs can have an allergic reaction to different things, and just like us, not every dog reacts the same to the same things. Things like flea or tick bites, dust, pollen, specific foods, or mold can cause your dog to have an allergic reaction. Allergies are usually accompanied by other symptoms like scratching and nasal discharge. If you suspect your dog might have allergies, talk to your vet about how to handle it and what medication might be right for your dog.

Play dog sneeze

If your dog sneezes when they play, according to petMD, it is a way of communication. The message your dog is trying to convey is that this is just playing, and there is no reason to be stressed or angry. Dogs communicate with their whole bodies, which is just another useful way for them to let everyone know that they are playful and not aggressive.

Influenza sneezing

The influenza season can strike your dog just as it can hit you. If you notice that your dog started sneezing more often, it can be a symptom of dog influenza. It is often called dog flu, and it can be easily transmitted from one infected dog to another. Other symptoms will most likely appear; sudden lethargy, fever, discharge from eyes and nose, cough, and lack of appetite. Dog flu can lead to other problems like pneumonia and can have tragic endings if not appropriately treated.

Common dog cold

Another thing we have in common with dogs is that we can all get a common cold. Even the symptoms are similar; sneezing, a runny nose, fever, lack of appetite, watery eyes, and generally low energy levels. It should clear on its own, but you can contact your vet just to be sure. Help your dog like you would help yourself, with a warm chicken soup, loads of fluids, and a cozy blanket.

Tracheal collapse

Tracheal collapse is a serious health concern, and sneezing can be a symptom. It will sound like a honking cough more than a sneeze, but it means that your dog’s windpipe is collapsing, and when the air is squeezed through, the honking sound will appear. You should visit your vet as soon as possible. This is a health concern that mostly affects toy and small dog breeds, but luckily, it is not that common.

A dog can sneeze in the rarest cases because of a tumor or an infected upper third molar. Tumors can appear in breeds with longer snouts and can be caused by second-hand smoke. The Upper third molar has roots close to the nasal windpipes and can cause discomfort that might force a dog to sneeze.

What is a reverse sneeze?

The reverse sneeze in dogs sounds a lot worse than it actually is. The reverse sneeze is when your dog inhales deeply through their nose and makes a gagging or choking-like noise. It can sound pretty terrible, and according to vets, this is the way dogs are reacting to some sort of discomfort happening. They are responding to inflammation or trying to get rid of something bugging their airways.

If reverse sneezing seems to be often happening, massaging their throat or blowing in their face can help. That will trigger the swallowing reflex that can stop the spasm. If that doesn’t help, you should contact your vet and ask for help. They might ask you to wait because it will most likely stop, or in worse scenarios, prescribe an antihistamine that will help with your dog’s allergies.

You might be wondering is it possible to stop your dog from sneezing, but it isn’t. There are no hacks, tips, or tricks that will stop your dog from sneezing. If they need to sneeze, you should let it happen, and it can help your dog from feeling the discomfort that caused them to sneeze in the first place. The only way to help them are medications, and you should never medicate your dog without consulting a vet.

Sneezing is mostly not a reason to worry about; we would recommend you enjoy your dog’s funny faces but keep a close eye for any signs of illness or other symptoms that we described here.

World Dog Finder team