6 Main Reasons Why Dogs Sneeze When Playing

6 Main Reasons Why Dogs Sneeze When Playing

Author WDF Staff


You probably noticed your dog sneeze in many different situations, but did you catch your dog sneezing while playing. At first, it can seem like a normal reaction, but it can be something behind that behavior when you think about it. Experts explained to us: “Why do dogs sneeze when playing?“ There are many theories about this behavior, and all of them could be true in some form.

Why do dogs sneeze when playing?

When dogs sneeze while playing with other canines is normal behavior, and in fact, that behavior can be pretty cute. There are many possible reasons why dogs sneeze during playtime, and we will try to explain all of them. Let’s start.

1. Playful behavior

If you catch your dog sneeze while playing with other dogs, it can be a sign that he is all about playing and that he doesn’t mean any aggression.

dogs playing

2. Seeking attention

Dogs can use sneezing as a form of asking for attention. When they sneeze, people and other dogs will notice the dog, and there is a fair chance that they will start playing with him. Your dog can also use sneezing if he wants to start playing with you.

RELATED: What Are Good Toys for Dogs?

3. Health problems

If you notice your dog sneezing without any particular reason, and more often, you should take your dog for a quick check-up at your vet clinic. Pneumonia is one common health problem that will affect respiratory issues in the dog and will cause shortness of breath. Most often, this kind of sneezing will be wet.

4. Allergies

Dogs are also prone to allergies, as you may think. If you catch your dog playing outside and you notice that he starts to sneeze constantly, he might be allergic to the environment. Dogs can also be allergic to perfumes and other smells. If you see your dog experience sneezing often, you should take your dog to the vet for a check-up.

RELATED: Top 3 Expert Pick - Dog Puzzle Toys

dogs playing

5. Playtime is over

Like they can communicate if they want to start playing, sneezing can also mean that dog wants playtime to be over. Dogs may be tired, or they just have enough and want to take a rest. This is significantly more often at puppy age since puppies will take every chance they get to play, but they will get tired pretty fast and will want playtime to be over.

6. Happiness

If your dog sneezes during playtime, it could simply mean they are happy. Dogs are doing what they love, and by sneezing, they will let you know that they are happy. 

RELATED: Is It Safe To Let Puppies Play Rough? Here’s What Experts Say


If you catch your dog sneezing while playing, you don’t have anything to worry about in most cases. It is a normal canine behavior dogs use to communicate with other canines and humans. Although if you catch your dog sneezing constantly, you should run a quick check with your vet to be entirely sure. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.


World Dog Finder team

World Dog Finder Logo