Just like you, your dog sneezes sometimes. Most often, it’s simply because small particles of dust, dirt, grass, or other materials make their way into the nasal passages—your dog uses their nose to explore the world, after all. But what happens if your dog sneezes frequently, or won’t stop sneezing?
Here are some of the most common reasons that dogs sneeze:
Did you know that most dogs sneeze when they’re playing? Whether your dog is playing with another canine or with a human, you’ll probably see them sneeze a few times. Experts believe this is your dog’s way of showing other dogs that their play is good-natured, rather than threatening. Watch out for the play-sneeze the next time your pooch gets riled up!
Another common reason that dogs sneeze is because of allergies. Environmental allergens are the usual culprit. Things like pollen, dander, mold, dust and dust mites, dirt, and much more can cause symptoms like a runny nose, watery eyes, and—you guessed it—excessive sneezing. And even food allergies can cause sneezing, so your dog could be reacting to the protein source or things like soy or dairy in their diet.
Talk to your vet if you think your dog might be suffering from allergies. Allergy medication might be necessary for your pup to feel better.
Brachycephalic dogs (those with squashed faces and bulging eyes like the Pekingese, French and English Bulldog, boxers, pugs, and the Boston terrier) are prone to breathing trouble thanks to their narrow nasal passages and unique airway structures. Symptoms of Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome include wheezing, snorting, and sneezing. If you have a Brachycephalic dog, ask your vet what you can do to help your pet stay comfortable.
In addition to normal sneezes, dogs also “reverse sneeze” on occasion. This happens when a dog snorts air into their nose quickly, which sounds almost like a sneeze. It can be alarming, but it’s perfectly normal and nothing to worry about. It’s most common in smaller dogs, including Brachycephalic breeds.
Of course, it’s possible that medical problems like kennel cough, respiratory infections, nasal mites, and much more could be the root cause of Fido’s sneezing. If you can’t determine another cause of your dog’s behavior, set up an appointment with your vet clinic.
Contact your local vet clinic for more information on your dog’s sneezing.