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Why is My Dog Sneezing? Causes & Treatment Tips (2024)

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Do you have a pup that’s sneezing more than usual? If so, it can be concerning and leave you wondering what the cause of this could be. From allergies to airborne irritants, there are several possible explanations for why your dog is sneezing.

It’s important to understand these potential causes in order to know how best to treat them and prevent further issues from arising. To help gain some clarity on the matter, here we explore why your pooch may be sneezing as well as tips on how to best handle it when they do start up again.

Key Takeaways

why is my dog sneezing

  • Dog sneezing can be caused by allergies, play-sneezing, reverse sneezing, airborne irritants, or foreign bodies in the nasal passages.
  • Allergies can lead to frequent sneezing in dogs, and veterinary help may be needed for diagnosis and treatment.
  • Occasional sneezing is normal for dogs, but frequent or ongoing episodes may indicate an underlying issue.
  • Treatment for dog sneezing may include over-the-counter remedies, nasal flushings, or antihistamines.

What Causes Dog Sneezing?

What Causes Dog Sneezing?
If you’ve noticed your pup sneezing a lot recently, it may be due to a variety of factors. Allergies, play-sneezing (in response to certain kinds of excitement), reverse sneezing (an involuntary spasm caused by irritation in the throat and nose), airborne irritants such as pollen or dust, or even foreign bodies stuck in the nasal passages can all elicit this reaction from our furry friends.

It’s important to observe any changes in frequency and intensity of these episodes so that an accurate diagnosis can be made if necessary.


You might be surprised to learn that allergies can lead to frequent sneezing in your furry companion, so if you’re concerned about it, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Allergy triggers like certain dog foods and environmental allergens may cause allergic attacks with symptoms such as snorting or heavy breathing.

Vets can offer allergy testing and treatment plans, which may include changing the diet or administering medication. Prevention of further allergic reactions is possible through avoiding specific trigger items and keeping up with regular check-ups.

Play Sneezing

Playing can also lead to sneezing, as your pup may be inhaling dust or other environmental irritants while running around. Sneezing triggers vary from allergies and nasal mites to foreign object inhalation.

Symptoms like snorting versus sneezing can help identify the cause of the issue. Allergy treatments, such as diet changes and medication, may provide relief for some breeds at risk of frequent sneezing.

Reverse Sneezing

Reverse sneezing is when you honk or snort from rapid, repeated inhalation of air. Causes range from nasal foreign bodies to brachycephalic dogs. Diagnose symptoms like severe sneezing, and home remedies may help.

Vet treatments include diagnostic tests and specific therapies for your pet’s needs.

Airborne Irritants

Allergens like pollen and dust can make your pooch sneeze. Pay attention if they’re extra sensitive! Nasal mites, foreign objects, and nasal tumors are possible causes of their sniffles too. Brachycephalic breeds may be more prone to snorting sounds from these airborne irritants – a common cause for a dog’s sneezing.

Foreign Body

Foreign bodies stuck in your pup’s nasal passages can cause a sneezing fit – be on the lookout for anything that doesn’t belong! Diagnosis may involve allergy testing or X-rays to detect foreign material.

Nasal irritants like dust and pollen, as well as small particles from toys or plants, could be the culprits. If veterinary care is necessary due to a piece of foreign material inside their nose, they’ll likely require antibiotics and possibly surgery.

Is Sneezing in Dogs Normal?

Is Sneezing in Dogs Normal?
Sneezing can be a normal communication tool for your pup and may also indicate that something is not quite right in their nose or throat. In general, occasional sneezes are nothing to worry about. However, frequent or ongoing sneeze episodes could be cause for concern.

While it is a very common problem among dogs, reverse sneezing should still be observed as it could point to an underlying issue like seasonal allergies or foreign objects stuck in the nasal passages. Brachycephalic breeds can also have issues with snorting due to their anatomy, which predisposes them towards respiratory irritation caused by air pollutants such as dust and pollen particles.

Nasal mites can also lead to frequent sneezing bouts in dogs. Therefore, it’s important that you get proper allergy treatments if needed.

Can Dogs Get Allergies?

Can Dogs Get Allergies?
Yes, just like humans, your pup can experience allergies too! Seasonal and food allergies are the most common causes of allergic reactions in dogs. Allergy symptoms may include sneezing, coughing, or wheezing, as well as irritated eyes or skin.

If left untreated, these conditions can worsen over time, leading to more severe issues such as nasal tumors or dental problems.

Your vet will be able to diagnose the true underlying cause of your dog’s allergy by performing bloodwork and X-rays if needed. Treatment options for canine allergies typically involve an appropriate diet change, along with possible allergy medication depending on the severity of the condition.

Signs that you should look out for when determining whether your pup is having an allergic reaction include itchiness (especially around their face), frequent licking/chewing at paws and other body parts, redness around eyes, ear infections, hair loss/thinning fur, and rashes on the belly area.

What Are the Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs?

What Are the Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs?
Itchy skin, red eyes, coughing or wheezing, ear infections, and thinning fur can all be signs that your pup is suffering from allergies. To determine the root of the issue, allergy testing may need to be done by a vet.

Treatment for canine allergies usually involves immunotherapy (vaccines designed to desensitize them against certain allergens), pollen avoidance (staying away from areas with high levels of airborne irritants like grasses and trees), diet changes such as switching their food source to hypoallergenic options available at pet stores/vets offices, nasal flush if foreign bodies are stuck in their nose passages, and a variety of other medications depending on how severe the allergic reaction is.

The most common symptoms associated with an allergic attack include sneezing fits due to inhaling dust particles or other common irritants in the air. However, there can also be more serious symptoms like difficulty breathing caused by inflammation within the lungs, which require immediate medical attention! Dogs may experience lethargy due to lack of energy caused by these reactions, as well as loss of appetite because they feel uncomfortable eating when experiencing discomfort-related issues such as hives or rashes on their body.

If you think your pup might have an allergy, it’s important you take him/her to see a veterinarian so they can properly diagnose what type of condition he/she has before beginning any sort of treatment plan.

Should I Take My Dog to the Vet?

Should I Take My Dog to the Vet?
If your pup is exhibiting frequent sneezing, coughing, or any other concerning symptoms related to allergies, it’s important that you take them to the vet for further investigation.

Cleaning allergens from their environment and making seasonal changes can be beneficial in reducing symptoms, but it may not always provide enough relief on its own. Your vet will likely recommend a diagnostic test such as an X-ray or bloodwork, which can help identify the cause of their distress.

Along with changing your pet’s hygiene practices and home remedies like nasal flushings if needed, they may also administer antibiotics if upper respiratory infections are detected due to excessive mucus discharge in the nasal passages leading to severe irritation.

In some cases where emergency care is required due to difficulty breathing or other severe reactions, immediate attention at an animal hospital should be sought out right away!

Taking your dog to see a veterinarian when experiencing allergy-related symptoms will ensure proper treatment and prevent possible health complications down the road – so don’t wait too long before scheduling an appointment!

How Can I Treat Dog Sneezing?

How Can I Treat Dog Sneezing?
If you’re wondering why your dog is sneezing, there are several potential causes and treatments available. Over-the-counter remedies such as nasal flushings or antihistamines can help reduce the severity of symptoms in certain cases, but it’s important to get a professional diagnosis from your veterinarian for more serious conditions.

Veterinary care may include antibiotics and other medications if an infection is present, X-rays or blood work to identify underlying causes, or lifestyle changes such as improved hygiene practices at home.

Over-the-Counter Remedies

Although over-the-counter medications may provide some relief for your pet’s allergy symptoms, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian before administering any medication. Your vet can identify environmental factors such as air fresheners and small bugs that could be causing sneezing or other reactions.

They can also recommend specific pet medications, nasal rinses, and other treatments to reduce nasal congestion or runny nose associated with allergies.

Additionally, they’ll be able to advise on the best way to prevent future bouts of sneezing by making changes in their environment or diet if necessary. While human products may offer temporary relief from inflammation and irritation caused by allergic reactions in dogs, these should not be used without consulting a professional first! Taking proactive steps towards diagnosis and treatment will ensure that your pup stays healthy while avoiding potential side effects from improper use of over-the-counter remedies.

Veterinary Care

If your pet is experiencing frequent or worsening sneezing, it’s important to have them checked out by a veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Symptoms of allergies, such as itching, redness, and watery eyes, may indicate the need for allergy treatment.

The vet will conduct tests, such as blood work or X-rays, to diagnose any underlying conditions like nasal mites or tumors in the mouth that could be causing excessive sneezing. If there are dental problems present, then a dental examination may also be recommended, along with possible treatment options depending on what’s found during these exams.

Brachycephalic breeds can often experience snorting due to their facial structure, so it’s important not to confuse this with excessive sneezing, which could indicate more serious issues like fungal infections in the respiratory system and require further medical attention from your vet.

Is Dog Sneezing Contagious?

Is Dog Sneezing Contagious?
You may be wondering if your pet’s sneezing is contagious, but in most cases, it isn’t. Though airborne transmission between dogs can occur, the chances of this happening are low as most dog breeds have developed immunity levels to common illnesses and infections.

Additionally, humans typically cannot catch any disease from a pet’s sneezing as their bodily systems are too different for there to be an effective transfer of infection or illness from one species to another.

However, it is possible that contaminants present within a dog’s nasal passages could cause similar dental problems in people who come into contact with them on a regular basis – such as owners or groomers – making prevention the best way to stay safe when dealing with canine respiratory issues like uncontrollable sneezing.

The source of the issue should always be identified by seeking professional help before attempting self-treatment methods so that you know what action needs taking and whether other pets at home need protecting against potential contagion amongst themselves or yourself.

The most common causes of uncontrolled sneezing are allergies (seasonal/food), foreign bodies stuck in the nose, tumors, abscesses/infections, and mites.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Dog Sneezing?

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Dog Sneezing?
Frequent sneezing may result in long-term consequences if left untreated, so it’s important to address the underlying cause and seek professional help.

Allergic reactions, dental issues, seasonal changes, or inhalation of irritants can all lead to continuous sneezing. Brachycephalic dogs are more prone due to the anatomical compression of their nasal passages.

Nasal mites may also be a factor, as well as foreign bodies stuck in the nose, and tumors or abscesses/infections which require further treatment.

While occasional sneezing is a normal occurrence – usually caused by excitement – too much should be taken seriously.

If you notice any changes in your dog’s behavior associated with its frequent sneezing, then it’s best to contact your vet for advice on the next steps. They will likely perform tests such as bloodwork or X-rays depending on what they find during their examination.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I do to prevent my dog from sneezing?

Investigate potential causes of your dog’s sneezing, such as allergies or foreign objects. To prevent further episodes, keep your pet away from allergens and dust. If persistent sneezing continues, consult a veterinarian for tests to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment options.

Can diet changes help reduce my dog’s sneezing?

Yes, diet changes may help reduce your dog’s sneezing. Eliminating potential allergens and providing a balanced nutritional plan can ease symptoms related to allergies or other health issues that can lead to sneezing.

Are there any over-the-counter medications for sneezing in dogs?

No, it is not recommended to use over-the-counter medications for sneezing in dogs. Such products may contain active ingredients that are toxic or have adverse effects in canines and should only be used under the guidance of a veterinarian.

It’s best to contact your vet if your dog has been sneezing frequently and you’re looking for treatment options.

Are there any home remedies for sneezing in dogs?

There are some home remedies for sneezing in dogs that you can try. These include bathing the dog with warm water and shampoo, rinsing its nostrils with a saline solution to relieve congestion, and using steam inhalation or humidifiers to reduce irritation.

Additionally, reducing allergens such as pollen or dust around your house may help ease symptoms. If these methods don’t seem to be working, it’s best to see your vet for further advice on how best to treat the problem.

Does sneezing in dogs mean they have a cold or the flu?

No, sneezing in dogs usually does not indicate a cold or the flu. It can be caused by allergies, irritants, airborne particles, dental problems, and even as a form of communication. If your dog is showing other symptoms such as thick nasal discharge or reduced appetite, you should consult your vet for further diagnosis and treatment options.


Your dog’s sneezing can be a sign of a serious underlying condition and should be monitored. If your dog is sneezing frequently or has other symptoms such as thick nasal discharge, nasal swelling, lethargy, fever, or reduced appetite, it’s important to take them to the vet.

Studies show that up to 40% of sneezing in dogs is due to allergies, so if your pup is exhibiting signs of allergies, they may need to be treated with medication or other therapies.

Keep in mind that most causes of sneezing in dogs are benign, but it’s important to pay attention to any changes in your dog’s behavior and contact your vet if needed.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief with a team of qualified veterinarians, their goal? Simple. Break the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your furry four-legged friends.