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Help! My Dog Won't Stop Sneezing

May 15, 2021

Does your dog sneeze sometimes? Fido may look a bit embarrassed or confused when this happens. Sneezing isn’t dangerous for your pet, unless of course he bonks his head on something in the process. But why do dogs sneeze? Here are some of the most common reasons that dogs sneeze:


Most often, our canine companions sneeze because small particles of dust, dirt, grass, or other materials have made their way into the nasal passages. Your dog uses his nose to explore the world, after all.

Play Sneezing

Did you know that pups sneeze when they’re playing? When Fido is playing with you or with another pooch, you may see him sneeze a few times. Experts believe this is dogs’ way of showing other dogs that their play is good-natured, and not threatening. Watch out for the play-sneeze the next time your pooch gets riled up. (Spoiler: it’s really cute.)


Another common reason that dogs sneeze is because of allergies. Environmental allergens, like pollen, dander, mold, dust and dust mites, and dirt, are the usual culprit. These things can cause symptoms like a runny nose, watery eyes, and—you guessed it—excessive sneezing. Even food allergies can cause sneezing. Your dog could be reacting to a protein source or something like soy or dairy in his diet. 

Consult your vet if you think your dog might be suffering from allergies. Allergy medication might be necessary for your pup to feel better.

Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS)

Brachycephalic dogs, as you may know, are those pooches with squashed faces and bulging eyes.  The Pekingese, French and English Bulldog, boxers, pugs, and the Boston terrier are a few examples. These guys are unfortunately 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 for specific care tips.

Reverse Sneezing

Fido may also “reverse sneeze” on occasion. This happens when a pooch 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. Backwards sneezing is most common in smaller dogs, including Brachycephalic breeds.

Medical Issues

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. Foxtail seeds can also cause excessive 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. 

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