Why Do Dogs Sneeze? [Ultimate Guide]


Even though the dog’s sneezing is a pretty common and cute thing, you will experience, do you have any idea why they sneeze? Should you worry about that? Are they trying to tell us something? Let’s find out.

We sneeze when we are cold. But unlike us, dog’s sneeze doesn’t always mean that they were cold too. Dogs sneeze for many reasons.

Mostly dogs sneeze as the reaction to dust or foreign object in their nose. Or it may be a severe case too. It all depends on how often your dog sneeze and the color of the discharge. So you need to pay special attention to identify the root cause of the sneeze.

In most cases, a dog may sneeze to expel an irritant out of the nose that may be stuck in the upper airway of the nose. So the response comes as a sneeze. So as a pet owner, I would like to share my knowledge regarding this with you.

Why do dogs sneeze?

Why do dogs sneeze - Mypetmylove.com

Like I explained earlier dogs might sneeze due to a lot of reasons. It may be an irritant in their nose due to dust, Or maybe some small object stucks in their nose, or perhaps a tiny ant or insect went into the nose. I notice that even perfumes are sensitives for some kinds of dogs too. Because I remember I use two perfume bottles from different brands. When I put Dark Knight ( Perfume brand in my country ), my pet always sneezes. I noticed this several days, and I asked this from the vet. The vet told me that maybe your pet is allergic to that smell of the perfume.  So after that day, I didn’t use it.

So be careful when you are spraying something near to your pet. It may be a perfume, mosquito repellent spray or maybe a cockroaches killer spray. Whatever you spray, always try to keep a distance from your pet. That will minimize the risk of going something irritating to their nose.

You may be wondering then how come hunting dogs survive on this when they snuffle on the floor and underneath objects. Of course, they got this sneezing problem frequently because snuffle on the floor, snuffle on undergrowth, will pretty much getting unusual objects stuck up in their nasal. But don’t be panic when your dog starts to sneeze because sneeze will help them to expel the object out of their nose. The only thing you need to worry about is if there is bleeding when he sneezes or if the dog keeps pawing at its nose while sneezing. If that the case meets your vet as soon as possible and they will remove the stuck object safely. Why Do Dogs Sneeze When They Play?

Why Do Dogs Sneeze When They Play?

Not every sneeze signals trouble. Dogs sneeze when they are having a lot of fun too. This is called Play Sneezing. Believe me, when they are with other dogs, they are using sneeze to communicate with each other. They use this sneezing signal as a calming signal for other dogs.  Studies have shown that dogs are using different 30 calming signals to let other dogs know that they need a break or need to slow things down.

So if you ever hear this kind of sneeze does not worry. It is normal and harmless. But how you know whether this is a play sneeze or painful sneeze? Well, usually play sneeze is like a snort. It comes from the nose, not from deep down lungs. You will notice that these two sounds are pretty much different. If the sound tends to be deeper, it’s a sign of a cold, and you may need to visit the vet immediately. Also, if your dog sneezes frequently and seems it is sneezing with pain, definitely there could be an obstruction in their nasal passage and will need to remove it by a professional.

Can dogs get sinus infections?

The simple answer is YES.

Nasal / Sinus infections are common infections that may infect your pet. Symptoms of these sinus infections on dogs are very similar to humans. So are the treatments. When we got sinus infections, usually, we will get a headache or sore throat. So you may want to see a vet since you can not check whether your pet has a headache or sore throat.

How do I know if my dog has a sinus infection?

Your dog will frequently sneeze when he has a sinus infection. But how you know whether he has it or not?

Dog sinuses are located in his nasal cavity. When this nasal cavity becomes infected or inflamed, we call it sinus infection. Symptoms of this infection are very much similar to humans. They are:

  • Regular Sneezing ( This is the first sign that will grab your attention )
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing and gagging
  • Watery eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sometimes nose bleeding may happen
  • Occasionally a fever, headache
  • sore throat

Reasons for Sinus Infection

So now you know the symptoms of sinus infection. So its better to understand what causes these infections. Most of these are because of environmental influences. Some of these are

  • Because of Insect bites or stings (Most common thing )
  • Infections happen at upper respiratory
  • Exposure to any irritants or allergens
  • Infections inside the mouth ( Mostly upper teeth. The roots of the third upper premolar are close to the nasal passage of dogs. So if these get infected your dog may sneeze )
  • Bacterial, fungal, or viral infections

So I think now you have a good idea about nasal infections that may cause regular sneezing of your pet. If you suspect that your pet got it immediately, take him to the vet, and he will do proper investigations and do appropriate treatments that suit for your dog.

Other reason for your dogs sneeze?

  • Tumors : This is a very rare thing but can possible. If your dog has a persistent sneeze, if you can’t find any above symptoms, it may be some severe case. Some dogs may have tumors or cancers that grow inside their body. If we get a tumor, we feel it. We know something is not right, and we are doing proper tests to identify it. But how do they express it? So if you think something is not right, take him to vet for further analysis. Studies have shown that most pets get cancers because of secondhand smoke. We all know today most of the people are smoking tobacco, and day by day, people are addicted to it. In some families, all of the family members are smoking. So this secondhand smoking ( Inhale smoke that breath out by a smoker ) is very dangerous not for your pet but for you too.
  •  If your dog is a shorten head (brachycephalic breed), one like Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Chihuahuas, which refers to the short nose and flat face of dogs, these one have compressed nasal passage, and because of that, they are more likely sneeze than others.
  • If Nasal Mites get inside of your dog, they may irritate your dog. These bugs will get into your dog’s nose when they try to dig the dirt with their nose. It will cause excess discharge from the pet’s nose, and sometimes nosebleed will happen because of this.


Dogs are sneezes for many reasons. As the pet owner, you have to identify the root cause of this sneeze so you can give a prompt treatment for your pet if your pet is in trouble. If there is an emergency do proper treatments rather than going with home remedies and treatments. When you going to see the vet don’t forget to take your Pet first aid kit with you. Cause it contains all the medical reports, vaccine history that related to your dog. But don’t panic. You should not worry about every sneeze. In this article, I described the kinds of sneezes that you may experience and what you should do on each. Remember, sneezing is very common, and it’s a sign that your dog is healthy, and the body is doing its job.

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