Dogs can sneeze for many reasons. As a dog owner, it can be challenging to discern if your dog’s sneezing is something to draw concern. In this article, we’ll explore the different reasons dogs sneeze and offer possible remedies to help stop it in its tracks!
Why Do Dogs Sneeze?
Like humans, dogs sneeze when something irritates their nose, such as, pollen, dust, or aerosols. And there are several reasons your dog’s nose can become irritated.
What Causes Dogs to Sneeze
The most common reasons your dog is sneezing:
A Form of Communication During Play
Sometimes dogs sneeze when they play as a form of communication. Dogs use their whole body to communicate, and sneezing is a displacement gesture that helps them calm down and refocus.
When playing, a dog can compulsively sneeze to release their energy, frustration, or nervousness. It can help them calm down and indicate to their playmates that the situation isn’t stressful. If your dog sneezes during play, then it generally isn’t something to worry about.
What to Do When Your Dog is Sneezing to Communicate
Don’t worry. It is a coping and communication sneeze that isn’t signaling a more serious problem.
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If your dog is sneezing a lot and pawing at its nose, it could be a sign that your dog has something up its nose. This could be as simple as a blade of grass to a foxtail. If you notice this behavior, you’ll want to look inside your dog’s nose to see if anything visible obstructs it.
What to Do When Your Dog is Sneezing Because of Nasal Blockage
Look inside your dog’s nose and see if you can see what is blocking it. If it isn’t too far up your dog’s nose, you may be able to pull it out with tweezers. If the object is lodged or difficult to remove, you should call your vet for help.
Just like people, dogs can get allergies too. For example, your dog may sneeze because of dust, pollen, mold, or other irritants. This can often happen when you introduce your dog to a new area or environment. Other symptoms that can be triggered by allergies are:
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
What to Do When Your Dog is Sneezing Because of Dog Allergies
If you suspect your dog may have allergies and your dog won’t stop sneezing, you may want to contact your vet for allergen treatments. Your vet may recommend testing to determine which allergens affect your dog and then give strategies for reducing exposure.
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Dogs can be susceptible to fungal or bacterial respiratory infections. These types of nasal infections will cause your dog to sneeze frequently. If your dog has an infection, it will also have other symptoms like mucus discharge or lack of appetite.
What to Do When Your Dog is Sneezing Because of an Infection
In most cases, you’ll need to visit your veterinarian for medicine to eliminate the infection. If you think your dog has an infection, you should make an appointment as soon as possible.
What is a Canine Reverse Sneeze?
Sometimes dogs can make a choking or gasping sound when they inhale through their nose loudly. This is known as the reverse sneeze. It can be a weird and alarming noise, but it’s a very common dog response to an irritant or inflammation.
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Why is My Dog Reverse Sneezing?
The reverse sneeze is generally a reaction to inflammation or irritation in the sinuses, pharyngeal, or nose. For example, dogs will reverse sneeze to remove the dust, allergen, or pollen from their nasal passages.
What to Do When Your Dog is Reverse Sneezing
While the reverse sneeze is harmless, it can be alarming. If your dog continues to reverse sneeze, you can blow lightly in the dog’s face or massage their throat to help trigger its swallowing reflex.
When to Call the Vet
When your dog doesn’t stop sneezing, it is a sign of a more dangerous problem. Here are some other symptoms that signal a more significant problem:
- Honking sound when they sneeze
- Difficulty breathing
- Bluish colored gums
- Lack of appetite
- Excessive discharge from eyes or nose
If your dog shows any of these other signs, you need to call your vet as soon as possible. It could possibly be influenza, a cold, or a tracheal collapse.
Home Remedies for Sneezing Dog
There are a few home remedies you can try to relieve your dog’s sneezing:
- Increasing the humidity: Running a humidifier near where your dog sleeps can help cut down on dry environments that can agitate your dog’s nose.
- Adding an inflammation supplement to your dog’s diet: An immune-boosting dog supplement like turmeric for dogs can alleviate and fortify your dog from irritants and inflammation.
- Flush their nasal passages: Using saline drops, you can clear out their nasal passages to flush obstructions, irritants, and allergens.
Knowing Why Your Dog is Sneezing is Important for Their Care
The more you know about why dogs sneeze, will help you assess whether your dog needs to visit the vet or just needs a minute to react to an irritant naturally. If your dog’s sneezing accompanies other symptoms, then you will want to call your vet as soon as possible to rule out a more severe problem.
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