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Help! My Dog Won’t Stop Sneezing

April 15, 2021

Does your dog sneeze a lot? Fido sneezes for the same reasons we do. Most of the time, it’s simply because small particles of dust, dirt, grass, or other materials make their way into the nasal passages. Our canine pals use their noses to explore the world, after all. But what if your dog sneezes frequently, or won’t stop sneezing?

Here are some of the most common reasons that your pup could be sneezing:

Play Sneezing

Did you know that our furry friends sometimes sneeze when they’re playing? Whether your dog is playing with you or with another canine, you’ll probably see him sneeze a few times. Experts believe this is Fido’s (rather adorable) way of showing his playmates that he’s being friendly, rather than threatening. Watch out for the play-sneeze the next time your pooch gets riled up! And, needless to say, don’t try this with your own friends!


Allergies are another common reason that dogs sneeze. Environmental allergens are the usual culprit. Things like pollen, mold, dander, dust and dust mites, and dirt can give your pooch a runny nose, watery eyes, and—you guessed it—excessive sneezing. Food allergies can also cause sneezing, so your dog could be reacting to a specific protein source or things like soy, wheat, or dairy in his diet.

If you think your dog might be suffering from allergies, contact your vet. Allergy medication can help your pup feel better.

Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS)

Brachycephalic dogs— which are those pups with squashed faces and bulging eyes, like the Pekingese, French and English Bulldog, boxers, pugs, and the Boston terrier— are prone to breathing trouble. This is because of their narrow nasal passages and unique airway structures. Symptoms of Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome include wheezing, gasping, snorting, and sneezing. If you have a Brachycephalic dog, ask your vet what you can do to help him comfortable.

Reverse Sneezing

In addition to normal sneezes, dogs also “reverse sneeze” on occasion. This happens when a pup snorts air into his nose quickly. The result sounds almost like a sneeze. This is most common in smaller dogs, such as Brachycephalic pups. It can be alarming, but it’s perfectly normal and nothing to worry about.

Medical Issues

Medical problems like kennel cough, respiratory infections, nasal mites, and much more could also be the root cause of Fido’s sneezing. If you can’t determine the cause of your dog’s behavior, set up an appointment with your vet clinic.

Our Advice on Dogs Won’t Stop Sneezing in 2024

What are some common respiratory infections that can cause sneezing in dogs, and how are these infections typically treated?

Common respiratory infections causing sneezing in dogs include kennel cough, canine influenza, and respiratory infections caused by bacteria or viruses. Kennel cough, a highly contagious condition, often spreads in areas with high dog populations. Canine influenza presents with symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and fever. Bacterial infections, such as those caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica, are also frequent culprits. Treatment typically involves antibiotics for bacterial infections, supportive care, hydration, and sometimes antiviral medications. Vaccination can help prevent some of these infections, so consult a veterinarian for appropriate preventive measures.

Are there any specific breeds of dogs that are more prone to excessive sneezing or respiratory issues, aside from Brachycephalic breeds?

While Brachycephalic breeds are most known for respiratory issues, other breeds can also be prone to excessive sneezing or respiratory problems. Breeds with long noses, like Dachshunds and Greyhounds, can suffer from nasal mites and infections. Additionally, toy breeds such as Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers are more susceptible to reverse sneezing. Environmental allergies affecting breeds like Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers can also lead to frequent sneezing. It’s essential to monitor these breeds for respiratory symptoms and consult a veterinarian for appropriate care and treatment options.

Can dental issues contribute to a dog’s sneezing, and how can these issues be addressed?

Yes, dental issues can contribute to a dog’s sneezing. Infections in the teeth or gums can spread to the nasal passages, causing inflammation and sneezing. Common dental problems include periodontal disease, abscesses, and tooth decay. Addressing these issues involves regular dental check-ups, professional cleanings, and at-home dental care such as brushing and dental chews. If a dental infection is suspected, a veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics or recommend dental procedures to remove infected teeth or treat gum disease, helping to alleviate the associated sneezing and improve overall health.

What are some potential complications or long-term health effects that can arise if a dog’s excessive sneezing is left untreated?

If a dog’s excessive sneezing is left untreated, several complications and long-term health effects can arise. Chronic sneezing may indicate underlying issues such as infections, allergies, or nasal tumors, which can worsen over time. Untreated respiratory infections can lead to more severe conditions like pneumonia. Persistent allergies can cause chronic inflammation, leading to secondary infections. Dental issues causing sneezing can result in severe oral disease and systemic infections. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent these complications and maintain the dog’s overall health and well-being.

Are there any environmental factors that can trigger or worsen a dog’s sneezing?

Environmental factors can significantly trigger or worsen a dog’s sneezing. Common allergens like pollen, mold, dust, and dust mites often cause nasal irritation and sneezing. Smoke, strong odors, and household chemicals can also be irritants. Seasonal changes, especially during spring and fall, may exacerbate allergies due to increased pollen levels. Maintaining a clean home, using air purifiers, and limiting exposure to known allergens can help manage and reduce sneezing in dogs. If sneezing persists, consulting a veterinarian is recommended to identify and address specific environmental triggers.

Contact your local pet clinic in Carlisle, ON for more information on your dog’s sneezing.

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