Why Is My Dog Sneezing A Lot?

How to tell if your pup’s sneezing sesh is normal.

dog sneezing a lot

If your pup lets a couple big sneezes fly on occasion, you’re most likely not stressing about it. But if you notice your dog sneezing a lot, it can be hard not to wonder what’s bothering his cute little nose.

If sneezing becomes a regular occurrence for your dog, there are a few things that could be going on, according to Jamie Fischer, a licensed veterinary nurse with DodoVet.

Why is my dog sneezing so much?

There are all sorts of reasons why your dog might be sneezing a bunch, like:

  • Nasal irritation
  • Foreign object in his nose
  • Allergies
  • Respiratory infection
  • Excitement

Why do dogs sneeze when playing?

If your pup’s sneezing while he’s playing, it usually doesn’t have anything to do with irritation or infection.

“Sneezing while playing is often due to happiness and excitement,” Fischer told The Dodo. “It can also be a sign used to alert other dogs that the behavior is purely playful and not meant to be aggressive.”

Should I be worried about my dog sneezing a lot?

The occasional sneeze or two isn’t anything to be worried about. But if your pup is sneezing pretty regularly over a long period of time, you’re going to want to get him checked out.

“It is important to monitor your dog’s sneezing and schedule an appointment with your veterinarian if the sneezing becomes persistent or if there are any other symptoms,” Fischer said.

According to Fischer, you should watch out for symptoms like:

What about reverse sneezing in dogs?

The noises your pup makes when he’s reverse sneezing sound pretty scary, but the sneezing itself is typically pretty harmless.

The noise is similar to hacking, coughing or choking, but it just means your dog is inhaling when he’s sneezing instead of exhaling.

If your pup is reverse sneezing, it’s likely his nasal passage is just irritated.

These irritants can include things like:

  • Allergens
  • Smoke
  • Foreign objects
  • Strong odors

“Reverse sneezing can also be common in dogs with elongated soft palates or dogs with narrow nasal passages,” Fischer said.

And sometimes reverse sneezing is brought on by excitement or bouts of regular sneezing.

What’s the difference between sneezing and snorting?

Sneezing and snorting can be caused by the same things — allergens, irritation, infection, foreign objects — but these actions aren’t exactly the same.

“Snorting is more of a voluntary reaction done by dogs in an attempt to expel something from the nasal passages,” Fischer said.

While sneezing is also meant to do that, it’s an involuntary action. That means your dog can’t control when or how it happens.

It’s totally normal for your dog to sneeze a little bit every now and then, or while he’s playing. But if it’s happening frequently, something else could be going on and you may need to bring him to the vet to figure out the underlying cause and help subdue his sneezing.

Want access to a vet 24/7? With DodoVet, you can connect via video chat, phone or text with an empathetic veterinary expert who can help you be the best pet parent you can be. Say goodbye to Dr. Google and have all your pet parent questions answered anytime, anywhere. Learn more here.