Ever wondered about why do dogs sneeze and if the reasons they sneeze because are the same as the reasons humans would sneeze too?
Dogs usually don’t tend to sneeze more likely, they are different from us at this part. The reasons to answer “Why Do Dogs Sneeze?” are quite a lot but you should know that in many cases, dogs don’t tend to sneeze usually they cough.
Dogs would sneeze because of having foreign bodies on their noses, foxtails, infections, nasal tumors, nasal mites, infected tooth, some of the household products, anticipation or even excitement! Also, some of the small breeds with pushed faces ( Brachycephalic breeds ) are more prone to sneeze if they got respiratory disorders or being exposed to irritants.
Why Do Dogs Sneeze; Common Reasons For Sneezing and What They Indicate
Sneezing, from a medical perspective, is to expel air with force from the mouth and/or nose in an involuntary explosive action that is resulting from irritation of the nasal mucous membrane.
Dogs sneezing occur for different reasons and for each one of them there is an explanation, Let’s dive into each of these reasons to know more about it!
A foreign body is something that shouldn’t be in the place it is in, and in our case, a foreign body shouldn’t be in a dog’s nose. These bodies could come from many activities like digging in the dirt or sniffing the ground.
Sporting dogs or hunting ones could get foreign bodies (sticks or twigs) from running at a high speed outdoors.
Sneezing will make sure that this stuff is out of your dog’s nose, there are symptoms for odd things sticking in a dog’s nose along with sneezing.
You could find the dog pawing at his nose, nosebleeds or sometimes you will notice that the dog’s breathing sound is louder than usual.
Foxtail is a small plant that is omnipresent in California and almost every state that is on the west of the Mississippi, it is reported that they also started to appear on the eastern states as well.
In summer and late spring, they would turn brown, becomes dry and would be scattered on many landscapes, and because of that, they may end up at your dog’s nostrils, eyes, or ears.
They are too small for you to notice them if your dog was exposed to an area with foxtail plant and started to show symptoms like sneezing or pawing his nose he may have got a foxtail stuck at his nostrils.
A lot of people when they are asked the question of “Why do dogs sneeze?” the first thing that comes to mind is infections, but not all the types of infections could cause sneezing.
If a dog has got upper respiratory tract infection, they likely to cough and not to sneeze but if they got an infection because of opportunistic Aspergillus fungus they would likely to sneeze.
Aspergillus infection occurs when a dog’s nose gets in direct contact with dust, hay, or grass clippings outdoors, other signs would be there like visible swelling, nosebleed, pain, and nasal discharges.
An infected tooth is another type of infection that could cause sneezing in dogs, dogs’ third upper premolar roots are so close to nasal passages if this tooth or its roots is infected sneezing and nasal discharge would occur.
Pneumonyssoides caninum (Nose mites)
Nasal mites are also a common reason for dogs to sneeze, they are tiny bugs that take your dog’s nose as their shelters.
these mites would cause a horrendous itching in the dog’s nose that it may cause a nose bleeding. Chronic nasal discharges are also a sign that your dog may have nose mites.
Dogs get these mites from digging in the dirt or touching another dog’s nose that has nasal mites in it, in order to know whether your dog is having mites or not, a nasal swab should be taken and examined under the microscope.
Nasal tumors are common in dogs, it is more prone to dogs with a long nose like Collie, smoking besides dogs is one of the causes that get dogs, and pets in general, nasal tumors.
This kind of tumors typically don’t metastasize to other parts of the body but they would spread across the nose structure and deforming and destructing it.
Sneezing and chronic discharge may be a sign that a dog is having a tumor in his nose, unfortunately, dogs with nose cancer in their nose structure have a poor prognosis.
The same products that usually cause humans to sneeze also trigger sneezing for dogs too. If your dog is sensitive he may get sneezing if you used perfume, household cleaners, pesticides, fiberglass, or aerosol deodorants when he is near.
Excitement or Anticipation
Some dogs would sneeze out of being excited!
It is not a weird thing among dogs to sneeze because of being excited especially small breeds. Your dog being excited could be due to many reasons; preparing for a walk, going on a car ride or even receiving a treat!
Why Do Dogs Sneeze; The Reverse Sneeze
Watching a dog doing this reverse sneeze and not knowing what is happening is a terrible nightmare that I pray no one has to witness it.
Many pet owners that don’t have the knowledge of the presence of something called the reverse or backward sneeze, it is important to know about it and when to consider it as normal and when it would need treatment.
Reverse sneezing is more common in dogs than in cats. When a dog is backward sneezing he/she will stand and then stretch their heads and necks, they will also pull their lips and rapidly inhaling and forcing the air out.
Many pet owners would mistake a backward sneeze and think that their dogs are chocking, they will rush their canines to the vet thinking their dog is dying.
You could watch this video to see what happens to a dog with reverse sneezing and how it sounds.
Why Do Dogs Sneeze; ‘Normal’ Reverse Sneeze
Backward and regular sneezing are related in the mean of getting irritant out of a dog’s nose. If there is an irritation in the nasal passages regular sneezing is what is going to happen,
but if the irritation is located on the nasopharynx( the part above the soft palate in the throat) reverse sneeze is what is going to occur.
Panicking every time your dog sneeze is not a common reaction that the dog owner will show, the same should happen with reverse sneezing as long as it happens from time to time.
If a dog is experiencing excessive reverse sneezing that means that whatever that is stuck on the nasopharynx is not expelled, a visit to the vet is a must in this case.
Why Do Dogs Sneeze; ‘Abnormal’ Reverse Sneeze
When a dog is experiencing frequent reverse sneezing that is an indicator that there is something wrong with the nasopharynx.
A vet will give the dog a general physical examination and would make an X-ray and every other procedure needed.
Reverse sneezing would happen for the same reasons a regular sneeze would occur from, the only difference is the location of it. Allergies, foreign bodies, masses, infections or any anatomical abnormalities affecting the nasopharynx.
Why Do Dogs Sneeze; How to Treat Reverse Sneezing
For normal reverse sneezing, there is no prescription you could give to your dog to stop it from occurring as it is a normal thing to happen, but there are some things you could do to shorten the period of time your dog episode.
You can gently in his/her face, massage the throat, or hold the nostrils closed for a few seconds, this will help the sneezing to end in a shorter time.
As for reverse sneezing that occurred because of a health issue, the treatment will depend on the underlying cause.
Dogs with mites are typically given ivermectin, milbemycin, or selamectin several times for a period that the vet settles on.
It could go on to be several weeks, and in some cases, vets will treat the dogs with these treatments even when they can not inspect the real cause as parasites are sometimes hard to find.
Foreign bodies are taken off from nasal passages or nasopharynx by hands or by the usage of rhinoscopy. Surgical procedures are taken to remove the masses and correcting any anatomical abnormalities.
Infections would be treated by prescribed antibiotics, while allergies could be treated with certain prescribed allergies medications.
So, this is all that we got about why do dogs sneeze, regular causing of sneezing, reverse sneezing and when it is an indicator of a health problem.
Check How to Clean a Dog’s Ears: The Right Equipment, Cleanser, and Time! and also, How to Clean Dogs Teeth in 9 Easy Steps? because our dogs’ ears and teeth are important too!
If you have any questions or inquiries, don’t hesitate and leave it to us at the comments.