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Home » Why Is My Dog Sneezing So Much? – A Complete Guide

Why Is My Dog Sneezing So Much? – A Complete Guide

You notice your dog sneezing uncontrollably and regularly, if it was a family member you had probably said a quick ” bless you” or ” sorry ” but In this case, you would probably be worried. You did go on the net as soon as possible and search for why is my dog sneezing a lot. So because we know this is the scenario in many homes we decided to write a comprehensive guide about the subject of dogs sneezing.

What Is Sneezing

Sneezing is the process of contraction that forces air out of the nose. Unlike the snort, sneezing is an involuntary action that a dog’s system uses to stay healthy. Most times in the process of sneezing dogs bring out foreign objects or particles that are stuck in their nasal passage. Sneezing is important because dogs love to explore with their nose hence the introduction of various foreign particles that sneezing will help to expel out of their nostrils.

Although sneezing is a normal occurrence in dogs and has its advantages, dog sneezing too often or uncontrollably is not a good development and can be a result of several health conditions or symptoms of certain health problems.

Do well to read through our well-researched causes why your dog is sneezing so much, because they would be of great help in determining the cause of sneezing in your dog.

Causes Of Sneezing In Dogs

  1. Allergies

Many people including dog lovers do not know that dogs suffer from allergies like humans, although it is rare, dogs can also suffer from allergies.

They are two major types of allergies dogs suffer from:

  • Food Allergies: while the most popular symptoms of food allergies are manifested on the skin, digestive system, and coat, food allergies can also affect the respiratory system which will in turn possibly lead to your dog sneezing uncontrollably.

If you notice your dog regularly sneezing a few hours after eating then it means the culprit is the food i.e. your dog is allergic to its diet. When you notice food allergies it is advisable you make a change in your dog’s diet ASAP. You can start by giving them food with protein sources and high-quality ingredients, with time you will be able to discover the diet your dog would relish.

  • Seasonal Allergies: yes! Seasonal allergies may also be the cause of your dog’s regular sneezing. You may discover your dog tends to sneeze often if there is an open window nearby or when they have been left outside for some time, this points to seasonal allergies. 

To manage seasonal allergies you would need the help of allergy medications for certain times of the year when pollen counts are high. For severe allergic attacks, your dog may require a steroid. 

It is important to contact your Vet immediately if you notice your dog is suffering from seasonal allergies for advice on medications. 

Dogs can also suffer from cat allergies and other allergens. 

  1. Tumors: Nasal tumors are common in canines, especially with breeds that have long noses like the collies. A nasal tumor can also be the cause of sneezing in your dog. It blocks the nasal passage and this causes the body to try to force a release of air which will, in turn, result in sneezing. 

Nasal tumors if not managed properly may spread and destroy the structure of your dog’s nose. These tumors are also responsible for chronic nasal discharge and should be treated as very important. 

When you discover a situation likely to be a nasal tumor problem, your first step is to contact your Vet for advice on the medication you should give your dog. Most times tumors can be removed while sometimes they would need chemotherapy or treatment to make them shrink. 

  1. Nasal Infections: Aspergillosis is a fungal nasal infection that can also result in sneezing as well as reduced appetite, swollen nose, running nose, nasal discharge, and pains. This infection can be contracted by inhaling a particular type of mold that can be found in hay, dust, and grass. Sneezing is one of the numerous symptoms of nasal infections. 

Sinusitis is also a nasal infection that can cause uncontrollable fits of sneezing. It will cause inflammation in the nose and interior nasal passage of your dog. 

Aspergillosis and Sinusitis are serious health conditions, and immediately after you discover any symptoms of these infections, you should contact your Vet for help with the medications to manage them.

  1. Nasal Mites: Nasal Mites (Pneumonyssoides Caninum) is a health condition that can cause uncontrollable sneezing and itching as well as nasal discharge and nose bleeds. Nasal Mites can be contacted by digging the dirt.
  2. Dental Problem: when a tooth becomes infected it is likely to cause swelling at the root of the tooth. Some of the upper teeth in your canine mouth are close to its nasal passage, so a swelling at the root may irritate the nose and thereby cause a sneeze. So sneezing can be a symptom of an infected upper tooth. 

An infected tooth can also result in signs of pains, bleeding gums, over drooling, and excessive swelling of your dog’s face. An infected tooth is not a pretty sight to behold. 

Some dental problems that can lead to sneezing include Tumors of the mouth and gums, rotten teeth, abscesses of the gums, and damaged teeth. Dental problems should not be left for a long time as they may develop into something really worse. 

Immediately you notice any dental problem in your dog, you should take it to your Vet for an immediate dental examination. Your Vet will likely put your dog under anesthesia to treat the teeth. 

  1. Foreign Objects: because dogs love to explore with their nose, a lot of foreign objects tend to get into their nose most times. This is likely to happen to hunting dogs as well as dogs that love digging in the dirt. Foreign objects can include a lot of things ranging from specks of dirt, soil, small pieces of toys, grass, and even bugs. 

In the US, especially in the states west of the Mississippi, the Foxtail plants are very popular for this. 

Read Also: Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop And 10 Tips To Stop It

Foxtail plants become dry and brown when it is summer, they also have spikes that enable them to dig into the soil. Foxtails can get into several parts of a dog’s body.

  1. Brachycephalic Dogs: Brachycephalic dogs like bulldogs, pugs, and Boston terriers are prone to sneezing a lot. Sneezing helps brachycephalic dogs clear foreign bodies. This breed of dogs has compressed nasal passages which result in obstruction of the upper airway. So sneezing helps them to push out debris and fluids that are stuck in their short noses. 
  2. Communication: as weird and funny as this may sound, dogs can sneeze when they are trying to greet their canine friend when they are excited if they want to greet you, when they are happy or even when they are at play with their friends. 

Sneezing at play is not something to be worried about, because it may be that your dog is communicating to the other dog about its intention to play without aggressiveness. (This is most common during dog play fighting).

Your dog may also sneeze in an attempt to draw your attention to it when it wants a walk. In the same way, they try to use sneezing to communicate with other dogs, they may try to use sneezing to talk with their human friend also. 

  1. Airborne Irritants: airborne irritants can result in fits of sneezing in canines. Irritants such as dust or pollen may trigger continuous sneezing in your dog. Also, small particles accumulating in your dog’s pharynx will cause irritations that will result in sneezes. Other airborne irritants that can provoke sneezing are smoke, detergents, scented candles, air fresheners, and perfumes. 
  2. Sensitive Noses: Yeah! A dog’s nose is 10000 times more sensitive than a human’s nose. They can sense something that is quite a distance away from them easily i.e a smell that may not disturb humans can be very disturbing to a dog and may result in them sneezing. 
  3. Kennel Cough: Kennel cough can also be a cause of sneezing in dogs. Kennel cough has symptoms similar to those of cold in humans. 

Kennel cough can be contacted in dog boarding facilities and daycare facilities (anywhere there is a gathering of dogs). 

Things To Do If You Notice Your Dog Sneezing Uncontrollably 

  1. Calm Your Dog Allergies: if the cause of your dog’s sneezing is an allergy, then you can manage the sneezing situation with Benadryl. Popular Veterinarian Dr. Z suggests you administer 2mg per pound to your dog i.e if your dog weighs 10 pounds, you will give it 20mg. It is also important you get plain Benadryl as the variety mixed with a decongestant can be harmful to your dog.
  2. Check out Your Dog’s Nose: you can use a flashlight for this. You just tilt your dog’s head backward and shine the light directly at its nose. Although most of the particles that get into the nose of dogs need a microscope to see. However, you may still see some debris when you check with your touch light, etc.
  3. Check Your Dog Temperature: dog infections normally result in high temperatures so you may need to check your dog’s temperature using a thermometer. If the temperature is over 102 degrees contact your Vet ASAP. 
  4. Apply Saline Drops: saline drops will help in flushing foreign bodies from your dog’s nasal passage. You can also use a nose drip like the “little noses”. 

Reverse Sneezing 

A reverse sneezing is a process where the air is being sucked into the nose instead of the normal forcing it out. Reverse sneezing is not a nice thing to watch when dogs try to get things like dust, allergens, foreign bodies, etc. Out of their mouth, it results in reverse sneezing. 


Your dog is an important family member and shouldn’t be left uncomfortable for even the shortest time. So in this light, we have written this full guide to enlighten you about the reason why your dog is sneezing a lot and also tips for stopping it. 

Here at Favourg, we are all family members whether the ones with four legs or two legs, and we hope this article is really helpful to you. Cheers!          


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