Sneezing in dogs is characterized by a reflex to expel air through the nose and mouth when the nasal mucosa is irritated. This symptom can have various and varied origins but should not be confused with reverse sneezing which is such a common symptom, but different. Reverse sneezing occurs when the dog lengthens its neck and inhales hard through the nose while keeping its mouth closed. This behavior indicates irritation of the nose and pharynx.
Whether it is sneezing or reverse sneezing, the severity depends on the frequency of the symptom. Just like you, your dog can sneeze briefly from dust or a cold! But sometimes this symptom can alert a more serious problem… Find out the reasons that make your dog sneeze!
How to differentiate sneezing from reverse sneezing?
Sneezing in dogs is sometimes confused with reverse sneezing (or reverse sneezing).
Sneezing is characterized in dogs by the reflex expulsion of air through the nose and mouth following irritation of the nasal mucosa. If you put your hand in front of your dog’s nose when he sneezes, then you may smell the air.
Reverse sneezing corresponds to reverse sneezing. This is an impressive seizure in which the dog suddenly elongates his neck and begins to breathe in through his nose strongly and repeatedly, his mouth closed while uttering a snore. If you put your hand in front of your dog’s nose, you won’t feel the air, unlike sneezing. The origin of reverse sneezing is irritation of the nose and pharynx. Do not hesitate to read our sheet on reverse sneezing for more information.
Whether for sneezing or reverse sneezing, frequency is important to consider. If they are only occasional then there is no need to worry! On the other hand, if they are frequent or if the animal presents other symptoms, a consultation with a veterinarian is necessary to determine the cause and to implement an adapted treatment.
Why is my dog sneezing so much?
Among the reasons that may be responsible for sneezing in dogs, we can distinguish:
1. Something tickles his nostril
Often, the dog sneezes because a foreign body has entered through its nostrils (blade of grass, dust, a grain of sand…). In this case, the sneeze is brief and harmless. It simply serves to expel the annoying element from the airways.
However, if your dog is restless in a sneezing attack, something more important may be bothering him when he is breathing. In this case, it is important to get in touch with your veterinarian quickly to avoid any risk of infection or suffocation.
2. He caught a cold
The common cold is a more dangerous disease in animals than in humans. Indeed, it can very quickly turn into bronchitis or pneumonia. That is why you have to be very careful that the disease does not get worse. To do this, pay attention to the behavior of your companion: is he trying to isolate himself? Does it hydrate? Is he eating properly?
In case of a cold, it is important to keep your dog warm and to avoid contact with another animal because of the risk of transmission. But also because animals carry germs that could be fatal to your animal. Indeed, his immune defenses are already very weak.
In addition, your dog feels bad, it is, therefore, important to be gentle with him and to comfort him …
3. Air irritates his mucous membranes
Some dogs can sneeze when the air is too cold or loaded with irritating particles, such as smoke or pollution. Poor air quality creates irritation of the nasal mucous membranes. You must then protect your companion from this inconvenience so that the irritation does not increase.
4. He is allergic
Allergy is an abnormal reaction of the immune system against an element (s) foreign (s) to the body (called then as an allergen). Usually, respiratory allergy is sneezing with a runny nose and eye discharge.
Just like us, some dogs are allergic to pollen, dust, perfumes (synthetic perfumes are particularly allergenic products)… Depending on the importance of the allergy, treatments can relieve your friend.
5. He shows you his joy!
Have you ever noticed that state of euphoria full of sneezes when your companion finds you after a few hours of absence? Because indeed, sneezing in dogs can also be a bodily message to express their joy.
These exciting sneezes are then brief and repeated. Unlike sneezing associated with illness, nasal expulsion is made up mainly of air. There is therefore little liquid and it seems “clean”.
6. It is the symptom of more serious illness …
Some illnesses (such as a nasal tumor, distemper, kennel cough, etc.) can have sneezing symptoms. However, sneezing is generally accompanied by other physical symptoms (pain, runny nose, itching…) or behavioral (loss of appetite, need to isolate, need to sleep, moans…).