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Have you ever heard of dog sneezing? If yes, then some of you may have mistaken the sound for snorting. Or you may even have thought your dog was choking.
Normal dog sneezing
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Sneezing in dogs is normal behaviour. But when do puppies sneeze? Well, they often sneeze when they are having fun, let’s say playing. Thus, dog owners usually take this as a sign of good health and excitement. Moreover, dog’s nose is much more sensitive than human’s , so they often find the smell around them triggering and tend to sneeze when they inhale something strange.
Some dog breeds like Bulldog and Pug have compressed nose; therefore, sometimes, instead of sneezing normally, they reverse sneeze, which other kinds of dogs do too. More information about reverse sneeze can be found later in this post. So keep reading!
And just like humans, dogs can pretend to sneeze when being told to do so or when are asking for attention. Some dog owners claim to have trained their dogs to sneeze and then give them treats. Little pooch looks really cute as they sneeze:
- They shake their head fast, side to side along with their body, thereby looking like they’re trembling.
- The sound of their sneeze is similar to human’s to some extent, especially small dogs as they seem to let out a light breath through their nose whilst saying ‘Achoo’ (of course you cannot hear the word, but, maybe your dog is saying it!).
- Old dogs have deeper sneezing sound but stronger body movement. They tremble harder and therefore make dog owners think they are choking or about to die! Believe me, some people take their dogs to hospital thinking it’s their dog last word!
- If it did not scare you the first time you heard your dog sneeze, then you might have been familiar with it or, you thought your dog was snorting and needed a rest or, as some people think, their dog must be laughing!
It can be fun interpreting the sound of dog sneeze. And did you know, kids actually love seeing dog sneezing? So if you need something to sooth your kid and stops him from crying, make your dog fake sneeze.
Dog sneezing that you shouln’t worry about
Sneezing can be seen as a sign of diminished immune system or a normal reaction of dogs’ body. There are situations that you should not worry about when your dog sneeze, like intermittent sneeze or reverse sneeze.
See more: What can I give my dog for pain?
Like we have discussed, dogs can sneeze to show their happiness when playing. Consequently, in case they sneeze while catching balls, it’s fine and you should have no reason to panic.
If you hear a weird sound coming from your dog, but not the sound of sneeze or snorting that you know, he can be reverse sneezing. Reverse sneeze often lasts longer and seems to raise more concern to dog owners in case they first adopt a puppy.
When there is something irritating your dog’s nose passages, he normally sneezes. However, if it’s not the nostril that is being bothered, instead of sneezing, your dog reverse sneezes.
- Imagine you feel something scratch your upper back part of throat and it makes your throat itchy but you cannot do anything to soothe that itchy feeling, you’ll definitely make a funny sound with your mouth and nose at the same time. Dogs just do similarly.
We call that action is dogs reverse sneeze. When their nasopharynx is affected by some kind of irritation, sneezing cannot help them get rid of that foreign object, so they draw their breath back in, which creates the strange sound you hear. Dogs also shake their body slightly and their lower part of their mouth moves a little bit. In fact, reverse sneeze reflects normal health conditions in dogs.
To stop your dog from constant reverse sneeze, you can apply this small technique. Use your hand to cover your dog’s mouth and place a finger upon one of his nostrils. Then take turn with the other nostril. Well, the technique appears similar to which we use to stop us from sneezing, so we guess it’s quite easy for you to do with your dog. But remember that you have to repeat doing that for quite a while, cause it may not stop the sneeze at the first attempt.
Dog sneezing that raises concern
Not every dog sneeze indicates good health. Constant dog sneeze may imply that your dog have encountered some issues and if you are unaware for too long, their health may be at risk.
There are several causes for constant sneeze.
Dogs tend to get into contact with everything they encounter, like dust, poop, or mud. They get particles and dirts into their nose passageways as foreign objects that irritate their nose.
Sneezing caused by irritants can also be accompanied by excess coughing and nose discharge. Runny nose never make us feel comfortable, so if you see your dog have trouble with their nose then you’ll have to take him to a vet. In some cases, dogs even bleed where their nostrils are after persistent sneezing, hence the need to consult your home veterinarian for a diagnose and if possible, take that irritant out to prevent it from lodging your dog’s nose.
► Nasal infection
Irritants cause discomfort to your dog, and if that foreign object comes from the ‘very natural world’, it can pose a threat to your dog’s wellbeing:
- When your dog gets into contact with, let’s say a kind of fungus called Aspergillus, he can develop nasal infection if the symptoms like sneezing go on without your noticing.
- Bacterium can be counted as a hazard to your dog’s nose to. Some kinds have the ability to transmit from dog to dog; therefore, mingling and playing with other dogs may cause yours to sneeze like catching a cold which dog owners call ‘kennel cough’.
- Mites tend to lodge in your dog’s body parts. Having mites or parasites in nose passageways irritates your dog, makes him feel itchy and start to sneeze with the hope of sending mites out. If lucky, maybe the strong force of your dog’s sneeze forces parasites to let go. But in case sneezing continues without any improvements in frequency, consider taking him to a vet for treatment.
Allergies are rarer in dogs than in humans. We cough, sneeze or have rashes when we run into something that we’re allergic to. Pollen is a good example. Some dogs are allergic to some kinds of food, pollen, dust, or smell and find it extremely uncomfortable when contacting them.
It’s easier for a dog owner to figure out what irritates their dog when there is pollen or perfume around. But there is no clue, seek advice from a vet.
► Tumour and other illnesses
It can be really dangerous if dog sneezing is connected to serious diseases. Sneezing usually comes along with excessively heavy cough, loss of appetite, bleeding, changes in habits and behaviour when your dog is suffering from respiratory illnesses or a tumour.
You cannot treat your dog yourself by giving him medications in that situation. Also, remember that nothing should be seen as an absolute since maybe your dog is just having a cold or something. However, to relieve your dog from the pain and relieve you from worries, take him to a veterinarian practitioner for a diagnose and treatment if needed.
What you can do to help stop constant dog sneezing
Although the best option of helping a sneezing dog is to visit your vet, there are a couple of things you can do at home to alleviate the situation and your dog’s distress.
In case the sneeze does not seem to be very serious or indicate some big health issues, try the following steps to see if your dog gets any better:
- First, use a flashlight and shine it in your dog’s nose to check if there is any foreign object that shouldn’t stay there. Maybe you’ll catch some tiny thing inside his nose passageways (like a bug) and manage to get it out quickly and easily.
- Always store some bottles of saline nose drops in your house. Apply it to your dog’s nose several times as an act of cleaning and see if his sneezing reduces.
- It’s good to record videos of your dog sneezing for it shows the vet more information about the symptoms compared to what you’re able to tell. Dogs may stop sneezing for a while, and if this happens at the vet’s, then it would be hard for the vet to diagnose your dog.
Besides, cut down on the time you take your dog out for a walk. Your dog may contract new viruses when communicating with other dogs or inhale another foreign object, which definitely makes his sneezing worse. Also, keeping your pooch away from public areas reduces the transmission of diseases to other dogs.
Last but not least, in case all the methods you have applied did not work and your puppy just keeps sneezing, bring him to a veterinarian. At least they are specialists in animal field and they may know what to do with a sneezing dog.
Dog sneezing during a play should not concern you and therefore, no treatment is needed. If he sneezes to get your attention, give him some and you’ll discover how cute your dog is when faking sneeze.
Sometimes, there is no need to worry when a dog cough, snort or sneeze. However, there are situations we should take notice of to check if our ‘best friend’ is feeling alright or he is trying to tell us they’re not OK.
Remember to pay attention to the frequency of sneeze and other symptoms to ensure your dog’s wellbeing.
Wewpet is here to help you with all your concerns and we hope that through this post, you’ll collect a large amount of knowledge about dog sneezing. And, have a good day with your dog!