Dogs can sneeze for various reasons such as inhaling something irritating, allergies, or a more concerning problem. Here, our PetVet Care Centers member vets discuss some of the most common causes of sneezing in dogs, as well as when you should call a veterinarian.
Why Do Dogs Sneeze?
There are many reasons why a dog can sneeze and environmental factors are the most common. A dog will sneeze when they smell or inhales an irritating substance such as perfume, or dust. Other non-medical reasons for dogs sneezing include:
- Purposely sneezing to seek attention
- Playfully sneezing to show they are having fun or are excited
- To communicate with people or other dogs
However, sometimes dogs sneeze for medical reasons such as:
- Their breed (dogs such as pugs and bulldogs have compressed nasal passages and can sneeze more often)
- Reverse sneezing
- Inhaling foreign objects
- Kennel Cough
- Nasal Trauma
How Can I Help My Dog Who is Sneezing a Lot?
As mentioned above a dog can sneeze for harmless reasons such as for play or communication. This is why we don't recommend providing your dog with any home remedies until they have received an official diagnosis from a veterinarian.
What you can do until your dog's appointment is, keep your home clean and free of dust, and use a humidifier or shower steam to prevent any further irritation, and help your dog breathe more easily.
When Should I See a Vet for My Dog's Sneezing?
If your dog is sneezing in combination with any of the other symptoms below call your veterinarian immediately:
- Violent or excessive sneezing
- Pain when sneezing
- Nose bleeding
- Appetite changes
- Runny or dull-looking eyes
- Nasal discharge (especially if yellow or green)
- Behavioral changes
- Changes in activity level
When you call your vet to schedule your dog's appointment, provide them with a list of all of your dog's symptoms. If they suspect your dog has kennel cough they may recommend leaving your dog in the car until it is time for their appointment. This keeps kennel cough from spreading to other patients in the waiting room.
Your vet should be able to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for your dog's condition. The treatments they provide could include antibiotics, allergy medications, antihistamines, intravenous fluids, or surgery depending on your dog's diagnosis.