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6 reasons why do dogs sneeze when they play

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It is perfectly normal for a dog to sneeze from time to time. Indeed, it allows him to clear his airways, especially if dust has become lodged in his nostrils, for example. On the other hand, a dog that sneezes recurrently and several times in a row should not be taken lightly. Here are the reasons that can cause a dog to sneeze, from the least serious to the most serious.

1. A way to express its desire to play


When the level of excitement begins to rise in your dog, he will irretrievably sneeze. The reason is simple: it’s his way of telling other animals or even you that he wants to play.
As you know, dogs communicate with their body language. Thus, they use many postures and vocalizations to express their state of mind. Sneezing is a way for your dog to make those around him understand that he is happy and has a good time.

But your dog can also use sneezing during rough play sessions with a fellow. In this case, it is a way to calm things, to make the other dog understand that he does not want it to degenerate into a fight. Similarly, if your dog starts to sneeze during an education session, it means you need to be calmer and more patient with him.
In addition, sneezing of excitement can also be a sign that your dog is poorly socialized. In this case, he begins to sneeze as soon as he sees another dog or a human, and then follow gestures of annoyance, even aggression.

2.An inverted sneeze

It may sound strange, but a dog can sneeze upside down while inhaling. This occurs especially in small dogs or brachycephalic breeds (with crushed snout). The dog then inhales loudly through the nose and emits a sound like a grunting pig.

We often have the tendency to think that the dog is choking or having an asthma attack. In reality, these sneezing inverted crises are not serious. The dog usually resumes normal breathing after a few seconds. But it is possible to help him by blocking his nostrils and caressing his throat.


If the air is too cold or overloaded with irritating particles (like smoke, for example), it may make you want to sneeze your dog. Similarly, if the latter has sniffed irritating plants, household products or if he was bitten by a bee at the muzzle.

4.An allergy

Like humans, dogs can be allergic to pollen, dust, smoke or even perfume. In this case, they sneeze, have runny eyes, are scratching …

5.A sickness

Some diseases, like colds, are not very disturbing in dogs. Indeed, a cold snap is temporary and generally heals alone. On the other hand, other more serious diseases can cause a dog to sneeze. This is particularly the case of kennel cough, distemper, and even a dental condition.

Thus, if your dog’s sneezing is accompanied by other unusual symptoms (loss of appetite, fatigue, coughing, runny nose, etc.), contact a veterinarian immediately.

6.A tumor

A dog that sneezes regularly can suffer from a nasal tumor, often caused by tobacco smoke. The latter partially obstructs the airways, causing discomfort. In this case, treatment is required.

Note that nasal tumors are more common in longnose dogs, such as the Collie.

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