On some days, I tend to sneeze a lot in comparison to other days. If your dog is sneezing a lot, you might experience a bit of nervousness. As dogs, we tend to sneeze for a variety of different reasons, and some of them are similar to why you humans sneeze.
What Are the Causes of Sneezing in Dogs?
Many of the causes of why I sneeze from day-to-day usually aren’t something to be overly concerned about, but sometimes they can be.
We dogs have similar allergies to humans, and that can be one of the reasons why we sometimes get sneezing fits. You might think that we only have food allergies, but sometimes we run into seasonal allergies with pollen, certain types of grasses, and dust mites as well. These allergies can irritate a dog’s nose and create sneezing fits that aren’t very comfortable.
If you notice me sneezing in specific areas of the home, pay attention to that area and try to decipher what allergen might be causing it. A lot of smaller dogs tend to get allergies from things that are closer to the ground because the dog itself is closer to the ground. Luckily, I don’t have to deal with that as much because I’m a great dane!
If you suspect that I might have an allergy to something, consider taking me to the vet to get checked out. There are many different treatments available for dogs that have allergies, and that will reduce the chances of me sneezing.
A Dog’s Excitement
When I get excited after you come home from a long day at work, you might notice me sneezing a couple of times. This is just a way for me to show excitement. Being alone all day can get pretty boring sometimes, and you’re the only person I have in my life, so sneezing can be interpreted as excitement.
I’m not known to be the most excitable dog out there, and that will give you a break in between the times that we play with each other.
Inhaling dust mites might be another reason why you’ll find me sneezing. The dust can irritate the membranes in my nasal passage, and this can result in me sneezing. A dog’s sneezing from a nasal mite is usually more common in the smaller breeds of dogs, such as Chihuahuas. Because these types of dogs are lower to the ground, they are more susceptible to breathing in dust.
If you ever see me sneezing, take a look at my eyes to see if there is any discharge in them. This can be a sign that I have been around a lot of dust and that I have been irritated from it. For people that live in extremely dry climates, you might want to spray down your yard before allowing your dog in it so that their eyes and noses won’t get irritated.
Sometimes I find myself digging around the yard, and whenever I breathe in dust, it leads to excessive sneezing fits. When my owner sees me digging around the yard, they always promptly put a stop to it so that I don’t accidentally inhale the dust and end up sneezing.
Another cause of frequent sneezing in dogs is nasal mites. Nasal mites seem to affect bigger dogs older than the age of three. Nasal mites are contagious and if your dog is around one that has them, there is a chance that they can be passed from one dog to another. Some symptoms of nasal mites are:
- Nose bleeding
- Shaking of the head
Fortunately, I’ve never had to deal with nasal mites before. If your dog displays symptoms of nasal mites, you’ll want to take them to the vet as soon as you can. The vet will check their nose with a scope and will flush out the nasal passage. I would feel fairly uncomfortable getting this done, and I know many other dogs would feel the same way.
After being diagnosed with nasal mites, treatment will consist of antiparasitic medication. Once the treatment is finished, the nasal mites will be gone.
Bacterial, Viral, Or Fungal Infections
While infections are much less common for us, my sneezing might still be caused by them. Some of the symptoms of an infection are:
- Nasal discharge
If you suspect that my sneezing is caused by an infection, take me to the vet to see what can be done about it. The last thing you want is for me to be dealing with respiratory distress.
One of the most common reasons why I sneeze is those pesky foxtails. Foxtails are little seeds that tend to get scattered all over the grass no matter where you are. These seeds sometimes get stuck in my nose or ears and they are very annoying to deal with.
Foxtails are difficult to avoid because of how prevalent they are. My owner thoroughly checks me after we go for a walk to make sure that I don’t have any ticks or have come into contact with any foxtails. It’s important to be as adamant as my owner because foxtail seeds are frustrating to deal with.
A lot of older dogs tend to run into dental issues at some point in their lives. I’ve never had to personally deal with teeth issues yet, but I’ve seen other older dogs having inflammation in their mouth, and it can cause sneezing and a runny nose. If the infection from the teeth spreads to the nasal area, that is what will cause nose and sneezing issues.
No dog wants to deal with a teeth issue, and if you notice your dog having one, take them to the vet when you can. The more time that you sit around waiting, the more expensive the procedure will be, so it’s best to take preventative measures right away.
Bites From Bugs
Bites from bugs can also cause me to sneeze. I can’t stand when the mosquitoes come out during the evening hours, and because my hair isn’t extremely thick, the bites are annoying to deal with. If you find me getting stung by something like a wasp, you’ll want to pay careful attention to me because it could lead to an allergic reaction.
Tumors In the Nasal Area
Nasal tumors are one of the rarer causes of sneezing in dogs, but it’s one of the more serious causes as well. If you see me sneezing, bleeding from my nose, or breathing louder than I should be, you’ll want to take me to the vet. At that point, the vet would do a CT scan or an MRI to diagnose the problem.
Tumors in the nasal area rarely metastasize to other areas of a dog’s body, but they can spread to the brain. No matter what, seek veterinary assistance if you notice the above symptoms.
Even though I’m a dog, I can still get the flu. I’ll experience similar symptoms to you when you get the flu, such as:
- Runny Nose
I’ve had the flu before, and there is a good chance that you wouldn’t have even recognized it. The canine flu spreads much in the same way that the human flu does. If you’ve taken me to the dog park and I was in contact with many other dogs and later started sneezing during the week, there is a chance that I had the flu.
If you notice your dog having symptoms of the canine flu, seek veterinary attention. A vaccine can be provided to your dog if you’re interested in that.
Reverse sneezing occurs in dogs when their soft palate gets irritated. The soft palate is the region of my mouth where muscles are located. It might appear that I’m going through severe distress when I’m reverse sneezing, but it’s not something to be overly worried about.
When my soft palate gets irritated, it causes a muscle spasm that causes constriction in my trachea. Because I’m not able to breathe in air as a result of the constriction, I try to breathe through my nose, and this is what causes the reverse sneeze. A reverse sneezing fit typically only lasts about half a minute and will then diminish without any intervention.