Why do dogs sneeze — is it ever something serious?
Why do dogs sneeze … whether they’re excited or not? Sneezing dogs can have a cute factor, but some causes are nothing to sneeze at. While sneezing is a normal way for the body to expel an irritant, it also can be a sign of:
If your dog sneezes repeatedly for an extended period or if you notice signs associated with colds and allergies (red eyes, nasal discharge, itchiness, coughing) or behavioral changes (such as foot chewing), contact your veterinarian.
Why do dogs sneeze excited? They’re simply and truly just excited!
Why do dogs sneeze when they’re excited? When dogs are in an excited state, they often sneeze more shallowly, emitting a snorting sound caused by a sudden force of breath from the nose.
“These are not sneezes the way we think of a sneeze in people: a respiratory response from deep down,” says Debra Eldredge, DVM. “This is more like a child fooling around and pretending to sneeze.” Such sneezes are a form of canine communication, says the Vernon, New York, veterinarian and author. They happen frequently during play, when dogs naturally get excited. “This can be a ‘remember it is just play’ sound, something to cool things off if they are getting a bit heated. The sneeze communicates that the dogs are playing,” Dr. Eldredge says. “Turid Rugaas was one of the first people to really categorize dog interactions.”
Why do dogs sneeze when they’re excited? They’re playing.
So, “Why do dogs sneeze when they’re excited?” has a simple answer, right? Bruce Fogle, DVM, isn’t buying the above reasoning. “It’s not a signal, calming or otherwise,” says the veterinarian and author who lives in London, England. “My hunch is that dogs sneeze when excited because they wrinkle their noses, that causes a tickle, and boom!”
Indeed, conditions surrounding canine play are conducive to triggering a sneeze. Wrestling dogs curl their lips and bump noses. They often wind up on their backs, making things more likely to travel up their nose. Roughhousing kicks up dirt and dust that can irritate the nose, as can a blade of grass or bugs stirred up from the ground. All of these situations can cause the involuntary reflex of sneezing. “You can’t genuinely sneeze on demand,” Dr. Fogle says, “but you can’t help it if your nasal membranes get stimulated.”
Why Do Dogs Sneeze When Excited or Playing?
Dust, allergies and even sunlight can trigger a sneezing fit in adults. But what about dogs, and why do dogs sneeze when they play exactly?
If youve been noticing sneezing while toying around with your pup, you might be concerned. Well, rest assured that sneezing during play sessions is completely normal. Below, well explore what causes this phenomenon.