Have you noticed your dog keeps sneezing? You’re probably wondering if it’s a sign that something is wrong, but how do you know when a visit to the vet is needed? What can you do to help your dog stop sneezing and get back to his happy and healthy best? You’ll find important information you need to know right here, and all you have to do is read on…
Why do dogs sneeze?
Sneezing is a normal action which is carried out in response to the presence of foreign particles within the nose. Therefore the act of a simple sneeze is normal and need not be alarming. However, if your dog appears distressed, is continually sneezing or is sneezing on and off for a period of time which is out of character it may be a sign that something is wrong. In which case a vet may need to be sought.
Is your dog sneezing because of a blockage?
One of the most common reasons for prolonged sneezing is that your dog has something stuck in his nose. If your prized pooch is a big fan of sniffing the ground and digging in the dirt – and let’s face it, this is doggy heaven for most – he might have got something lodged up there. If there’s a bit of dirt, seed or a bug in his nose – the body will automatically try to get rid of it by sneezing.
In cases like this, the matter usually resolves itself on its own and you don’t need to take any action. However, if your pet is still continuing to sneeze, and it seems like there is something stuck in his nose – you may need to visit your vet so that they can remove the object. If your dog keeps pawing at his nose, or it bleeds, you can assume that you need to get some help for him.
My dog keeps sneezing, does he have an infection?
The odd bout of sneezing isn’t usually anything to panic about – usually if a dog has an upper respiratory tract infection it is more likely to cough than sneeze. If the sneezing goes on for a prolonged period of time it could be the result of an infection called Aspergillus fungus. This is caused by inhalation of a fungus via dust, hay or bits of grass. If this is the case, your dog will need veterinary treatment. Sneezing could also be the result of a nasal mite infestation which can also cause nosebleeds and nasal discharge. If you see either of these symptoms you should consult your vet.
Is your best friend a Brachycephalic breed?
Brachycephalic dogs are unique in comparison with others as they have short muzzles and flat faces, for example Pugs, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, King Charles Spaniels, or Pekinese. It’s worth bearing in mind that these kinds of dogs are much more vulnerable to infection in the nasal area because of the anatomy of their faces. If your brachycephalic dog keeps sneezing, get him to a vet to make sure he doesn’t have an illness that’s holding him back.
Is it an allergen or inhaled irritant?
If your dog suffers from an allergy, it is likely to be shown through physical signs. For instance, canine atopy, an allergy to environmental allergens such as inhaled dusts and pollens, is typically displayed via itching, biting or poor quality coat. As for humans, irritants such as household cleaners or aerosol deodorants can trigger sneezing in some sensitive dogs.
My dog keeps sneezing because he’s super excited!
On many occasions, a sneezing dog is nothing at all to be concerned about. It could just be that he is overcome with excitement about doing one of his favourite things. If you’ve called him for a walk, and the sneezing starts – he could well be communicating that he can’t wait and is really looking forward to it!
If you’ve just given him a special treat he might let you know how thrilled he is by indulging in a bit of sneezing! It’s much more common than you might think, particularly when it comes to smaller dogs.
Dog sneezing can be caused by a variety of factors, but it isn’t usually anything serious. If you have any doubts, or if there is physical symptoms such as poor appetite, behavioural change, discharge or bleeding, consult your vet who will be able to advise further.