Causes of sneezing in dogs

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Sneezing is an involuntary reflex action in the presence of foreign particles that cause nasal irritation … among other things!

Normally, dogs are very playful. They never hold up and have a lot of energy. However, even if this vitality can make us believe that they are not going to get sick, they suddenly sneeze and we worry about it. There is, however, no reason to be alarmed:  sneezing in dogs can be due to several causes,  as we will see throughout this article.

The respiratory system of dogs

Even if the canine’s respiratory system is mainly responsible for taking in oxygen and eliminating gases harmful to the body, such as carbon dioxide, you should know that it plays another important role – such as respiratory system of cats.

Neither dogs nor cats sweat through the skin, as is the case with humans. For them, the respiratory system is involved in regulating the temperature .

The canine respiratory system consists of:

  • From the mouth and nose
  • Trachea
  • Lungs and lower respiratory tract (bronchi and bronchioles)

The respiratory system can sometimes be affected by various factors and give rise to respiratory illnesses.  One of the most glaring symptoms of this type of disease is that of sneezing.

Before continuing, it would be good to answer the following question: what is a sneeze? It is an involuntary reflex act. In other words,  it is a sudden, forced and involuntary explosion of air  that is expelled through the nose and mouth.

What Causes Sneezing in Dogs?

Sneezing can be due to several causes, including:


Allergy is a reaction of the body to the presence of an allergen,  which is a non-harmful substance that the body detects as foreign and against which it reacts. Among the different types of allergies, the most common in dogs is atopic dermatitis or atopy.

Atopic dermatitis is a genetic predisposition that leads to an inflammatory disease, characterized by itching and sneezing, in addition to nasal and ocular secretions. If the disease is not detected quickly, it will progress and lesions will eventually appear on the skin.

When suffering from atopy, the body reacts against non-harmful substances and produces antibodies to fight them. The main allergens include:

  • the pollen
  • Plants
  • Air mushrooms
  • Dust mites or insects

The veterinarian will prescribe a hypoallergenic shampoo to relieve itching and skin disorders. If the symptoms are more severe, he may prescribe anti-inflammatory therapy.

Sneezing in dogs can be caused by certain allergies

A cold

If the dog has been exposed to low temperatures, it can catch a cold . Among the most common symptoms are eye secretions, coughing, lack of appetite, lack of interest in games or sneezing.

Fortunately, the majority of dogs recover from colds  without the need for treatment. In these cases, it is recommended that owners keep the animal well hydrated, at a stable temperature, avoiding walking it during the coldest hours.

Colds can sometimes be confused with another highly contagious disease in dogs, distemper.  However, while this disease is caused by the Morbillivirus, the common cold is a reaction of the body to changes in temperature.

Causes of sneezing in dogs: nasal infections

Canine infectious tracheobronchitis is a disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica. It is also known as “kennel cough”. She has symptoms similar to the common cold, such as sneezing, secretions, lack of appetite or motivation.

Tracheobronchitis can also be caused by viruses, fungi or parasites. It is an extremely contagious disease, although it can be treated easily.

Another responsible for respiratory infections is Aspergillus fungus. It is a common type of nasal infection that occurs when you inhale fungi in grass, dust or hay. Symptoms include sneezing, secretions, nasal bleeding and visible inflammation.