There are lots of different reasons that your dog keeps sneezing. Reasons dogs sneeze can range from serious to completely normal. To help identify why your dog is sneezing we explore several categories:

Allergens

Communication

Underlying health conditions

Obstructions

Allergens

There are two types of allergens that may cause your dog to sneeze- airborne and food. Airborne allergens can affect dogs in different seasons. If your dog is sneezing a lot when outside and you suspect a seasonal allergen, then this shouldn’t be cause for concern. If the sneezing persists then you should contact your vet who can recommend appropriate medication.

Food allergens can cause sneezing. if food is the cause, then it’s likely to cause the sneezing within a couple of hours of ingestion.  You should work through the food you are giving your dog and methodically eliminate/switch foods until you identify the issue. If the sneezing continues then veterinary advice should be sought.

Communication

It may surprise you that dogs sneezing is a form of communication. Sneezing usually occurs when dogs are excited or at play with other dogs. If you can associate the sneezing with certain activities (play, dog walks etc) then this should be no reason for concern.

Underlying health conditions

Rarely the sneezing could be associated with a serious medical condition. Some forms of nasal tumours can cause sneezing, it is likely other symptoms may be present and as such a vet should always be consulted. Issues with you dogs’ mouth may also lead to sneezing, infections and tooth damage can be an issue. A vet would need to inspect your dog’s mouth to confirm the cause.

Obstructions

Continuous sneezing would be a concern if something is blocking the nasal cavity. You may also notice your dog has difficulty breathing. This could be from something as simple as a dog toy or grass. If there is an obstruction, then your vet’s advice should be sought immediately.

Some red flags to be concerned about 

  • If the sneezing is continuous and violent
  • Any signs of blood
  • Your dog pawing at their nose
  • Fever
  • Any other symptoms that are out of character

In summary sneezing in dogs is very common a largely nothing to worry about. In rare cases it may be something more serious. Always seek veterinary advice as soon as possible if unsure.