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Dog Sneezing: What Does It Mean?

Dog Sneezing: What Does It Mean?
Dog Sneezing

We know what sneezing means in humans. You are either fighting off some infection or you are allergic to something in the environment or food. But what does it mean when your dog is sneezing? Is he sick, is there something stuck in his nose or is it caused by allergies? In this article, we will talk about sneezing in dogs, the most common causes, and when to take your dog to the vet. So, let’s start!

Dog Sneezing: Should I Be Concerned?

Sneezing is actually a fairly common occurrence in dogs and most of the time it’s not a cause for concern. There are several factors that can cause sneezing in dogs. Some of these factors are benign, while others represent serious health issues. 

These are the most common ones:

Nasal infection

Fungi and bacteria can cause upper respiratory tract infection. One of the most common symptoms of this infection is sneezing accompanied by mucoid or bloody discharge and a lack of appetite.


Dogs can be allergic to environmental irritants, certain ingredients in food, or to bites by parasitic animals such as ticks or fleas. All of these factors cause a fierce reaction from the dog’s body and the immune system thus causing many symptoms such as sneezing, watery eye, skin irritation, etc.

Nasal tumors

This condition is particularly common in older dogs and the tell-tale sign that your dog has a nasal tumor is increased frequency of sneezing accompanied by bleeding from one side of the nose.

Foreign body

Our furry friends love to explore the world around them and stuck their noses literally everywhere. However, such actions are not without consequences and we will often see dogs irritated by a foreign body that is stuck inside their noses.

This object can be a simple blade of grass or a twig, but it can cause considerable discomfort. The dog will try to expel that foreign body from its nasal airways by sneezing.

Nasal mites

When the dog digs dirt or rubs his nose in the dirt, he picks up small bugs called nasal mites. These little bugs can cause severe irritation and discomfort to your dog. Therefore, you will often see signs of discomfort, sneezing, and a thick or bloody discharge in a dog that has nasal mites.

Polen, dust, and other irritants

Similar to humans, dogs can also be allergic to irritants such as dust, pollen, etc. These airborne irritants will often get trapped by the moisture inside the dog’s nasal airways thus provoking the dog to sneeze due to the irritation.

Dogs are also very sensitive to smoke, perfume, scent candles, air fresheners, etc.

When To Consider Taking My Dog To The Vet?

As we already said, sneezing is a common occurrence in dogs and you don’t need to take your dog to the vet every time your dog sneezes. However, if you notice your dog sneezing frequently without any clear cause or you notice thick bloody or mucousy discharge or any other symptoms such as fever, loss of appetite, lethargy it’s time to visit the vet.