Why Does My Dog Sneeze During Play?

playing dogs

There’s usually no cause for alarm when your dog sneezes. Typically, some foreign material has simply found its way into his snout, and a hearty sneeze can easily extricate the irritant with a wet-and-wild flourish.

And sometimes, a dog sneeze means something else entirely. When dogs get worked up during play, they begin to “play sneeze,” as if they’re telling you how much fun they’re having. Some experts think the play sneeze is body language to other dogs, reassuring them that they’re playing, not fighting, and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Sneezing may also give your four-legged friend a moment to take a breather, especially when roughhousing with other dogs becomes a bit much.

dog basking under the sun

Gesundheit, Fido:

  • Dog breeds such as Boston terriers, bulldogs, Pekingese, and pugs – known as brachycephalic breeds – have compressed nasal passages so they’re much more likely to sneeze than other dogs.
  • If your dog is sneezing regularly, it could be a sign of a nasal infection. Dogs that develop upper respiratory tract infections are more likely to cough rather than sneeze, but talk to a vet if symptoms persist.
  • Persistent sneezing in canines can also be a sign of an infected tooth, a tumor, or the result of secondhand smoke. On rare occasions, dogs that like to dig can suck up mites from the dirt, causing them significant discomfort.

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