Pets Health

Reverse Sneezing in dogs

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If you’ve never seen reverse sneezing in a dog before, it can be frightening, but it’s not as awful as it sounds.

Reverse sneezing is most common in dogs and far less common in cats. Here’s all you need to know about reverse dog sneezing, as well as what you can do to help stop it.

The dog swiftly pulls air into the nose in this state, whereas in a normal sneeze, the air is rapidly pushed out via the nose. The dog snorts and appears to be attempting to inhale while sneezing.

Are you interested in knowing about dog reverse sneeze treatment? Are you curious about why dogs sneeze when excited? 

Keep reading this article to know everything about reverse sneezing in dogs!

Reverse Sneezing in Dogs Symptoms

A dog will normally stand up during a reverse sneeze, but they may also take a traditional “sit” stance with their hindquarters on the ground and front paws on the floor.

In either position, the dog will stretch her front legs with her elbows stiff, gently pulling the elbows apart to allow more area for the chest to expand.

She’ll stretch out her head and neck and enlarge her eyes while snorting or hacking repeatedly and aggressively from her nose.

Reverse sneezing episodes can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes, yet the dog’s respiration returns to normal and she acts as if nothing happened.

Dog reverse sneeze treatment

If a dog’s soft palate becomes irritated, reverse sneezing, often known as a “backward sneeze,” might occur. 

A dog’s soft palate is a muscular area on the rear of the roof of the mouth that aids vocalisation, swallowing, and breathing.

Because of the discomfort, the soft palate muscle spasms, narrowing the trachea. The dog will try to expand their chest to breathe by extending their neck, but the shortened trachea prevents them from taking a full breath of air.

The dog will next attempt to inhale via their nose with great power, resulting in a backward sneeze.

If you’re a dog owner and worried about curing your dog reverse sneezing then this would increase your information about dog reverse sneezing.

Reverse sneezing does not require medication or treatment, and it is usually a harmless condition in your dog if it occurs infrequently.

If a dog has never had reverse sneezing before, they should consult a veterinarian to confirm that it is not something else, such as coughing or choking.

Consult a veterinarian if the incidents become more regular or severe, so that the underlying reason may be determined. 

They’ll probably take x-rays of your chest and maybe a rhinoscopy (a procedure in which a camera is put into the nasal cavity and throat to search for any abnormalities).

There are many ways to stop reverse sneezing in dogs.

Some people recommend covering your dog’s nostrils for a few seconds to make him swallow, which will assist your dog get rid of the irritant that prompted the episode.

You can also try rubbing your dog’s throat, which may help to remove or relieve the irritation.

If the problem is persistent, a veterinarian will need to determine the root cause and administer appropriate treatment, such as antihistamines for allergies, antiparasitics for nasal mites, or removal of foreign material.

Why do dogs sneeze when excited?

When dogs are enthusiastic, why do they sneeze? The solution may be straightforward — or it may be complex. What about reverse sneezing or when a dog’s sneeze becomes a significant problem?

It’s important to remember that a kiss is only a kiss, but a sneeze could be more than that. What causes dogs to sneeze when they’re excited? 

There appear to be two schools of thought on the subject, which adds a tinge of ambiguity to this popular practice.

Dogs’ nostrils are extremely sensitive. They sneeze whenever anything irritates the inside of their nose, generating a tickle, followed by a sneeze from the chest and lungs to remove the offending visitor, just like humans.

When dogs are enthusiastic, they sneeze more shallowly and make a snorting sound as a result of a sudden force of breath from the nose.

“These aren’t sneezed in the sense that we think of sneezes in people: a deep-down respiratory response,” says Debra Eldredge, DVM. 

“It’s more like a kid playing make-believe and pretending to sneeze.”

According to Vernon, New York, veterinarian and author, such sneezes are a form of canine communication. They typically occur during play, when dogs are naturally aroused.

“This could be a ‘remember it’s just playing’ sound, or something to help things cool down if they’re getting too hot. 

The sneeze indicates that the dogs are having fun, according to Dr Eldredge. “Turid Rugaas was one of the first to classify dog interactions properly.”

Why are dogs excited, why do they sneeze? It makes them feel better.

On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals was written by Rugaas in 2006. 

The Norwegian author and dog trainer outlines 30 ways canines communicate with one another — and with people — through what she refers to as “calming signals” in her book.

Sneezes, for example, are a technique of cooling down a situation before it becomes too chaotic. 

The behaviours are the canine version of social skills, a body language and interaction repertoire used to express a variety of messages, including conflict-avoidance and an invitation to play.

Rugaas claims that all dogs comprehend the code, even if they don’t show the behaviours themselves.

Reverse cough in dogs

You’re minding your own business when your dog makes a strange, unexpected, and completely bizarre sound of honking or wheezy snorting.

You rush to your pet’s rescue, only to find that he or she is completely unaffected, standing there as if nothing has occurred. 

But what actually happened? Do you call us or do you drop everything and bring your pet in as soon as possible?

Paroxysmal respiration, often known as “reverse sneezing,” is most likely what your pet has just gone through. A reverse sneeze can be startling to hear, yet it’s a common occurrence in dogs and cats.

What Can You Do?

The majority of backward sneezes don’t necessitate medical treatment. You might try massaging your pet’s neck or giving it water to help it relax. 

Once the sneezing has stopped, your pet should be back to normal.

When Should You Enter?

While the odd reverse sneeze is normally unproblematic, if it occurs more frequently or becomes more severe, your pet should be checked by a veterinarian. 

Some respiratory infections can be communicable to other pets, grow chronic, or even be life-threatening if not treated properly.

What causes reverse sneezing in dogs?

The reason why reverse sneezing happens is due to Reverse sneezing can be triggered by discomfort to the nose, sinuses, or back of the throat.

Nasal mites, secretions, foreign materials such as seeds, pollens, or grasses, allergies, smoking, odors, masses, or an extended soft palate are all examples of irritants. 

Dogs with long noses and short nasal passageways appear to be more susceptible.

Also Check: Dogs that look like foxes

Dog snorts like he can’t breathe

There are several possible causes for your dog’s gasping for air episodes. Allergens can cause respiratory gasps and honks in your dog, as the mouth and throat spasm.

Viral infections that cause rhinitis may create more severe instances. Nasal mites, a minute mite, can irritate your dog’s nasal passage and create spasms, resulting in gasping for air.

Reverse sneezing can affect any dog, but it is more common in puppies and dogs with long, narrow nasal passages.

Reverse sneezing is more common in dogs with flat faces, such as Boxers and Pugs. Flat-faced dogs have elongated soft palates that become inflamed from time to time, especially when they are agitated, resulting in spasms.


Dust, pollen, fragrances, smoke, and other airborne particles can irritate and even cause inflammation in your dog’s nasal passages.

Your dog’s immune system may overreact to an allergen, resulting in respiratory symptoms such as reverse sneezing, coughing, and sneezing, as well as watery, itchy eyes, a runny nose, itchy skin, and excessive licking.

Allergies can affect people of all ages and breeds.

Mites in the nose

Nose mites are microscopic mites that dwell in the nasal tube of dogs. The infection normally has no symptoms, but your dog may have coughing, reverse sneezing, or other respiratory symptoms on occasion.

Nasal mites can be spread readily by touching noses with an infected dog. Any breed of dog, at any age, can get a nasal mite infection.

If the dog’s reverse sneezing attacks are frequent, your veterinarian may prescribe antihistamines to see if they assist.

Antibiotics should be given to the dog if reverse sneezing occurs soon after the nose-inoculation against the kennel-cough.

Most dogs with sporadic episodes of a reverse sneeze can have a normal life because reverse sneeze is a harmless illness that does not require medical treatment.

However, backward sneezing should not be confused with a collapsing trachea or a cardiac condition. It’s crucial to have your dog inspected by a veterinarian if you’re unsure.


I hope this article helps you know everything about reverse sneezing in dogs and many dog owners are going to be aware of the treatment of reverse sneezing in dogs.

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