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Why Does My Dog Sneeze Before Barking?

There is no specific reason why a dog sneezes before barking. It can be due to something irritating their nose, like pollen, dust, foreign particle, or hair. Some dogs also sneeze before barking because they enjoy themselves and want to tell other dogs they are in a playful mood and not showing aggression.

dog sneezing

Different Reasons why your Dog Sneezes Before Barking

  • Some breeds, like Border Collies, sneeze before barking because they pull their lip up far, making them sneeze. One pet owner states that his dog would start sneezing before barking whenever she saw a strange dog coming in her direction, or she was scared. The sneeze is probably caused by scrunching her nose due to pulling the lip back.
  • The hair may tickle if your dog has long hairs in the nose, and it would make them sneeze before barking.
  • The most common reason behind sneezing before barking is letting you or other dogs know that he is enjoying playing. The aggression is for game play only and not real. This behavior is also called play sneezing, and it is 100% normal.

Reasons why your Dog Sneezes More than Usual

Your dog may frequently sneeze due to the following reasons.

  • Tumors: Though it happens rarely, excessive sneezing can indicate tumor growth. The main reason is secondhand smoke, too much exposure to dust, and unhealthy living.
  • Infected Tooth: Your dog’s third upper premolar has roost closed to the nasal passage. An infection there can stimulate excessive sneezing.
  • Brachycephalic Breed: Some breeds like Bulldogs, Pug, and Boston terriers have compressed nasal passages. They are likely to sneeze more than other breeds.

Sneeze Isn’t Always a Sneeze before Barking

Sometimes your dog snorts before barking, which you mistakenly took as sneezing. Snorting is certainly different than sneezing. If your dog is snorting, it indicates there might be an obstruction in the upper airway of your dog’s mouth. Besides this, if your dog is overweight, they will find it difficult to breathe and, as a result, snort.

Reverse Sneezing in Dogs

Reverse sneezing is a paroxysmal respiratory response (shortness of breath) in dogs caused by irritations and infections in the nasal cavity. In reverse sneezing, dogs repeatedly inhale by opening and closing their mouths, followed by snorting and gagging sounds. So, this condition is quite common in dogs before and after barking. You should take your dog to the veterinarian if they are in reserve sneezing condition.

veterinarian if they are in reserve sneezing condition.

Can Dogs Suffer from Nasal Infections?

A one-time or a few sneezes throughout the day is normal behavior. Dogs sneeze the same way humans do. However, regular and excessive sneezing can indicate a nasal reaction. Most dogs usually cough if they have a nasal or respiratory tract infection.

Your dog can suffer from a nasal infection caused by aspergillus fungus. Dogs usually catch this fungus from dust, grass, or hay. The symptoms include excessive sneezing, nose pain, swelling, nosebleeds, and discharge. Some nasal infections can also happen due to nasal mites. Your dog would probably catch these mites while playing or digging in the dirt with his nose. Take your dog to a vet immediately if you notice these symptoms.

How to Stop My Dog from Sneezing?

Sneezing is an automatic reflex, and it’s impossible to prevent it completely in dogs, just like humans. If your dog sneezes more than normal, take them to the veterinarian. If your dog has difficulty breathing due to poor ventilation in the room, open up the windows.

Read more: Why Does My Dog Cough and Gag After Barking?


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