Reverse Sneezing in Dogs – Causes, Treatment and Care

Reverse sneezing in dogs is a disorder that can occur in our dogs, is very striking and disturbing because it seems that the dog is about to drown. There are many doubts among the tutors who observe it, mainly about how to act.

For this reason, we will explain what a reverse sneeze is in dogs, what causes it, what treatments a veterinarian may recommend, and how to care for a dog who has it in this Scoobydog article. Continue reading to learn everything:

Dog sneeze

Since canines and humans typically do not sneeze for the same reasons, it is obvious that when our dog sneezes, he is not doing so for the reasons we typically attribute.

Allergies, sinusitis, and colds are the most typical causes of sneezing. Dogs, on the other hand, typically sneeze because of dust, mites, and foreign objects in their noses. If we look at more concerning possibilities, we might find a tumor nearby or even episodes of overly excited or anxious sneezing.

Sneezing shouldn’t be concerning, barring a few exceptions unless it happens frequently or intensely. Coughing, on the other hand, should raise our awareness because it frequently signals a respiratory infection, whereas sneezing does not. They don’t frequently sneeze due to allergies, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility. They typically also exhibit other symptoms like skin rashes or itching.

What is sneezing in pets?

You may already be aware that dogs sneeze, but do you also know how they sneeze backward? Most dog owners haven’t even been able to talk about it, so when it does happen, questions and worries about its causes and effects surface.

A palatal or tracheal irritation-induced muscle spasm known as reverse or inverted sneezing results in forceful breaths of air. Many owners are concerned about this phenomenon because it may make it seem like their dog is drowning. However, generally speaking, it is not a serious or worrying issue.

Reverse sneezing is more common in dog breeds with brachycephalic or snub-nosed faces, especially pugs and bulldogs, which are prone to respiratory disease.

A sneeze’s difference from a tracheal collapse

As we’ve already mentioned, we shouldn’t be afraid of the reverse sneeze. Since complications—which are extremely rare—are not necessary for it to be serious. Tracheal collapse, on the other hand, is a phenomenon that should raise our suspicions. The reverse sneeze lasts for a shorter time, and when the animal vanishes, it appears as though nothing happened. Or that cough typically occurs, while the reverse sneeze is characterized by aspiration in collapse.

A tracheal collapse is a partial or complete obstruction of the trachea that happens when the muscular rings that make up the trachea begin to deteriorate. when this takes place. A hiss-like sound, breathing problems, coughing, and lethargy are among the easily observable symptoms the animal starts to exhibit.

Different degrees of tracheal collapse can occur; the least serious ones might even call for surgery, while others may only call for taking steroids or other outpatient treatments. The prognosis is better the earlier the disease is diagnosed. Therefore, it is best to take your pet to the veterinarian immediately if you notice any worrisome symptoms.

Causes of sneezing in dog

Due to the respiratory difficulties that result from having a flat or short nose, reverse sneezing occurs more frequently in dogs with these anatomical traits. Why does it only affect these racial groups and not others? What causes it specifically?

It is noteworthy that it not only occurs in brachycephalic breeds, whose elongated palates account for its appearance in these breeds but also in breeds with longer nasal passages. They exhibit more of the gag reflex- or pharyngeal reflex-induced reverse sneeze.

These spasms frequently happen in a variety of circumstances, including the presence of potent and pervasive odors, dust in the air, excessive excitement, or a tug on the collar or leash. Although not frequently, it could also be caused by an infection or virus. In these cases, however, the symptoms would persist and quickly deteriorate.

What to do if my dog ​​has a reverse sneeze?

If we notice that our dog frequently exhibits reverse sneezing. It is advisable to consult a physician to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other, possibly more serious health problems that could be confused with canine reverse sneezing. Knowing whether it is a symptom of an infection or another medical condition will also be helpful. The expert will clear up all of our questions, recommend treatment if he determines it is necessary, and give us guidance on how to act and take action.

How to cure sneezing in dogs: treatment

If our pet has been seen to reverse sneeze. We need to know if there is a solution and what to do to address them. Even though it is a very striking phenomenon, it is important to keep it in mind. Due to the fact that it is not considered a disease in the conventional sense, it cannot exactly speak of a cure.

Only if tumors or infections are present as the cause are there any treatments available. The veterinarian will decide what treatment is appropriate and how to administer it in the case of tumors. If it is an infection, a course of antibiotics is usually sufficient to treat it.

Reverse sneezing and vomiting in dogs

When a reverse sneeze occurs, the animal will occasionally adopt a posture and make noises that lead us to believe that it is experiencing the typical retching that comes before vomiting. The reverse sneeze is sometimes referred to as the “gag reflex,” but vomiting is not a part of it. Since it only affects the trachea and the palate, it isn’t nausea or an upset stomach.

It is important to distinguish saliva from bile or vomiting when sneezing.

Remedies for sneezing in dogs

Reverse sneezing is generally harmless and has no negative effects on the health of our pets, as we have already stated. However, it is common for us to feel overwhelmed if we witness it and think that our friend is having a bad time. In this circumstance, we can take some actions to lessen them, such as:

  • During the episode of the reverse sneeze, massage your throat.
  •  Carefully and briefly covering your nose will cause you to swallow saliva, which helps to soothe windpipe irritation.

However, the most crucial thing is realizing that when our pet sneezes, nothing happens. Stress will only make the episode worse, so we maintain our composure and try to normalize the situation.

At, we do not have the authority to recommend veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis; this article is merely informational. If your pet exhibits any kind of condition or discomfort, we encourage you to take it to the veterinarian.

Read more articles like Reverse Sneezing in Dogs – Causes, Treatment, and Care if you’re interested. You should go to our section on respiratory diseases, in our recommendation.


  • Doust, R. (2004). Nasal Discharge, Sneezing, and Reverse Sneezing. Textbook of Respiratory Disease in Dogs and Cats, 17–29.
  • Jennifer Coates. Reverse Sneezing in Dogs: Is It Normal ?. 2019, from Pet MD Website:
  • Dr. Jerry Klein, CVO. (19.05.2016). What Happens When A Dog Reverse Sneezes ?. 08.21.2019, from American Kennel Club Website: