Why Do Dogs Sneeze When You Play With Them

Like people, dogs sneeze for a variety of causes. There are several degrees of sneeze severity.


Dogs typically sneeze because they inhaled something irritating that became lodged in their nostril. Dogs sneeze after putting their snouts into the grass or digging in the dirt for this reason.

Sometimes they’ll smell something unpleasant that causes them sneeze, like perfume, cleaning supplies, or dust.


Sneezes are a means of communication for dogs with both people and other animals. Similar to how a dog communicates through body language or facial expressions, sneezes are simply one way of doing so.

In fact, a 2017 study indicated that sneezes were a form of negotiation used by wild African canines to influence group decision-making.

Sneezing is another way that dogs communicate that they need to settle down, take a break, or that they are okay with what is going on.


When playing with humans or other dogs, a lot of dogs enjoy sneezing. This “play sneezing” is common and used by dogs to express their excitement and enjoyment. Dogs will also sneeze during play to demonstrate that their actions are purely playful.

Dogs also have a tendency to pucker their lips when playing a game. Their body might sneeze as a result of the lip curl that results in a wrinkled nose. Playful sneezes typically consist of a quick snort that originates from the nose rather than the lungs.


It’s possible that your dog is pretending to sneeze when they sneeze around mealtimes or during routine walks.

Dogs who pretend sneeze frequently look at you while doing so to catch your attention. To make sure you pay attention, they might even approach you and sneeze on or next to you.

Health Problems

Since the body is doing its necessary functions, sneezing is really beneficial. It might also be a sign of a minor illness like a cold.

But occasionally, it might be a sign of more serious issues with the teeth or the nasal passages. A piece of grass or a malignant tumor could be the cause of a nasal blockage.


Due to the shape of their muzzle and throat, brachycephalic breeds have more trouble breathing. Pugs, Pekingese, Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers are among the breeds whose compressed nasal passages increase their propensity to sneeze.

Excellent Sense of Smell

Dogs are very perceptive to their surroundings. They may use their keen sense of smell to hunt for prey, locate hidden treats, and detect unfamiliar dogs entering their area.

Reverse Sneezes

Reactions to inflammation, irritants, or excitement can cause reverse sneezes, which are abrupt and repeated inhalations via the nose. Terriers and other toy breeds frequently sneeze backwards.

What does a dog sneezing while being pet mean?

These are actually just amusing sneezes, and they are not a cause for alarm. You might have also noticed that when you pet your dog, they groan or make other noises. Another indication that they are having fun is this. Basically, it’s entirely natural for your dog to sneeze a few times when being pet.

When my dog sneezes at me, what does that mean?

Have you ever noticed your dog sneezing at you while waggling his tail and sort of bending down on his front legs? He’s attempting to communicate to you his desire to play. Dogs commonly sneeze in this manner to get your attention and communicate their needs.

These sneezes are actually phony. It’s merely a means for them to draw attention to themselves. There’s no way you can ignore them since if you pay attention, you’ll frequently see them getting closer as they sneeze at you.

Why do dogs snarl and sneeze when they play?

Even though they may attempt, our dogs cannot speak, therefore they occasionally rely on other means of communication to express their emotions. Your dog attempts to communicate with you and other animals via body language, pitch, and volume. Another way to convey these messages is via sneezing.

Dogs frequently sneeze as they play as a way to express how much fun they are having. Due to its aggressive head shaking, chasing, snarling, and barking, it can occasionally be challenging to tell whether your dog is only playing and when they are genuinely fighting. Your dog will typically sneeze to let you know that it is all in good fun and that it is not disturbed.

Additionally, these sneezes typically serve more as a communication to other dogs than to you. Dogs pick up these signals from other dogs, developing a common language that is frequently only understood by dogs. If you take your dog to a dog park or meet up with other puppies, keep an eye out for sneezes to make sure the dogs are playing cooperatively rather than becoming aggressive.

Canines feign sneezing?

Everybody is familiar with the appearance and sound of a sneeze, that abrupt, violent exhalation of air via the nose. A real sneeze brought on by an allergy, cold, or irritation resembles a phony one in appearance. A true sneeze, however, can also come with additional symptoms like runny or stuffy nose, itchy skin, or swollen eyes. A fake sneeze is thus likely to occur alone, without what may be seen as other symptoms, which is the first difference.

Second, a dog that makes a fake sneeze has probably picked it up because it attracts attention. As a result, when a room is left unattended or when you’re not home, they are less likely to sneeze. When you’re in a different area of the house, keep an eye out for the dog’s behavior. If they calm down and cease sneezing, they might be skilled impersonators.

A dog that fakes sneezing to attract attention is also more likely to observe you while you sneeze, ready to soak up the attention they will receive for doing so. Some dogs even sag over, approach their owner very closely, and sneeze as though to make the most impression possible.

How closely linked a dog is to its owner will partially determine whether the dog pretends to sneeze. A dog who is distant and prefers the company of other hounds to humans is less likely to pretend to sneeze than a dog that is closely linked and enjoys its owner’s company.

Do canines sneeze when they play fight?

In order to let other dogs know that they are having fun, dogs sneeze when playing. Dogs sneeze to show that their boisterous play, which is intermingled with growls and barks, is not violent.

Perhaps you’ve also noticed this. The more you play with your dog or the more vigorously your dog wrestles with other dogs, the more likely it is that your dog may sneeze in the middle of their GRRRRs and RUFFs. Therefore, why do dogs sneeze while playing?

Katherine Smith, a canine behaviorist and trainer, claims that a dog’s sneeze lets the other dog know that a boisterous dance or fight play session is only for fun. When your dog “is really liking what you’re doing,” it will sneeze.

Therefore, our dogs have developed a strange new method of saying, “Maybe it LOOKS like we’re fighting, but it’s all right, we’re friends!”

Your love for your dog may be motivated by a variety of factors, including their adorable looks, soft fur, and unwavering loyalty. Personally, I enjoy dogs the greatest when they are boisterous. I’ll genuinely roll about on the ground with any dog (ask my coworkers.) If there’s a nice game of tug of war to be had, I’ll grab any drooly old raggedy toy and clutch onto it for dear life. The more aggressive and boisterous the dog, the more I adore them. Why then do dogs sneeze while they play? Just having fun, that’s all!

How come dogs sigh so much?

Through their vocalizations, dogs can express their delight, enthusiasm, excitement, and affinity. Dogs also utilize whines and growls to express contentment, however moans and sighs are the most typical sounds of joy.

Puppies frequently make low-pitched murmurs, which indicate satisfaction. When puppies are in close proximity to their mother, their littermates, or their humans, they will scream. The sigh, which is typically followed by the dog lying down with its head on its forepaws, is another expression of contentment. The sigh conveys pleasure when it is coupled with half-closed eyes; disappointment when it is coupled with completely open eyes: “You’re not going to play with me, I suppose.

Whines are regarded as indicators of grief, yet they can also convey joy and delight. The distinction is that although a whine used to express enthusiasm either decreases in pitch near the end of the sound or does not vary in pitch, a whine intended to express distress rises in pitch toward the conclusion of the sound.

Similar to growls, there are growls that are used to express play rather than warnings or threats. These growls are loud, mid-pitched, and lack the low rumbling characteristic of warning growls as well as any teeth cues.

Dogs are considerably better at distinguishing between playful growls and frightening growls than people are. Dogs avoided the bone in the presence of warning growls but seized it in the presence of play-growls when researchers played several recorded growls over a speaker in front of a desired bone.

The howl is the classic form of affiliation communication. Dogs who howl appear to mimic wolves in their behavior. A dog communicating by itself howling is “I require my pack. Such howls are frequently contagious.

Dogs make sounds both consciously and unconsciously, and each sound has a distinct meaning. Dogs are trying their best to communicate with us even if we are unable to understand the vast diversity of noises they make.

Dog Park Etiquette

If you own a dog and live in the city or the suburbs, you probably know about the nearby dog park. It’s a haven for dogs. Before you take your dog to the dog park, there are a few things you should think about, according to the “Dog Park Etiquette” E-book.

It’s a natural spasm

Huffing by dogs can just be a physiological response. Frequently, it happens when your dog’s windpipe becomes somewhat constricted due to a spasm in the back of the throat. Any dog owner who hears it may find it pretty scary because it seems like they are having trouble breathing.

Your dog will be completely still during these moments, extending out its front legs and neck (to add to your worry). These episodes ought to subside soon and naturally. Of course, you should rush your dog to the clinic right away if you’re concerned that they’re actually having trouble breathing.

They’re feeling stressed

Your dog may be showing signs of stress if they exhale air quickly. If you stop to think about it, stressed-out humans tend to behave similarly. Dogs and humans both take deep breaths before quickly exhaling them as a way to decompress.

There could be a lot of different causes for your dog to feel worried. However, common causes include separation, fear (caused, for example, by loud noises), or a change in their environment. It is crucial to pay attention to their body language. Consult your veterinarian about methods of relaxation if you are concerned that your pet is stressed.

It’s a sign of feeling threatened and aggression

Huffing in the presence of other dogs could indicate your dog’s aggressive tendencies intensifying. Maybe a friend has snatched their ball or is being hostile to them. In response, your dog can huff and puff to warn the other puppy.

Additional dogs are involved, too! Your dog can also be irritated with you! For instance, if your dog dislikes getting showered, it’s usual for him to huff and puff when he sees you getting the shampoo and bathtub ready. He’s trying to tell you he doesn’t like what’s about to happen!

They’re feeling happy and content

Agreed, it can be a little perplexing when your dog makes these noises. Huffing can be used to convey enjoyment and contentment in addition to hostility and stress.

Your dog will huff and puff when they enter the house following a particularly enjoyable stroll, after playing in the pond with their friends, or after a successful game of fetch.

They’re so happy and also physically fatigued! Most likely, they’ll do this right before tucking their tails in for a sound sleep.

They could be disappointed

Have you ever promised your dog a treat for performing a trick, but you didn’t follow through because the phone rang or there was another distraction? Has your animal friend ever abandoned you? believed not.

A disgruntled dog will gleefully huff and puff or make the peculiar reverse sneeze sound to signal that they are unhappy and that you should open the reward bag.

They’re anticipating something fun

Dogs enjoy showing their excitement, and they do so in a variety of ways. They will occasionally run about the house, jump up, and put their tongues out.

Another sign that something exciting is about to happen is when a dog huffs. They might act in this manner while you head for the kitchen cabinet or put on your walking boots.

They’re eating too fast

Your dog may be eating or drinking too quickly if you notice that they huff afterward. Both large and tiny dogs frequently do this, but there are a few things you can do to encourage them to slow down.

Consider purchasing them a puzzle toy that releases food over time. This can help them enjoy meals, keep their minds active, and consume food more slowly. Another option is a slow-feeding dog bowl.

If your dog tends to drink a lot more quickly than the average, you can slow them down by adding ice cubes or a big object to their bowl.

As you can see, there are numerous explanations for why dogs huff. There is virtually nothing to worry about if your dog begins to puff when they are happy or aroused.

Lots of attention and affection from you may reassure your dog and lessen tension, and good training will help your puppy display less signs of aggression.

You should always take your dog to the vet to be sure if you suspect they are experiencing respiratory issues.