Dogs use sneezes to communicate with humans and other animals

Dogs sometimes sneeze to show they’re happy or playful – and owners are reminded that extra sneezing during play doesn’t always mean their pet gets sick

Dogs play
Dogs play “sneeze” to show they are not aggressive or threatening

Although dogs can’t tell us what’s wrong with them, they have their own way of showing us.

Dog owners may notice their dog sneezing while playing, leading them to wonder if their pet is getting sick.

But research shows that dogs use sneezing as a form of communication to show us they’re excited or just playing around.

Only if your dog’s sneezing is accompanied by nosebleeds, discharge, or an excessively wet or dry nose should you contact your veterinarian.

A Kennel Club statement said: “Dogs sometimes sneeze to show they are happy, excited or playful.

“These ‘game sneezes’ are often used in more lively game fights to show that they aren’t aggressive or threatening and are just having fun.

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Dogs sneeze to defuse any tension and leave their playmate


Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

“Dogs use this sneeze, almost for comedic effect, to relieve tension and let their playmate know they are not being attacked.

“Alongside wagging their tails, pricking their ears, or licking, these types of sneezes are just another example of how dogs use their bodies to communicate.”

While sneezing outside of play isn’t usually a cause for concern, it can sometimes be a possible sign of kennel cough.

Emergency Vet Dave Leicester, Director of the Video Vets Now service vets nowrecently issued a warning to UK owners following an outbreak of kennel cough in America.

He said: “Catching kennel cough involves exposure to a whole host of different viral and bacterial organisms.

“It is common for dogs and puppies with kennel cough to be infected by more than one of them at the same time.

“Dogs that are stressed, malnourished, or have a weakened immune system are often more susceptible to the condition.

“However, the infections are very transmissible, so any dog ​​can become infected.”

Dave says dogs get the disease through contact with another infected animal, by inhaling aerosol droplets from an infected dog’s cough.

He explained: “You can also become infected by eating and drinking or even licking an infected bowl or toy. Outbreaks are common anywhere dogs mix, especially in kennels, parks, and puppy parties.

“As a result, we can often see some regional outbreaks of the disease like those currently being reported from South Florida.”

If kennel cough is a problem in your area, you may be advised to avoid busy parks, day care centers, and shared water bowls.

Dave continued: “Although the condition is highly contagious, in most cases it is not serious and will get better on its own within a few weeks without treatment.

“However, there are exceptions and owners of older dogs, puppies and dogs with underlying health problems should monitor the condition closely as, on rare occasions, it can progress to a serious illness.”

The Kennel Club’s statement adds: “Dogs with kennel cough may sneeze or have a runny nose, but they typically have a characteristic persistent cough that sounds more like something is getting stuck in their throat or honking like a goose. If you think your dog has kennel cough, then Contact your veterinarian for advice.

“Kennel cough can be very contagious and dangerous for puppies and older or at-risk dogs, so it’s important to call your vet before seeing them.”

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