If you’re looking for more information on reverse sneezing in dogs because of your dog, we’ve got you covered. 

We’ve prepared all the details you might need about this condition. So, keep reading to find out what it is, what causes it, and what you can do about it.

General Information on Reverse Sneezing in Dogs 

If you’ve seen a dog reverse sneezing, you know that it can be a complicated and distressing situation for both the owner and the dog. To avoid stress in these situations, let’s learn more about this condition.

What Is Reverse Sneezing in Dogs?

Reverse sneezing in dogs, also known as inspiratory paroxysmal respiration, is a condition that makes your dog’s larynx muscles spasm and stops your dog from breathing normally. Your dog will inhale rapidly and repeatedly and produce sounds similar to snorting. 

The dog may also become completely still and extend its neck and head during reverse sneezing. 

Although reverse sneezing dogs will undoubtedly alarm their owner, the condition is not as serious as it may appear. It usually lasts less than a minute, and most dogs will show no signs of distress after it ends.

The episodes can occur multiple times in the dog’s life, but they are not dangerous. In a healthy dog, it causes no additional problems, and the dog is not actually choking, so you don’t have to worry. 

That being said, if it keeps happening often and lasts for longer than a minute, it’s always advisable to consult a vet, as that may be a sign of an infection or some other, more serious condition.

Causes of Reverse Sneezing in Dogs

So, what causes this condition? The dogsreverse sneeze is mainly caused by an irritated throat. There are many things that can cause that irritation:

  • Excessive excitement
  • Allergies
  • Fast eating or drinking
  • Viruses
  • Perfumes
  • Pollen
  • Mites
  • Dry air
  • Tight collar

Many other irritants can cause it, but these are the most common culprits.

You should keep an eye on your dog to see what might be causing the episodes. For example, if your dog is reverse sneezing at night, it’s most often due to dry air or allergies.

Reverse Sneezing in Small Dogs

All dogs are potential reverse sneezers. However, reverse sneezing in a dog is much more likely if your dog is smaller. Although there are 150 existing dog breeds, and they can all experience it, smaller breeds are at the highest risk of reverse sneezing.

You’re more likely to find your beagle reverse sneezing than your golden retriever. In other small breeds, such as Yorkie, reverse sneezing is also quite common. 

Moreover, if your dog has a flatter face, which is common in a pug, boxer, and French bulldog, reverse sneezing is almost expected. 

Puppy reverse sneezing is also common, since their throats are smaller and can take in less air as it is. 

Solutions for the Dog Reverse Sneeze

Even though we know it is mostly harmless, when you have a dog reverse sneezing a lot, you can’t help but worry. Read on to find out how to help with reverse cough in dogs.

Dog Reverse Sneeze Attack — What to Do?

We know it can be difficult to see your dog struggling for a breath. 

When a dog reverse sneeze happens, what you can do is massage their neck and close their nostrils for a moment. It should get them to swallow, which should stop the seizure.

You can also pet them, speak to them softly, and offer them water after the attack to calm their throat. If they feel irritable afterward, it may be a good idea to give them something calming, like some quality CBD oil

What’s also useful for new dog owners that are still getting familiar with reverse sneezing in dogs are video recordings, which can help you recognize it when it happens. 

Canine reverse sneezing is usually not dangerous, but if you’re suspecting it may be something more serious, it’s always a good idea to see a veterinarian. This is especially true if you notice it happening more frequently and severely.

Dog Reverse Sneeze Treatment

As mentioned, if your dog keeps reverse sneezing, seeing a vet is recommended. Also, if you’re wondering — why is my dog reverse sneezing so much? — the vet can give you a more precise answer. 

Moreover, keep in mind that vet treatments and checkups are covered by all the best insurance policies. So, if you still don’t have pet insurance, you should definitely consider it.

Nevertheless, the vet can identify what’s causing it, and they can help your dog feel better. 

For example, if your dog is reverse sneezing at night, it most likely has a problem related to the place where they sleep. The vet can help you figure out what your dog is allergic to, and you can eliminate the irritant.

If reverse sneezing is happening during some common allergy season, a cure for dog reverse sneeze is Benadryl and other antihistamines a vet can give you.

Visiting a vet can also help you eliminate similar conditions, such as tracheal collapse, which may present itself in a similar way but is much more dangerous.


What is a reverse sneeze in a dog?

The reverse sneeze, also called reverse breathing in dogs, is a condition that makes dogs stop exhaling for a moment. For a short time, they look like they are choking, until they start breathing normally again. 

Most of the time, it’s a harmless condition and is not a cause for worry.

(American Kennel Club)

What causes reverse sneezing in dogs?

The most common causes for dog reverse cough or sneeze are throat irritants, such as mites, pollen, and other allergens. 

It can also happen as a result of tight collars, exercise intolerance, and excessive excitement. Basically, anything that could irritate your dog’s throat can cause this condition.

(Veterinary Partner)

Why is my dog reverse sneezing so much?

There are many potential reasons for that. It may be because of an allergy — during ragweed season, for example, a dog allergic to it would reverse sneeze a lot. 

There might also be an irritant in your house that causes the reverse dog sneeze. If it keeps happening, and you don’t know why, it’s best to consult a vet.

(VCA Hospital)

How to stop reverse sneezing in dogs?

What you can do to stop the attack is massage their throat or close their nostrils for a moment. It should make them swallow a few times, which should stop the seizure. After the reverse sneeze in dogs passes, you can give them water, something to calm them down, and pet them. 

Unfortunately, you cannot completely stop reverse sneezing in dogs. As mentioned, you can remove potential irritants if there are any in your home. However, if the cause is an allergy, or if it happens only occasionally, there isn’t much you can do to prevent it.

(VCA Hospital)

Do cats reverse sneeze?

Even though cat reverse sneezing is not as common in cats as it is in dogs, it can happen. For a reverse sneezing cat, the symptoms are the same as in dogs, as is the treatment.

(Embrace Pet Insurance)

Final Thoughts 

Now that you know that reverse sneezing is a harmless condition caused by irritants, you don’t need to worry about your dog.

So, the next time you see reverse sneezing in dogs, just keep calm and do some of the things we mentioned. The dog will be back to normal in no time.


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