Why Do Dogs Sneeze When Excited?

Have you ever wondered why dogs sneeze when they get excited? Turns out, there’s a reason for this!

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When you get excited, you might start to pant or even feel a little lightheaded. But have you ever noticed that your dog seems to sneeze when they get excited? You might have chalked it up to coincidence, but it turns out there’s a reason for this strange phenomenon.

Dogs sneeze for the same reasons we do: to clear their nasal passages of irritants, allergens, or excess mucus. However, unlike us, they don’t just sneeze when they have a cold or allergies. Dogs can also sneeze when they’re feeling excited, nervous, or even scared.

The excitement-sneeze reflex is more common in dogs than in other animals, but it’s still not fully understood by scientists. It’s thought to be linked to the Vagus nerve, which runs from the brain stem all the way down to the heart and intestines. This nerve controls many important functions in the body, including respiration and heart rate. It’s also believed to play a role in the “flight or fight” response that helps animals (and humans) survive dangerous situations.

In dogs, the Vagus nerve is thought to be connected to both the respiratory and digestive systems. When a dog gets excited, their Vagus nerve is stimulated, which can cause them to sneeze. This reflex is usually harmless and doesn’t mean that your dog is sick. In fact, it’s often seen as a sign of happiness or excitement!

The Science Behind Why Dogs Sneeze When Excited

When you see your dog sneeze, it’s probably pretty darn adorable. But have you ever wondered why they do it? While a sneeze in humans is often the body’s reaction to something irritating the nasal passages, that’s not necessarily the case for dogs. In canines, sneezing is often due to excitement or a change in temperature — and it’s perfectly normal.

“Dogs sneeze for the same reason we do,” Board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Lisa Radosta tells The Dodo. “A ‘ticklish’ sensation in the nose causes an autonomic reflex, which is an unconscious action.”

In other words, when dogs get excited, their autonomic nervous system — which controls all of the body’s functions that we don’t have to think about, like keeping our heart rate steady — goes into overdrive. This can cause them to sneeze as part of what’s known as the “machinery of breathing.”

What Does It Mean When Your Dog Sneeze?

When you see your dog sneeze, you might think it’s just a case of the sniffles. However, there are many possible explanations for why your dog might be sneezing. It could be anything from a simple reaction to a foreign object in the nose to a more serious condition such as allergies or pneumonia.

One common reason for dogs to sneeze is simply because they have something in their nose, such as dust, dirt, or grass seeds. When this happens, they will usually sneeze once or twice and then stop. If your dog is sneezing more than that, it could be an indication of an infection or allergy.

Allergies are a common cause of sneezing in dogs. Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to pollen, mold, dust, and other airborne irritants. If your dog is sneezing and has other symptoms such as watery eyes or a runny nose, it’s likely that they are allergic to something in their environment.

Pneumonia is another possible explanation for why your dog might be sneezing. Pneumonia is a serious lung infection that can cause difficulty breathing, coughing, and fever. If your dog is displaying these symptoms along with Sneezing, it’s important to take them to the vet right away for treatment.

In most cases, Sneezing is nothing to worry about and will resolve on its own. However, if your dog is also showing other signs of illness such as fever, lethargy, or lack of appetite, it’s important to take them to the vet for an examination.

Is It Normal for Dogs to Sneeze When Excited?

Many dog owners have observed their pet sneezing when they get excited, particularly when they see their owner or another animal. While this may seemodd, it is actually quite normal. When a dog sneezes, it is simply exhaling air forcefully through the nose in order to expel any irritants that may be present.

While sneezing is perfectly normal for dogs, it is important to keep an eye on your pet to make sure that the sneezing does not become excessive or go on for too long. If your dog seems to be sneezing more than usual, or if the sneezes are accompanied by other symptoms such as discharge from the nose or eyes, it is important to take them to see a veterinarian as these could be signs of an underlying medical condition.

What to Do If Your Dog Starts Sneezing When Excited

If your dog suddenly starts sneezing when excited, there could be several underlying causes. Allergies, anatomic abnormalities, infections, and even foreign bodies lodged in the nose are potential causes of this symptom.

The first step in determining the cause of your dog’s sneezing is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a nose-to-tail examination. Once a thorough physical exam has been performed, your vet may recommend additional diagnostic tests such as allergy testing, X-rays, or CT scans to rule out other possible causes.

Treatment for your dog’s sneezing will vary depending on the underlying cause. If allergies are suspected, your vet may recommend a course of allergy shots or antihistamines. For anatomic abnormalities or foreign bodies in the nose, surgery may be necessary to correct the problem. If an infection is present, antibiotics will be prescribed.

In most cases, sneezing is a benign symptom that resolves on its own with time. However, if your dog’s sneezing is severe or persistent, it’s important to have him examined by a veterinarian so that any underlying health problems can be diagnosed and treated promptly.

Home Remedies for When Your Dog Sneezes When Excited

We’ve all seen it before – a dog sneezes when they’re excited. But why does this happen?

There are a few reasons why dogs sneeze when they’re excited. One reason is that they’re trying to release built up energy. When dogs get excited, their heart rate increases and they start to pant. Sneezing helps release that energy and helps them calm down.

Another reason dogs sneeze when they’re excited is because they’re trying to clear their airway. When dogs pant, they take in a lot of air and some of that air can go into their lungs. Sneezing helps clear the airway and allows them to breathe more easily.

There are a few home remedies you can try if your dog sneezes when they’re excited. One is to give them a small treat or piece of food. This will help distract them from their excitement and help calm them down. Another remedy is to pet or rub their head or neck gently. This can also help calm them down by releasing some of that built up energy. Finally, you can try walking or playing with your dog to help release some of their energy and help them calm down.

When to Worry If Your Dog Is Sneezing When Excited

Dogs sneeze for the same reasons we do—to expel irritants from their noses. A dog’s nose is packed with nerve endings, which makes it sensitive to foreign objects and particles. When your dog sniffs something that irritates his nose, he’ll sneeze to try to get rid of the offending substance.

Allergies, both seasonal and year-round, are a common cause of sneezing in dogs. If your dog is sneezing more than usual, and you notice other allergy symptoms like itchiness, watery eyes, or a runny nose, he may be having an allergic reaction. Your vet can prescribe medication to help relieve your dog’s symptoms.

Sneezing can also be a symptom of an infection, either viral or bacterial. If your dog is sneezing and has a fever or is exhibiting other signs of illness, such as loss of appetite, lethargy, or coughing, he should see a vet right away. Infections can be serious and even life-threatening if left untreated.

In some cases, excitement or overexertion can cause dogs to sneeze. If your dog only sneezes when he’s playing hard or running around, there’s no cause for concern. But if he’s sneezing more than usual or if he seems sick otherwise, it’s time to call the vet.

The Bottom Line

It’s really nothing to worry about if your dog sneezes when he gets excited. More than likely, it’s just due to a sudden change in air pressure or temperature, and it doesn’t indicate any sort of health problem. If your dog is sneezing more frequently than usual, or if the sneezing is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any possible issues.

Additional Resources

If you’re looking for more information on this topic, try these resources:

-The American Kennel Club’s website has an article about why dogs sneeze when they’re excited.
-The Dogster website has an article about the top 10 things that make dogs sneeze.
-The Canine Chronicle website has an article about the medical reasons why dogs sneeze.


It’s not completely clear why dogs sneeze when they’re excited, but it’s likely a combination of several factors. For one, excitement can lead to heavy panting, which can cause irritants to enter the nasal passages and trigger a sneeze. Additionally, when dogs are excited, their heart rate increases and blood flow is directed away from the nose, which can also lead to sneezing.

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