Skip to Content

9 Odd Reasons Why Your Dog Sneezes In The Morning + 5 Tips

Why Does My Dog Sneeze In The Morning

Achoo here, achoo there.

Your pooch is having a sneezing fit early in the morning.

They only do this during this particular time of the day.

So this puts one big question mark in your head.

“Why are they doing this?”

Keep reading to learn more and find out:

  • What makes your dog sneeze in the morning.
  • 5 tips on how to make them stop from doing this.
  • When you should be alarmed by their sneezing fit.
  • 5 different scenarios of canines puffing air explained.
  • Different colors of nasal discharge and their possible meanings.
  • And a lot more…

Why does my dog sneeze in the morning?

Your dog sneezes in the morning because they’re clearing their nose, trying to get your attention, or excited to greet you and go outside. This could also be due to irritation caused by dirt, foreign objects, and strong odors. And a result of an allergic reaction to dust mites, mold, and pollen.

9 reasons why your dog sneezes in the morning

#1: They’re saying hello

Does your pooch always greet you with a sneeze in the morning?

If so, they might be telling you “good morning!” or “hello!”

Dogs create different sounds to communicate with us and other canines. Some love to bark, while others howl or bay.

So as strange as it may sound, puffing air can be their way of expressing themselves too.

Weird (but cute!), isn’t it?

But canines aren’t only the ones who are using it for communication.

One study discovered that wild dogs sneeze to vote.

It’s like a poll, and researchers observed this before hunting. If there are more achoos in the pack, it means that the majority wants to go.

However, it’ll depend on the situation.

Because they also found that if a ‘top dog’ started the rally (voting), just 3 sneezes would set them off to hunt.

But if a ‘subordinate’ begins it, it’ll take about 10 before they embark.

You might also like: Why does my dog bark when I arrive home?

#2: They’re bursting with excitement

Excited Dog Sneezes In The Morning

Your pooch often lets out a sneeze or two when you’re about to go out in the morning.

“Is something wrong with them?”

If they don’t do this nonstop, chances are, it’s only out of excitement.

So don’t worry much.

Your pooch is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as they’ve recharged through the night.

Their energy is at its peak during the morning. And they’re thrilled to have a nice walk after a long sleep.

“But why do they sneeze?”

Experts say it’s equivalent to “I’m having fun right now!” or “I mean no harm, let’s play.”

They also call it ‘play sneeze.’ So your dog may also do it whenever you’re playing outside or having fun together.


Some say that they do it involuntarily.

This is because their nose gets scrunched up when they’re excited. And this triggers sneezing.

Read next: 11 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Hyper In The Morning + 3 Tips

#3: Their nose is filled with dust

Does your pooch sleep near a window or a carpet?

It’s also possible that they inhaled dirt or dust throughout the night. And how do we clear our nose when it gets stuffy?

We sneeze, right? And it’s also the same for dogs.

Usually, you can find more dust on window sills. So they might also sneeze after you open the windows in the morning.

Although we clean our houses every day, dust builds up quickly. And there could also be some areas that we forget to wipe, such as:

  • Bed frames.
  • Lampshades.
  • Open cabinets.
  • Below the furniture.
  • Grills of an air conditioner.

What are the dangers of inhaling dust?

One research reveals that household dust is made of:

  • Hairs.
  • Fibers.
  • Pollens.
  • Insects.
  • Dead skins.

These tiny particles can trigger asthma or allergies in dogs. And those with respiratory problems are at high risk.

Also, dust produced by sanding wood or drilling drywall is even more harmful. This may irritate or poison anyone, including us.

#4: There are dust mites on their bed

Does your pooch also have a runny nose or watery eyes?

And do they also scratch and lick excessively?

If yes, they might be having an allergic reaction due to dust mites. And it’s common for them to show more symptoms in the morning.

Researchers say that apart from sneezing, itchy skin is also one clear sign of this. So you may notice redness on their:

  • Feet.
  • Groin.
  • Head.

Specialists found that these tiny bugs thrive in places with 68 °F to 77 °F (20 °C to 25 °C) temperatures.

These mites feed on human and animal dander, so they usually dwell on:

  • Pillows.
  • Furniture.
  • Mattresses.

And this could be the reason why your dog always sneezes upon waking up.

Check out also: Why does my dog rub against me like a cat?

#5: High pollen count

As flowers bloom and grasses grow, pollens are also released into the air.

And your dog might have breathed some. So it triggered their seasonal allergy or ‘hay fever.’

“But why do they only sneeze in the morning?”

This is because there’s more pollen during this time of day. So your pooch can also sneeze a few times while you’re having a morning walk.

Note: VCA Hospitals say that dogs usually start to show seasonal allergy signs between 1 to 3 years old. And each episode may only last up to 4 weeks.

#6: They’re irritated by strong odors

Your Dog Gets Irritated By Strong Odors

When does your dog start doing this?

Irritation is also likely if it happened after changing your detergent brand. As well as trying a new cleaning product.

They’ve been exposed to it after sleeping all night in their newly-washed bedding.

So they might have woken up with an irritated nose. Hence the sneezing.

But does this happen while you’re getting ready in the morning?

The culprit can also be the products you use. Say, hairsprays, perfumes, powder, oils, or shower gels.

And it could be due to their strong scent or chemical properties.

#7: Their nose is tickled by something

Dogs explore the world through their snouts.

Hunting breeds like Retrievers and Spaniels can’t take their nose off the ground.

And if your pooch loves sniffing in the morning, their snout might have picked up something in the room.

It could be a fragment of grass, fur, or twig. So they sneeze to get it out.

#8: They have a cold

Like humans, dogs can have a cold too.

PetMD says that they experience similar symptoms. So your pup might be starting to show some signs like sneezing.

And if they do have this, they’ll also have a fever and reduced appetite.

If this is your situation, you may also think…

Will I get sick if my dog sneezes on me?

The answer is no.

AKC says it works both ways. So they won’t pick up a human cold either.

However, dog-to-dog transmission is possible. So if you have other pets at home, isolate your pooch.

#9: They ‘fake sneeze’ for attention

Lastly, dogs might also do this to get your attention.

Yes, you’ve read it right.

Specialists believe that canines can do this because they want something.

And if it’s in the morning, what could they be asking from you?

It might be a walk, play, or breakfast (or all of the above!).

So you may have a smart Fido who learned that you’d notice them when they sneeze. 

Because well, who doesn’t?

I’m sure we’re all going to be whipped for those little achoos. So your reaction can also reinforce this habit.

Reading tip: Why does my dog bark while I’m eating?

What should I do if my dog keeps sneezing? 5 tips 

#1: Find the triggers

If it seems like an allergy, figure out what’s triggering your dog’s sneeze.

This isn’t going to be easy as you need to do some trial and error first.

For example, if their sneezing stops inside, the irritant could be outdoors. It’s likely pollen so, have your dog checked by a vet for the right medication.

Or, if you suspect allergens inside your house, watch how they behave outdoors. If they seem to be breathing fine compared to indoors, that could be it.

Note: Check their nose too. There might be a foreign body stuck inside it. If it’s possible to remove them, do so. But if it’s risky, bring your dog to the clinic immediately.

#2: Always keep their bed clean

Always Keep Your Dog's Bed Clean

There could be dust mites or fleas in there that cause allergies. So clean and wash it regularly.

Also, vets say that certain cushion fabrics can trigger their reactions.

Instead of synthetic ones, they recommend using beds made of:

  • Hemp.
  • 100% cotton.
  • Woven microfiber.

These materials are chemical-free and resistant to mildew.

Note: Clean and change all of your rugs and sheets as well – pillowcases, bed covers, blankets.

#3: Switch your cleaning products

There could be harmful ingredients for your dog in your detergent or floor cleaner.

So, look into other products that are free from alcohol, bleach, and sulfates.

Organic and non-toxic cleaners like Nature’s Miracle will keep your place dirt-free. And at the same time, you won’t have to worry about your pooch getting irritated.

#4: Avoid allergens during dog walks

Change your usual walking path because the area might be filled with irritants.

Pollen is usually the cause of allergies. So avoid walking your dog near any grass, shrubs, trees, or flowers that contain tons of it. And make them stay on paved areas instead. 

Also, before going out, spray some anti-allergen solution on their fur. Like 

Then after walks, use doggy wet wipes or damp cloth to clean their paws and body. This is to remove any allergens that may have clung to them while they’re outside.

#5: Lessen their outdoor activities

While you’re figuring this out, refrain your pooch from digging in the yard or sniffing outside.

Keep them entertained inside using toys and by playing indoor games. Such as hide and seek (treats) and tug.

People also ask:

Should I be worried if my dog is sneezing?

You shouldn’t worry if your dog is sneezing a few times. And also, if they don’t do this all day. It’s only normal for canines to clear their nose and puff air to show their excitement.

However, you should be alarmed if they frequently sneeze and for a minute or more.

Other signs that could mean something’s wrong with them are:

  • Fever.
  • Lethargy.
  • Runny nose.
  • Facial swelling.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Cracking of nose surface.
  • Thick or bloody discharge.
  • Extreme pawing at their nose.

What does it mean when your dog sneezes a lot?

Your dog sneezes a lot because they might have an allergy. It’s commonly caused by pollens, dust mites, molds, and mildew.

If they do this intensely, they could also be removing a foreign object inside their nose. So they sneeze repeatedly.

And if it’s still stuck, they may go on like this for days.

But, there are also possibilities of:

  • Colds.
  • Infections.
  • Nasal mites.
  • Tumors/polyps.
  • Teeth problems.

5 scenarios of dogs sneezing

#1: Dog sneezing and coughing

Sneezing alone is a result of irritants inside the nose.

But if it comes with coughing, there could be an issue at the back of their nasal cavity or windpipe. And the possible causes in dogs are as follows:

Kennel cough

This is an infectious disease that can be passed to other canines.

It’s the swelling of the trachea (windpipe) and bronchi (airways to the lungs). And its common symptoms are:

  • Gagging.
  • Producing white foam.
  • Constant dry cough (especially at night).

Warning: With proper treatment, this can go away without any problems. But if not taken care of, this may progress to pneumonia which could be deadly.

You might also wonder: Why doesn’t my dog bark?

Fungal infection

When dogs inhale mold spores in the air, there’s also a risk of infection. And this has 2 forms according to VCA.

It could either cause a buildup of mucus or damage the bones of their sinuses.

Canine influenza

Coughing is also one sign of dog flu. And this occurs when viruses affect a canine’s respiratory system.

Some dogs may have mild symptoms. Such as discharge and dry cough. And experts say this can be resolved within 10 to 30 days.

But others may have severe cases. This includes having a fever or pneumonia.

So watch out for other signs like:

  • Red eyes.
  • Weight loss.
  • Restlessness.

#2: Dog sneezing and runny nose

The most common reason for a runny nose in dogs is allergies.

But, they can also have a clear discharge due to overheating.

“Why’s that?”

Vets say that canines don’t sweat all over their bodies as humans do. So they release fluids through their paw pads and noses instead.

But aside from clear ones, they might also release other types of discharge. And based on it, you could tell what’s wrong with them.

  • Clear: Allergy, dog flu, kennel cough
  • Yellow/mucus-like: Infection, foreign bodies, distemper
  • Bloody: Nasal tumors, tooth infection

Note: If your dog’s nose has a bloody discharge, get a soft towel or tissue. Put it close to their snout. Then gently raise their head to hold off the bleeding. Contact your vet and bring them to the clinic at once.

#3: Dog sneezing a lot and shaking head

If they do this, it’s more likely that there are parasites inside their nose. And one possible cause is nasal mites.

These are contagious, so keep your pooch away from other pets.

These bugs stay in dogs’ nasal passages, which irritate them. And this is why you’ll notice intense sneezing. As well as occasional nose bleeds.

Another reason is an ear infection.

Your pooch is having discomfort in their ears, so they’re trying to get rid of it. Hence the shaking of their head.

Aside from parasites, this could be due to fungi or bacteria.

#4: Dog sneezing and wheezing

When their airways get blocked, canines may also wheeze.

And this whistling sound might be caused by:

  • Asthma.
  • Allergies.
  • Infections.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Kennel cough.
  • Foreign bodies.
  • Collapsed trachea (windpipe).

Viruses and allergens can cause swelling. And these may result in difficulty in breathing.

Note: If a dog has a collapsed trachea, they’ll produce a ‘honking’ sound. This could be fatal, so they need to be brought to the hospital asap.

#5: Small dog sneezing

If a small breed is doing this frequently, and it sounds different…

It could be ‘reverse sneezing.’

This might be similar to a honking goose or a snorting pig. But other dogs may also sound like they’re holding a sneeze like this:

Smaller dogs like Chihuahuas and Terriers are more prone to this. As well as brachycephalic breeds (flat-faced ones) like Pugs and Bulldogs.

“Why do they do this?”

Dogs will reverse sneeze due to:

  • Irritants.
  • Allergens.
  • Excitement.
  • Foreign bodies.

And this can occur often and may last up to 30 seconds.

Don’t fret. This is entirely harmless, like a normal sneeze. It sounds strange because it’s done oppositely.

Instead of exhaling, they inhale rapidly. And this causes the snorting sound.

So it might look like they’re gasping for air even though they’re not. 

How can I help them?

Gently massage their neck or throat to calm the irritation. Holding their nostrils for a second might also do the work.

For further reading: Why do Chihuahuas reverse sneeze?

BONUS: Dog sneezes when mad

Your pooch looks at you.

Then sneezes out of displeasure.

“Are they mad at me?”

It could be. Because as said earlier, this might also be a form of communication.

So dogs may sneeze when you stopped petting them or didn’t let them sit with you. And other scenarios where they can be disappointed.

Some canines who are trained not to bark might also express themselves in other ways.

This results in creating unusual sounds, which explains their chuffs, whines, and deep sighs. 

Interesting fact: According to science, certain human emotions can also trigger sneezing. For instance, anger and loneliness could make the nasal membranes swell. While fear causes them to shrink.