English Bulldog sneezingI’ve been visiting Petland Naperville for a little while now. Every time I have a question on any particular breed, there is a knowledgeable Pet Counselor who will find the answers for me. I know that there are other puppy stores out there, but I have really grown to rely on the Pet Counselors at Petland Naperville, because they always have answers for any questions I can come up with. Today, I had what I thought would be a difficult question—why is my dog always sneezing? Sure enough, the Pet Counselor immediately started answering my question.

Dogs, I found out, are just like humans. Just like we sneeze whenever something irritates our nasal passages, so do dogs. It doesn’t mean that you have a sick dog; most of the time it is simply a reaction to some foreign matter (hair, dust, etc.) that has been sniffed up your dog’s nose.

Here’s another interesting fact: there are such things as dog allergies! Again, just like humans, these allergies can be seasonal (think pollen count), or grass-related. Depending on the time of year, there are different kinds of outdoor allergies. Pay attention to if you notice your dog sneezing in the late spring/early summer (tree pollen), the middle of the summer (grass pollen), or fall (weeds), and you can figure out what dog allergies your pup has. Additional symptoms your dog might display are chewing his feet, scratching himself, and having watery eyes. Your vet might even prescribe human medicine (think Benadryl) for your dog if you ask him.

petland naperville basset hound and chihuahuaThe Pet Counselor warned me, however, that not all sneezing is attached to an allergy. If there is any gunky discharge from the nose (think yellow and green), it could be the sign of a dog virus instead. Also, if there is any bloody discharge, it would be a good idea to have your dog seen by your vet. It could be that you have a sick dog that has a bacterial infection, a dog virus, or simply dog allergies. In any case, it is better to err on the side of caution rather than try to “play doctor” and diagnose something unusual.

Something very important to note is that if your dog keeps sneezing, it could be the sign of something more—dogs are known to “sniff” things up their noses. Sometimes these things get stuck up their noses, and unless they are removed they will cause the dog to continually sneeze. “If you notice excessive sneezing,” the Pet Counselor said, “You probably should notify your vet.”  A treasure trove of information, Petland Naperville once again took my thought to be difficult question and answered it with ease.