The Root of the Behavior
A sneeze that is involuntary and done to remove an object tends to be more intense and come from deep in his chest. It also releases fluids like mucus and saliva from his nose and mouth. Dogs use their snouts to investigate their world, so chances are pretty great that they will get something foreign in their nose that they need to sneeze out. Nasal mites are often found in dirt and can enter your dog’s snout easily during one of his curious ‘nosing around’ moments. A nasal mite infestation will cause your dog a lot of discomfort, itching, sneezing, and even some bleeding. Your household also contains many potential irritants for your dog’s snout including cleaning products, smoke, and dust. He could also be suffering from allergies or canine flu.
A reverse sneeze, called mechanosensitive aspiration reflex, is a common occurrence but not necessarily a sneeze. A reverse sneeze is a rapid inhalation that can sound like your dog is having an asthma attack or choking. Typically, the reverse sneeze causes your dog to throw his head back and make a strange honking sound. Lhasa Apsos, Pugs, Boston Terriers, Shih Tzus, and other small breeds commonly have a reverse sneeze reaction.
If your dog’s sneezing is accompanied by a thick green or yellow discharge from his eyes, nose, or mouth then there is an underlying health issue that needs medical attention. Insect bites could cause an allergic reaction and sneezing, and might also cause his face to swell. If you see any swelling, he needs to be monitored. If it increases, you need to take him to the vet.