Dog Training

You should know these 5 tips against backward sneezing in dogs

What exactly is reverse sneezing in dogs and where does it come from? What can you do and how dangerous is it really? We show you that and more. In addition, we have for this article advice from the veterinarian Emin Jasarevic. So be curious.

Dog sneezes
Table of contents

The jerky intake of air often looks like an asthma attack or choking. But don't worry, it's quite normal and has no serious consequences.

What is reverse sneeze?

Reverse sneezing (also called reverse coughing), is not a disease. Rather, it is a phenomenon that occurs mainly in dogs and rarely in cats.

In a normal sneeze, air is expelled from the nose in a jerky manner. Backward sneezing is exactly the opposite: The dog draws in the air noisily through the nose

Of course, this looks unusual for the owner, because it does not happen with ourselves. Often this phenomenon is even taken for the harbingers of an asthma attack or one is afraid that his four-legged friend suffocates.

But these worries need not be, because as a rule, sneezing backwards is completely harmless. 

Just as quickly as it came, it is gone again. And your protégé is fine afterwards, as if nothing had happened.

Backward sneeze sounds like a short snore or rattle. Your darling is usually in a tense posture and raises his head slightly. In some cases he even has to handed over.

Sneezing is unexpected for both the owner and the dog. That is why your protégé usually reacts anxiously himself.

If you observe backwards sneezing in your furry friend, you should calm him down rather than panic yourself.

Which dogs are affected?

Basically, backwards sneezing can happen to any dog. It is after all a Reflex as well as the normal sneezing. 

However, it is more common in some quadrupeds. This is probably due to the shape and size of the trachea and larynx. 

Smaller furry noses with a shorter neck are more often affected. This is because they often also have a smaller larynx and a narrower trachea.

These are the triggers

Backward sneezing can have many causes. That is why it is also very difficult for the owner to identify the trigger. 

It occurs more frequently when the quadrupeds are in the middle of a exciting situation are located. When romping around, playing or by excessive joy. In addition, it can happen directly after the Eat or Drinking occur.

From time to time can also Fragrances like perfume, room spray or Detergent be the reason.

In rare cases, the reverse sneeze is caused by a Inflammation in the throat or spasms of the throat muscles triggered.

It makes sense as a keeper to pay attention to the possible triggers. If you know what often triggers the sneezing, you can prevent it. 

For example, you can make your pet eat more slowly. For this there are Anti-snaking bowls.


You don't necessarily have to do anything about it when your pet sneezes backwards. It is nothing dangerous and is usually gone after a few seconds by itself. 

Want to help your faithful companion get rid of those sudden breathing problems faster? Then here are a few simple methods.

Backward sneezing disappears immediately when a swallowing reflex is triggered in the dog. 

You can do this by:

  • massaging his larynx
  • hold his nose for a moment
  • give him a treat
  • gently tapping on his front chest
  • lift him carefully by the rib cage

If these measures do not help or the backward sneezing occurs very frequently. Then you should go to a veterinarian.

If your dog is feeling poorly after the sneezing episodes or there are more frequent breathing problems, then he should be examined. 

This is the only way to rule out the possibility that an illness such as pharyngitis or irritated mucous membranes is the trigger.

Should the vet give the all-clear and your darling has no respiratory problems? Then the frequent backward sneezing could be due to Fragrances per hour.

Dogs have very sensitive noses and react quickly to certain smells. 

It is best to remove room fragrances then. Do not apply strong perfume or use less odorous cleaning products. Then the peculiar sneezing will certainly soon become a rarity again.

Recommendation from the vet

Even if sneezing backwards seems frightening to us at first: it is something quite normal and usually harmless. 

The reflex is triggered by activities such as romping, eating and drinking. It then usually lasts only a few seconds. After that, your darling feels the same as before.

Unfortunately, this causes some dogs to panic. After all, they themselves do not know why they briefly did not get any air. Remain calm. Immediately soothe your protégé by Stroking.

Only if it does not go away even after a somewhat longer time, you should Countermeasures take hold. You can then, for example, trigger a swallowing reflex or gently tap on his chest. 

▶ The most important thing is that you don't worry the next time you sneeze backwards: It is not a disease, nor is it dangerous in any way. It is merely a reflex.

However, if this reflex occurs very often, we advise you to contact your veterinarian. Since in a few cases it can be attributed to a disease in the throat area.

Examined by the veterinarian Emin Jasarevic
Examined by the veterinarian Emin Jasarevic

I am a veterinarian and writer on animal health topics. Animals are my passion and it is my personal concern to create medically accurate articles and videos to inform pet owners as much as possible.

Learn more

Share now:


  1. Thank you, this info has helped me a lot and also reassured me. My dog is a Yorkshire Terrier, 15 years old and healthy. The RW cough has appeared in the morning 6h after waking up and has been gone after 5minutes.
    With warm regards

    1. Have now the fifth puli, two of them had this backwards sneezing. But only today I read something about I am no longer afraid and can wait calmly until the seizure is over.thank you very much

    2. Brigitte te Pas

      I have a pug he is 7 years, scared me every time he has it! But this video has been very helpful thank you!

  2. Birgit Morgenroth

    My Havanneser bitch , 4 years old gets this RW cough once a month . Mostly at night when she sleeps. I have already presented her to the vet, everything is fine. I help her by putting her on her hind legs and calming her down. If it takes a little longer, I fill a small syringe with some water and give it carefully into the side of her mouth. There she must swallow and the cough is gone again.

  3. Kerstin with Chicca

    Thanks for the info,
    My bitch 14 years old, the backward sneezing occurred about 6 months ago for the first time. I am very scared, because she never had it before, but now more and more often. I will try the tips and go to the vet to be on the safe side.

    1. HUNDEO editorial office

      Dear Kerstin, thank you for your message. Especially with dogs of advanced age it is always advisable to visit the vet to be on the safe side.

  4. Hi, my bolonka girl 5 months old has this too. It's my first dog and I was totally panicked by such a noise until I found this great article. She has it mostly after drinking water, but I am heal glad that it is only for a few seconds and if it should get worse, I have now received through the article a couple of super tips.

  5. Hello, my little dachshund lady knows this too. It always happens when she thinks she has to put her whole head into a molehill and then sniff around to see if the mole is still nearby. But the two of us are already a well-rehearsed team. She keeps still and I briefly hold her nose and everything is good again....Till the next hill ????

  6. Monika Ziesemer

    My Podenco dog has had it for a few years. At first we thought it was kennel cough. Now, after reading this article, I am reassured that it is not kennel cough. I always pet her and calm her down and it goes away after a few seconds. Then she feels better again. Thank you very much.

  7. Jolene Clemmons

    My 15 year old papillon has been reversing sneezing since he ate at 8:30 this morning when he coughed will eating, I have tried all your suggestions and nothing is working, any suggestions?

    1. Mine from Hundeo

      Hi Jolene, especially if older dogs have more and more recurring symptoms, a veterinarian should be contacted immediately.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *