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While it may be strange to people who have never been a dog owner, giving your dog kisses is seen as normal by the dog-owning community! Our dogs show their love for us through licks and cuddles, but we can also show our love for them by kissing. Sometimes, they can do the silliest things when we show our affection to them, but you might also find that they sneeze when you give them a little kiss.
Sneezing isn’t a daily thing for us humans, so you might find yourself thinking, “Why does my dog sneeze when I kiss him?”
There are many reasons why your dog might sneeze when you kiss them. Some of the reasons relate to their mood like wanting to play or liking the attention. Other reasons include having allergies or a cold. Your dog might even sneeze simply because they are in a certain position that causes them to sneeze.
These are just a few reasons why your dog sneezes when you kiss them, so let’s take a deeper dive into the reasons listed and some additional ones!
Reason 1: Your Dog Is Feeling Playful
One second, you’re cuddling your pup and then you give them a kiss. The next second, they seem all energized and ready to do something!
Your dog might sneeze when you kiss them because they are feeling playful.
You might not think that sneezing is a sign of any emotion, but for dogs, sneezing can mean something. Sneezing can be a sign of play to dogs. Dog owners will notice that when their pup plays with another dog, they tend to sneeze and snort a lot. This is like their way of saying that they’re not actually fighting, but rather, they are showing that they don’t intend to hurt each other.
When you give your dog a kiss and then you notice that they sneeze and then seem energized, it may be a sign that your pup wants to play or thinks you want to play. You can show your dog some more affection just by spending more time with them playing!
Check out these two adorable pups showing their playfulness through sneezes and snorts:
Reason 2: Your Dog Likes The Attention
When another person sneezes, it’s pretty common to show politeness by saying, “Bless you,” or something similar. Similarly, dog owners will often say the same thing to their dogs when their dogs sneeze or do other things to acknowledge them.
Your dog might sneeze after you kiss them because they like the attention they get for sneezing.
When your dog sneezes, do you give them some attention? Maybe you give them another kiss, a few pats on the head, or even just start talking to them. If so, it is likely that your dog sneezes for attention.
Depending on your reaction, your dog might sneeze after you kiss them because they realize that’s one way to get your attention. They might feel that they don’t get enough or just want a little more extra time with you.
If you think this is the case with your dog and why they sneeze after you kiss them, try spending some time throughout the day with your dog. You can take them out for an additional quick walk or try different interactive toys. If your dog is asking for attention at times where they don’t actually need it, you can ignore them when they show signs of seeking attention.
Reason 3: Your Dog Has Allergies
While many new dog owners don’t realize it, dogs are similar to humans in many ways! From emotions to actions, your pup is more similar to you than you might think.
Your dog might sneeze when you kiss them because they have allergies.
No, they are not allergic to your kissing! However, they might be allergic to something around the room or general area. You might have just happened to have kissed your dog right before they needed to sneeze.
Dogs can be allergic to many different things. Some are more common allergies such as food allergies that include eggs, dairy, chicken, and even beef. Other non-food allergies include grass, some cleaning products, perfumes, and certain medications.
Interestingly, certain dog breeds are more prone to having allergies than others. You can read this article to find out if your fur baby is one (or more) of those breeds. If you’re concerned about your pup has allergies, it is best to visit your veterinarian with any questions.
Reason 4: A Smell Is Bothering Your Dog
Although dogs love to pick up or smell the weirdest and, sometimes, the most disgusting things, they can also find some things nasty or bothersome. Some scents just tickle your fur baby’s nose and they don’t like it!
Your dog might sneeze after you kiss them because a certain smell is bothering them- and it could be something in your breath. Like with allergies mentioned above, you might have happened to have kissed them right before they needed to sneeze because of a scent.
If you think your dog sneezed after you kissed them because of a certain smell, figuring out what the smell is and where it’s coming from can help you move it away from your dog.
Watch this short video to see a dog sneeze after sniffing vinegar for the first time:
Reason 5: Your Dog Has A Cold
When it comes to sneezing, it often is a sign of getting sick. The same can be applied to your dog!
Your dog might sneeze after you kiss them because they might have a cold. Once again, a sneeze might have been coming up and your kiss helped your dog let it out!
Dogs can get colds just like humans can. But, they just can’t use words to tell us if they’re not feeling well. If everything around the area is just as it always is, but your pup is sneezing a lot more than usual, they might be coming up with a cold.
How do you know if your dog has a cold or is about to come up with one?
Your dog’s sneezing isn’t the only sign. The sneezing might also be paired up with a list of other symptoms like coughing or having a runny nose.
However, other signs like lethargy and loss of appetite can be a sign of something more serious. This article by the American Kennel Club (AKC) lists other symptoms and other possible conditions your pup might have like kennel cough, which is common in those who were in a shelter.
Reason 6: Your Dog’s Breed Might Cause Them To Sneeze More
Just as some dog breeds are more prone to allergies than others, some breeds are built in a way that causes them to sneeze more than other breeds.
Your dog might sneeze after you kiss them because their breed makes them more prone to sneezing.
Dogs with flat muzzles are considered brachycephalic breeds. These include but are not limited to dogs like pugs and bulldogs. Because of their short muzzles, their nasal passages are more compressed compared to breeds with longer snouts. This causes them to sneeze more.
Unfortunately, these breeds are also susceptible to a condition called brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome, also known as BOAS. BOAS causes dogs to have difficulty breathing because of how narrow their nasal passages are. Not only can this lead to more sneezing, but it can lead to a long list of other issues for these dogs including overheating.
If you are thinking of getting one of these breeds from a breeder, it is especially important to find a reliable and ethical one (with any breed as well) who knows about BOAS and breeds to help the dogs have better nasal passages.
Reason 7: Your Dog Is In A Certain Position
You notice your dog looking adorable laying upside down. You give them a quick kiss and suddenly your pup lets out a surprising sneeze!
Your dog might sneeze after you kiss them because they are in a certain position.
Laying down on their back can cause mucus and the other things in your dog’s nose to run down. It just keeps going until a big sneeze is let out. If you kissed your dog while they are laying in this position, chances are that they sneezed not because of your kiss, but because of the position they were in when you kissed them.
You might have picked them up suddenly to give them a kiss. The sudden movement might have caused the mucus in their nose to move around in a way that tickled their nose. This can also cause your dog to sneeze!
Is The Behavior Something To Worry About?
Sneezing is a normal part of life! It is usually not something to worry about. However, sneezing may also be a sign of something wrong for your pup.
If you suspect that your pup is sneezing because they have a cold or because they might have an allergy you are unaware of, contacting your veterinarian is always the best option. They can help you navigate your way through your dog’s cold or allergy along with any other concerns you may have.
Like with humans, sneezing is a normal part of our lives and some dogs seem to get excited when anyone sneezes including you! However, it is important to notice if it could be a sign of something more serious.
Observing your dog’s behavior can be beneficial to your relationship. Knowing your dog’s normal behavior can let you know if they aren’t feeling well or if something else is wrong. Dogs can’t speak to us in our own languages, but they use body language and behavior to communicate. Our body language also lets them know that they can trust us in times of need.
Better communication and trust with our dogs can lead to both you and your dog living happy and healthy lives together!