9 Reasons Why Dogs Sneeze On Their Back

Sneezing is a pretty common activity found among dogs. Scientifically speaking, it is a kind of immune response to a foreign body in the nasal area. This foreign element may be dust, pollen, some chemicals, vapors, etc.

Why do dogs sneeze on their back?

When your dog sneezes, it results in the expulsion of that foreign particle through the air. It is an involuntary act, much like that of human beings.

There can be many occasions when your dog sneezes. One of the times when your dog sneezes is when he is on his back, which amuses many people. Why do dogs sneeze on their back? Let’s discuss the most common reasons for this!

1. Due To A Particular Position

Often, dog lovers report that their dogs sneeze more often when they lie on their back. It happens because they are in a position where airborne particles easily enter the nasal passage.

Particles like dust, pollen, or a foxtail seed fall directly into their nostrils. These particles make their way through the sinus cavity. Even sometimes reaches up to the eyes or brain.

2. Snorting, Not Sneezing

Sometimes it may be simple snorting that is usually confused with sneezing. Sneezing and snorting seem the same, especially when there is a case of reverse sneezing.

Generally, due to some obstruction caused by any object, it leads to snorting, which is confused with sneezing.

3. Environment Around

There may be things around your dog, making him sneeze. We know that a lying position is best to get particles inside. So, when your dog is lying on his back and over the ceiling, there is lots of dust.

There might be products dispersed in the air like powder, perfumes, deodorants, paints, etc. All can be the reasons for your dog sneezing.

4. Showing You The Trust

When your dog plays between sneezing and snorting, then she probably shows you the trust. Your dog manifests that she wants to play with you and won’t bite you.

It may also happen when your pet is most excited and wants you to be around him. So it is a sort of communication behavior in your dog.

5. Mucus From Their Mouth And Nose

Many times, water from their noses and mouth become the cause of sneezing when they lie on their back. The thin mucus flows down in the nose when a dog turns over on its back. And it gets filled inside the sinuses, then reaches a nerve.

This fluid irritates the nerve and results in a sneeze reflex, leading to sneezing. The probability of this fluid getting inside is more when your dogs lie on their back.

6. To Catch Your Attention

Your dog may fake sneeze to get your attention. Maybe through this, dogs tell you that they are hungry, want to play, and want you not to ignore them. If your dog does this around mealtime, then most probably they are faking sneeze.

Rugaas, the Norwegian author and a dog trainer, says that there are many ways through which your dog communicates. One of these ways is sneezing, which she calls calming signals.

They try to convince you that they aren’t harmful.

7. Particular Breed

If you have a particular type of dog breed like Brachycephalic breeds, Bulldogs, Pugs, you will notice that your pet is sneezing more than other dogs do.

And this is also true when your dog is lying on its back because these breeds tend to have narrow nasal passages. It gets filled with mucus and dirt. Moreover, longer-nosed breeds are more prone to tumors due to secondhand smoke.

8. Gums And Tooth Problems

When your dog lies back, there are chances of drainage from the oral space to the nasal pathway. The third premolar has roots that are very near to the nasal passage. Thus, if this area has some infection, there are chances of passing infection, which may trigger sneezing.

You can make your pet sit upright; this way, you can stop drainage. For a long-term solution, consult your vet and get the tooth and gums issue treated.

9. Photic Reflex

If most of the time your dog sneezes while lying back and you have taken him outside, then probably the most common cause may be a photic reflex. When he is looking up at the bright sky or staring at the light or sun, he is most likely to sneeze.

It happens with many other animals and humans too. The reason behind a reflex becoming sensitive is when you walk out from a dark place to a bright area. It causes the person/pet to sneeze multiple times.

What To Do When Your Dog Constantly Sneezes?

In case your dog keeps on sneezing, try this:

  • Massage his throat with your fingertips.
  • Make a few strokes on his chin in a downward direction. Strokes should be gentle enough.
  • You may briefly pinch your dog’s nostrils to clear its way.
  • If this doesn’t work, try to give him some water to drink.

Anyways, if sneezing remains persistent, immediately consult your veterinarian. Your vet may prescribe you the best treatment.


You don’t need to worry about your dog sneezing on its back, but you have to be careful and be a keen observer, as sneezing sometimes indicates underlying problems. There may be possibilities of nasal mites, nasal infections, or even nasal tumors.

When you notice a fit, bleeding, difficulty in breathing, it may be from nasal mite. Ask your vet to prescribe any topical or oral medication. If there is a runny nose or a swelling with pain, it is due to nasal infections.

Bring some antibiotics from your vet. Don’t panic! Just be careful and educate yourself and remain vigilant!