Why Does My Dog Sneeze When I Kiss Him? (6 Reasons)

If you have a dog at home, you must have noticed how adorable it looks when it sneezes. You will know it’s coming when your dog’s facial expression changes, with its eyes squeezed and nose almost shut – just as we do.

Well, there are endless reasons as to why your dog may sneeze. Perhaps he has caught a cold. It could be allergies. He’s just smelt something interesting. The reasons are unending.

Now have you ever had your dog sneeze when you went on to kiss him? It must have left you wandering. Right? Read on to know why your dog does the same.

7 Possible Causes Behind Canine Sneezing

Before we get to why a dog sneezes when you kiss him, it is important to know the reasons for your dog’s sneezing. Here are some of them. Take a look!

1. Because of Environmental Allergies

Dogs closely replicate humans in this regard. Just as we often sneeze when we are allergic to any smell in our surroundings, dogs do the same. Perhaps they have dug dirt or gotten their nose into the grass. Maybe that strong smell of your perfume or the pungent smell of a house cleaning product triggered your dog’s olfactory senses, making him cough and sneeze.

Some dust could have gotten into his nose when the house was being cleaned, resulting in coughs, and sneezes.

2. It’s Their Way of Communication

It’s Their Way of Communication

Dogs use several verbal and non-verbal cues to communicate with each other and their human friends. Some verbal modes of communication include yips, whines, barks, growls, and so on. Did you know that sneezing is another way of communication used by dogs? If your pup is too happy or slightly disappointed, he’ll express it through those soft, cute sneezes.

3. They are Trying to Seek Attention

If your dog sneezes too often, you must identify whether it’s genuine or a fake sneeze to attract your attention. If your dog sneezes during mealtime or when you take it out on a walk, that could mean it needs something. It may be sneezing to grab your attention. Such attention-seeking dogs may sneeze on you or close to you, so it’s hard to ignore.

4. In Pursuit of Play

In Pursuit of Play

It’s a common tendency in dogs to sneeze during play with their owners or other dogs. You could call it play sneezing to show that they are enjoying themselves and are also excited. Moreover, if your dog is playing and happy, his lips are often curled up. 

When your dog curls his lips, it may, by default, cause his nose to squeeze. Resultantly it may trigger a sneezing bout. If your dog is involved in a play sneeze, that will come from his nose, not his lungs. It isn’t something serious that you should be worried about.

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5. It Could Be Breed-Specific

If you have flat-faced dogs like Pugs, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, or Boston Terriers, then chances are that they will sneeze a lot. The reason is that their nasal passages are compressed, which triggers sneezing.

6. It’s Due to Their Strong Smelling Ability

It’s Due to Their Strong Smelling Ability

Dogs have powerful noses, which gives them a strong sense of smell. It could be that they smelt something weird or came across something interesting, like a hidden treat. It may have triggered their olfactory senses, leading to sneezing.

7. Because of a Health Problem

The most typical reason why we sneeze is when we have a cold or a runny nose. The same goes for your dog as well. It may have caught a cold, which is why it’s sneezing so often. Your pet would also show other signs like watery eyes, troubled breathing, and sedentary behavior.

Untreated dental problems are another cause of sneezing in dogs. When your dog has a mouth or gum tumor, dental abscess, or an infected tooth, it will probably sneeze a lot.

Does A Dog Like Being Kissed?

Does A Dog Like Being Kissed

Most dogs enjoy the love of their owners and would love it when the latter shower them with endless affection. They would for sure enjoy your cuddles and belly rubs. They’ll even enjoy kisses as well, though it varies from one breed to the other.

The companion and lap breed of dogs love to be kissed. They may even reciprocate their owner’s love by licking them.

However, some dominant breeds detest kissing, like the Chihuahua and Akita. They could interpret the same as a threatening gesture from the owner’s end. That’s why it is always advisable not to hug, kiss or show affection to your dog suddenly. It may scare them immensely. They may even end up biting you out of anxiety. You must first understand your dog’s body language and then show affection towards him.

Proper socialization training since his puppy days will also make your dog more accepting of different situations and people. If he understands commands well, you may teach him many things, like how to hug and kiss on cue, how to give a high-five, and so on.

So, when you kiss your dog, if he sits quietly, raises his tail, or puffs his chest out, it means he acknowledges and accepts your kisses. Whereas, if you find your canine snapping, snarling, or showing signs of fear, it may mean that your kiss is stressing him out.

Why Does My Dog Sneeze When I Kiss Him? 6 Possible Reasons

You are about to kiss your dog, and he responds to your love and affection by sneezing. That will for sure leave you stressed and agonized. Before you panic, you need to know the reasons behind the same. Read on to know more:

1. Your Dog Might Be Amused and Happy

Your Dog Might Be Amused and Happy

As mentioned, sneezing is one of the ways your dog uses to express his happiness, agonies, and other emotions as well. When you kiss your dog, he enjoys your love and attention. It amuses him, and to reciprocate your love, he sneezes.

To express his happiness, he may also show other gestures like giving a soft gaze, wagging his tail, and even resting his ears against his head. You will also see your dog trying to smile, perhaps, with its mouth open, the corners turned up, and some teeth also visible.

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2. He’s In a Playful Mood

As mentioned above, dogs sneeze while playing. So, if they perceive your kissing as a game, your dog would sneeze happily to let you know they are enjoying it. They’ll appear excited, and it will be evident through their relaxed body gestures.

3. It Could Be the Allergies

It Could Be the Allergies

Your kissing doesn’t make your dog allergic. But it could be some scent in the room, dust, or something else that led to allergic reactions in your dog. Maybe you kissed your pup when it was about to sneeze due to the environmental allergens in its surroundings. If allergies cause your dog’s sneeze, it will have watery eyes and indulge in licking its fur because of itchiness.

4. Your Dog May Be Stressed

While your kiss might make your dog happy, it could also stress your dog. If you start kissing it out of the blue, it could make it difficult for your dog to comprehend what’s happening. Being unable to fathom your behavior, he may feel stressed. It could cause your dog to sneeze.

He may display his anxiousness in other ways, like raising his ears in alertness, dilating his pupil, and blinking rapidly. He may even keep his tail tucked between his legs to show he is stressed.

5. Your Dog Belongs to Breeds that Sneeze a Lot

Your Dog Belongs to Breeds that Sneeze a Lot

If you have a Pug, French Bulldog, Boston Terrier, or any of the flat-faced breeds, then it’s obvious that they’ll sneeze a lot more than other breeds because of their noses and mouth structure.

A brachycephalic breed is more prone to sneezing when you try to kiss it or due to other triggers.

6. It Could Be the Smell

As discussed above, dogs have a strong sense of smell. So, they will respond with a sneeze whenever they sense something unusual that irritates their nose. It could be that whenever you go near to kiss your dog, the smell of your perfume or cologne makes your pooch allergic. It triggers sneezing and leaves you wondering about your dog’s behavior.

How To Determine The Reason For Your Dog’s Sneezing

How To Determine The Reason For Your Dog’s Sneezing

Like humans, dogs will also sneeze if something has gotten into their noses or as a reaction to an allergen in the environment.

It’s, however, a matter of concern if your canine sneezes continuously and shows other signs of discomfort. So, when you find your dog sneezing when you kiss him or at other times, you must find out why. It will help you to solve his concern.

  • If your dog is allergic to something in his surroundings, he will not just sneeze but have watery eyes. He will even indulge in licking or scratching its fur because of itchiness.
  • When your dog sneezes while playing with its pals or human friends and has no other symptoms, it indicates they’re play-sneezing. Your dog will even display his happiness through his body and facial gestures.
  • If your dog starts sneezing whenever you are around or even sneezes close to your face, that means he is trying to attract your attention. Dogs do other things also to grab their owner’s attention. They will jump on their owners or even paw at them when busy with something else.
  • Does your dog sneeze whenever it’s time for a meal, a walk, or play? Well, if he does just that but shows no other symptoms of discomfort, then there isn’t much to worry about. He’s communicating and expressing his happiness.

You would have to watch your dog’s body language and signs. If your dog is sneezing and shows other signs like lessened appetite, restlessness, and so on, do not delay consulting a vet. Your dog might be suffering from an underlying condition that must be addressed immediately.

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3 Ways To Prevent Or Minimize Sneezing During Affection

If your dog sneezes whenever you kiss, cuddle, or show affection toward him, that may get you to think about the problem. Once you identify the cause, you could work towards minimizing it. Here are things to try from your end to prevent or lessen your dog’s sneezing during affection.

1. Avoid Any Sudden Display of Affection

Avoid Any Sudden Display of Affection

Dogs differ from one another when it comes to accepting and acknowledging affection. If you suddenly pick up your dog and start kissing, it’s natural for it to feel anxious and overwhelmed. It will take some time for it to process what is going on.

Your dog might sneeze and show other signs of anxiety to express its stressful mind. Some dogs could also bite their owners out of stress if hugged, kissed, or cuddled suddenly.

So, it’s necessary to call your dog at first, calm him down, and start with gentle pats before you kiss or hug him. Prepare him for the affection, and then show the same.

2. Train the Dog in a Way That it Learns to Accept Kissing And Other Gestures of Affection

You could even train your dog to accept kissing from your end through positive reinforcement techniques. If your dog is trained to follow commands, you can teach cues like ‘Kiss”. If he starts doing the same by licking you or responding in other ways, then reward him with a treat and praise.

3. Check for Medical Conditions

Check for Medical Conditions

If your dog sneezes quite often, not just when you try to kiss him but at other times, something might be wrong with his health. It would help if you kept a watch on his symptoms.

 Does he have difficulty in breathing? Does your dog drool a lot? Is he showing symptoms like vomiting or a stomach upset? In that case, you should get your dog checked at once. It could be allergies, dental problems, or even respiratory issues.


What is reverse sneezing in dogs? Why do they reverse sneeze?

As the name suggests, reverse sneezing is just the opposite of regular sneezing. While in regular sneezing, the air is exhaled out of the nose. In reverse sneezing, the dog pulls air into his nose rapidly.
The exact cause of reverse sneezing is unknown. But, in dogs, it may occur due to inhalation of allergens like smoke, pollen, grasses, mud, strong odors, etc.

Can you kiss your dog on the head and nose?

Soft, gentle kisses on your dog’s head are a way through which you can show affection to your canine. Dogs will also find the gesture to be a comforting one. However, kissing your dog’s nose isn’t the best thing to do.
Your dog’s nose and mouth could be infested with viruses or bacteria, particularly when he has an infection. So, when you kiss your dog, you could be at risk of infection.


As a pet parent, you would want to show your pup how much you love him by showering him with cuddles, hugs, and kisses. Well, if your dog responds well, then it’s fine. Suppose he doesn’t. Do not get disheartened. There are other ways too in which you may bond with him. You could play with your dog or take him on long walks. If you have a hardy breed, he may also be your hiking partner. That would be fun, indeed.

You could even shower them with treats and love when they have achieved a task. However, ensure that you do not overdo it while loving them, lest your dog could suffer from separation anxiety when you aren’t around.