How to Treat Reverse Sneezing in Dogs

How to Treat Reverse Sneezing in Dogs

Reverse sneezing, also known as pharyngeal gag reflex, is a common occurrence in dogs that can be quite alarming to their owners. It is characterized by rapid and forceful inhalation through the nose, accompanied by snorting or gagging sounds. While it may look and sound serious, reverse sneezing is usually harmless and can be easily treated at home. Here are a few steps you can take to help your furry friend during a reverse sneezing episode:

1. Remain calm: It is important to stay calm and composed during a reverse sneezing episode. Dogs often pick up on their owner’s emotions, and getting anxious or panicked may exacerbate their distress.

2. Gently massage their throat: By massaging your dog’s throat, you can help alleviate the irritation that triggers the reverse sneezing. Use a circular motion to soothe the area and encourage them to swallow.

3. Offer a drink: Giving your dog a small amount of water can help moisten their throat and reduce the irritation. This can be especially helpful if the reverse sneezing is caused by dryness or allergies.

4. Divert their attention: Distracting your dog during a reverse sneezing episode can help them relax and breathe more easily. Engage them in an activity they enjoy, such as playing with a toy or going for a short walk.

5. Use steam therapy: Steam can help open up your dog’s airways and provide relief from reverse sneezing. You can create a steamy environment by turning on a hot shower and allowing your dog to breathe in the moist air for a few minutes.

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6. Address potential triggers: Identify any potential triggers that may be causing the reverse sneezing, such as allergens or irritants in their environment. Try to minimize their exposure to these triggers to prevent future episodes.

7. Consult a veterinarian: While reverse sneezing is generally harmless, it is always a good idea to consult your veterinarian if the episodes become frequent or severe. They can help determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment if necessary.


1. Is reverse sneezing dangerous for dogs?
Reverse sneezing is usually harmless, but if it becomes frequent or severe, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian.

2. What causes reverse sneezing in dogs?
Reverse sneezing can be triggered by various factors, including allergies, irritants, excitement, or post-nasal drip.

3. Can I prevent reverse sneezing in my dog?
While you cannot completely prevent reverse sneezing, you can minimize its occurrence by avoiding potential triggers and maintaining a clean and allergen-free environment.

4. Can reverse sneezing be a sign of a more serious condition?
In rare cases, reverse sneezing can be a symptom of an underlying respiratory or nasal problem. If you’re concerned, consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis.

5. Should I be worried if my dog swallows during a reverse sneezing episode?
No, swallowing is a normal response during reverse sneezing and can help alleviate the irritation in their throat.

6. Can reverse sneezing be treated with medication?
In most cases, medication is not necessary for treating reverse sneezing. However, if the episodes are frequent or severe, your veterinarian may prescribe medication to address the underlying cause.

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7. Can reverse sneezing be a sign of allergies?
Yes, reverse sneezing can be triggered by allergies. If you suspect allergies, consult your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and management.