Reverse sneezing is a common respiratory phenomenon experienced by dogs. It occurs when a dog rapidly and repeatedly inhales through the nose, causing them to make a honking noise.

While it can be alarming to witness, reverse sneezing is usually harmless and will typically stop on its own after a few seconds—though it can last as long as one minute.

In this blog post, we’ll explore what reverse sneezing is, what causes it, and how you might alleviate your pup’s discomfort if they experience it.

What Causes Reverse Sneezing?

Reverse sneezing is most often caused by environmental irritants like dust, pollen, smoke, or other airborne particles that cause inflammation of the nasal passage and throat.

If your pup has allergies or another respiratory condition such as collapsing trachea or laryngeal paralysis, they may be more prone to reverse sneezing episodes.

Other potential triggers include excitement or exercise that overwhelms the respiratory system due to overexertion.

How Do You Treat Reverse Sneezing?

If your pup experiences an episode of reverse sneezing, there are several steps you can take to provide relief:

Gently stroke their neck downward and massage their throat – this helps clear the airway; hold their mouth closed for a few seconds – this prevents them from breathing in any more irritants; create a calming environment – try speaking softly and soothingly while offering treats or other distractions, and take your pup outside for some fresh air – this helps clear out any irritants still lingering in the air.

In most cases, these treatments should help relieve your pup’s discomfort within minutes. If not, you should contact your veterinarian for further advice.


Reverse sneezing in dogs can be alarming for pet owners who have never seen it before—but rest assured that it’s relatively harmless in most cases.

This type of sneeze is typically caused by environmental irritants but can also arise from underlying medical conditions such as allergies or collapsing trachea syndrome.

Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to provide relief—from gently stroking their neck downwards to taking them outside for some fresh air—that should help stop the episode within minutes.

However, if you’re ever concerned about your pup’s health after witnessing a reverse-sneezing episode, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your veterinarian right away!