My dog is reverse sneezing at night

correct answerThe Short Answer is:

You should know that reverse sneezing isn’t dangerous but it may sound frightening. It can happen both during the day and at night so you need to help your puppy if it does. Put a few seconds’ worth of pressure on his nasal openings and rub his throat. Although there is no specific cure for it you can take steps to lessen your chances of getting it.

In this research you will know the answer to the query “My dog is reverse sneezing at night“.

Watch the video below to see “Mr. Puggle” making weird funny noises that sound like he is snoring but with wide-open eyes. A reverse sneeze is a similar episode. After the owner pinched the dogs nose for a few seconds the backward sneezing stopped.

Sometimes the inner “achoos” of canines may sound hilarious. However there are also cases when it looks like the dogs are having breathing problems just like when one is having an asthma attack and this can be quite frightening.

Probably you are curious about what causes this to happen to your pup as well as if it is something serious. Undoubtedly it is bothering you a lot and you are wondering how to stop it. However what about those dogs who reverse sneeze during the night? Do they need to be worried?  Is it going to go away by itself?

Why Do Dogs Reverse Sneeze at Night?

Sometimes called inspiratory paroxysmal respiration mechanosensitive aspiration reflex or the pharyngeal gag reflex this episode is characterized by repeated inhalation through the nose and is often accompanied by snorting and even gagging.

Since it is a reflex just like a sneeze or hiccup it cannot be controlled.

Can you imagine you are falling asleep and you hear your puppy making those strange sounds as he reverses sneezes at night? You may find it annoying but it could also be alarming especially if it is his first time doing it and you have no idea what it is.

4 Reasons Why Your Dog Reverse Sneezes At Night

Many things can cause dogs to reverse sneeze but fewer things can cause them to reverse sneeze at night.

1. Overheating and Buried

The heat could be making him uncomfortable especially at night. Even more so if you sleep with your pet and you try to make him as comfortable as possible by covering him with a comforter or perhaps even snuggling with him. You may not have known that this actually contributes to reverse sneezing.

2. Allergies and irritants

There may be something irritating your pooch that is causing him to sneeze backward during bedtime as well.

It is possible that your dog will be irritated by the strong smell of a recently washed duvet or by the perfume or aftershave that has been sprayed in the room when he sleeps in your bed.

Your dog might be irritated by a bit of dust that has been disturbed when you close the curtains (sorry) or by a bit of furniture polish that has recently been used to clean all the surfaces in the bedroom.

3. Coronavirus

Maybe I should have included this with the previous heading but in the current climate I felt it deserved its own section.

Due to Coronavirus more and more of us are using antibacterial soaps and alcohol sprays and these can irritate some dogs.

I am not suggesting that your dog might reverse sneeze at night because they have caught Coronavirus!

4. Overexcitement

Playing with your dog before going to bed might be part of your nighttime routine- some roughhousing or rough and tumble before you say “good night”.

Your dog might also experience reverse sneezing if as part of this your dog gets very excited and charges around.

After we have gone over some of the causes of reverse sneezing at night lets look at some of the causes of reverse sneezing that you might see during the day.

4 Other Causes of Reverse Sneezing

Sneezing in reverse does not just happen at night.

According to my opinion daytime reverse sneezing can be caused by four different factors.

1. Lead and collar

My dog is a bit of a nightmare on a lead- one of my dogs is not good on the lead at all.

However some dogs are so poorly trained or so powerful or just so excited that the pressure they place on their collar while pulling on a lead is enough to cause them to reverse sneeze

2. Exhaustion

In another respect exercise may also induce reverse sneezing.

If a dog has had such a vigorous walk or run it might reverse sneeze as they struggle for breath.

3. Foreign bodies

You do not need to panic I’m not talking about aliens!

However I’m referring to an object in your dogs mouth that causes them to sneeze.

Our dog is currently staying with us and he picks up anything he can find from my wifes slipper to my grandsons toy car.

When dogs pick up things and carry them or chew them they are more likely to reverse sneeze when they get into a tussle with someone who tries to take the object out of their mouth.

It can quickly become a game- they do not want to give up the object and in their excitement they are breathing more quickly.

4. Eating and drinking

Eating and drinking are the final daytime causes of reverse sneezing for me.

The two things a dog loves most in life!

Most of all this applies to dogs who eat and drink as if they havenot seen water or food for days.

Everything is inhaled – food is chewed and water is not swallowed.

In addition to fast eaters being at greater risk I also think dogs who eat kibble are more at risk than those who eat wet food or raw food.

Having investigated the causes of daytime and nighttime sneezing I want to explore how you can help and support a dog who is sneezing backward at night.

What Can You Do if Your Dog Is Reverse Sneezing at Night?

Dogs may reverse sneeze at any time of the day but do not be alarmed if it happens at night while he is sleeping or when he is getting ready to go to sleep.

Although what you can do to help your pup when he is doing the backward “achoo” depends on what is actually causing it here are some suggestions:

When your dog seems overheated you may be able to eliminate some of the pillows cushions or blankets. Perhaps he isnot comfortable being covered.

The bedding on your puppy may already be dirty so wash it. Make sure you rinse your pets bedding properly to get rid of detergent residues that could cause irritation.

The location where your pup sleep can also be moved.

Praise him by pinching his nose and rubbing his throat. This will prevent him from sneezing backward and encourage him to swallow instead.

Is a puppy more likely to reverse sneeze at night?

It seems that there is no obvious medical reason why a puppy would be more likely to reverse sneeze than an adult dog as vets do not know exactly what triggers reverse sneezing.

However there are a few environmental factors that may increase the likelihood.

Firstly I believe that puppies are more likely to be sleeping with their owners than older dogs.

Our reason for sleeping with puppies is partly because they are cute but also because they cry when they are separated from us at night.

Getting buried in a blanket or quilt while sleeping may result in reverse sneezing.

If we have a puppy sharing our bed the duvet is likely to trigger him.

In addition to environmental factors allergens also play a role in reverse sneezing.

Puppy owners are well aware of their pups’ insatiable curiosity.

It is much more likely that they will stick their nose into all sorts of places that a dog his age just would not bother with.

Thus allergens such as pollen and dust are more likely to get right up into a puppys nasal passages and wait for just the right moment to cause a sneezing fit.

How Long Does Reverse Sneezing Last at Night?

 An episode can last from a few seconds to a few minutes. It is not only at night that reverse sneezing occurs. In fact reverse sneezing can happen at any time. However the bottom line is that you can shorten the episode.

You can try to close your dogs nasal openings for a few seconds while gently massaging his throat once you notice him doing it. Clearing the palate and stopping the reverse sneeze should help.

Once your puppy has stopped backward sneezing he should be able to return to his normal behavior. In general this is not something that you should be worried about as it is generally not dangerous though you should help your dog once it happens.

How Do You Recognize When a Dog Is Reverse Sneezing?

Owners of dogs who are not familiar with reverse sneezing may find it funny or scary when they see their pets do it. It is important that you do your homework if you are still unsure how this episode really occurred. There are also videos you can watch.

Generally you will know when your puppy is sneezing backward if he starts to make a loud startling strange sound that sounds like he is choking or trying to swallow something that he can not.

Sneezing after the reverse of a normal “achoo” is called reverse sneezing. Air is not pushed out of the nose but is pulled in or forced through the nasal cavity. In addition to extending his neck and head your dog might also extend his paws.

Snorting or clearing the throat is the best way to describe the sound produced when reverse sneezing. As well as standing still and acting like he is going to vomit your puppy would also starve. It is possible for a dogs eyes to bulge as well.

9 Other Possible Causes of Backwards Sneezing?

In the past it has not been possible to pinpoint the exact cause of reverse sneezing. The cause of this phenomenon is thought to be anything that irritates the nasal cavity.

In addition to what we have already mentioned the following may also cause your dog to reverse sneeze:

  • Allergies
  • Nasal infection

Inflammatory nasal irritants such as pollen and dust

Walking with a leash attached

Collar that is tight

  • Excitement
  • Temperature change
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Elongated soft palates

Dogs tend to breathe faster and harder when they are excited which could cause irritants and foreign particles to lodge in their noses and in turn cause reverse sneezing.

The list also includes pulling on the leash and wearing a tight collar because these things can irritate a puppys throat as well.

In addition there are certain breeds of dogs such as pugs and bulldogs that have an elongated soft palate. Additionally there are instances when they suck the palate into their throats which triggers the pharyngeal gag reflex.

Another factor that could lead to spasms of the throat and soft palate is a change in temperature. When the weather gets too warm dogs tend to catch their breath and this is another factor that could trigger spasms. The same applies to dogs that are too active or that are exercising.

Six ways to naturally stop reverse sneezing in dogs

Its still unclear what causes inspiratory paroxysmal respiration so we can not really say that there is a cure. However there are a number of things you can do to possibly stop it naturally. Below are some suggestions:

1. Use natural products

It is highly recommended that you choose natural products for your pet whether it is flea treatments or shampoo and conditioner. Your dog will be less exposed to allergens when you use natural products.

2. Give purified water

Instead of giving your dog tap water it would be best if you gave him purified water. You should also be aware that hard water may also contain bacteria and chemicals that could irritate your dog.

3. Give supplements

You should also give some supplements to your dog if you want to boost its immune system. This should increase its resistance to infections allergies or irritations.

4. Use a harness

A harness would be a better choice for your dog than a collar and leash. This will prevent him from putting more pressure on his throat which could cause reverse sneezing.

5. Avoid chemicals altogether

Whenever possible you should opt for eco-friendly products when purchasing house cleaning materials. Further you should not use air fresheners since all of them may irritate your dogs nasal cavities.

6. Clean regularly

You should consider making cleaning a habit in your home so that dust and other irritants are eliminated. You should make sure your bedding and mattress are clean if you sleep with your dog. You should also ensure that the bedding your pet has is allergen-free.


You should know that reverse sneezing isnot dangerous but it may sound frightening. It can happen both during the day and at night so you need to help your puppy if it does. Put a few seconds’ worths of pressure on his nasal openings and rub his throat.

Although there is no specific cure for it you can take steps to lessen your chances of getting it.

If you want to read more about dog health tips read here: Dog Health Tips and Tricks.

My dog is reverse sneezing at night (Watch Video)

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