Why do corgis sneeze?

Why Does My Corgi Keep Sneezing? (Stop the Sneezes!)

So, your corgi keeps sneezing. And it’s freaking you out!

He sneezes when he eats.

He sneezes when he sniffs the carpet.

Sometimes he sneezes twice (or six) times in a row!

In this article, we’ll talk about:

  • Possible triggers making your corgi sneeze
  • Sneezing vs. reverse sneezing
  • How to stop the sneezing
  • When to see your vet about this problem
  • And more

Sound good? Let’s see if we can find out why he’s sneezing.

Why does my corgi sneeze?

There are many reasons why your corgi may sneeze.

Keep in mind that there’s a distinct difference between a sneeze and a reverse sneeze and that they’re two different things.

First, let’s talk about sneezing.

Sneezing in dogs is just as normal as sneezing in humans.

Dogs and humans sneeze for the same reasons.

Well, a lot of them are similar and due to the same triggers.

Know what’s “normal”

You should always start at the vet.

Get an exam and ask questions. Tell them everything you remember in detail.

Your vet will tell you what’s going on with your corgi. If your vet says that the sneezing’s nothing to worry about, then you can consider this to be “normal” behavior.

Then, continue to note the sneezing episodes and mark what’s normal.

When you notice something different, that’s when you’ll schedule another vet exam and see what’s wrong.

And repeat.

This helps you recognize the differences between “harmless sneezes” or “dangerous sneezes.”

Plus, your notes will help your vet determine the cause of the sneezing with more accuracy.

You’ll know when to take your dog to the vet because if it starts showing signs of abnormal sneezing, you know something’s up.

Reverse sneezing

Your corgi may reverse sneeze and catch you off guard.

This is best described as “choking” or “suffocating.”

Your dog will start making quick “gag” reflexes and it can be quite alarming to the untrained owner.

Here’s a video of reverse sneezing so you can get a clear video of how it looks like:

And here’s another one showing the “choking” motion on repeat:

Reverse sneezing is also known as paroxysmal respiration. It’s not a real sneeze, but rather a reflex in dogs.

It occurs when their soft palate and throat become disturbed and the dog forces the air to remove it.

It’s just like a sneeze where the purpose of it is to expel air to remove some kind of particle or reaction.

A reverse sneeze simply is where the corgi takes in air to do the same thing.

Although reverse sneezing can be alarming, it’s usually harmless and nothing to worry about.

Allergies can also cause reverse sneezing along with some kind of irritant. If your corgi’s mouth, throat, or palate has an annoyance, you can expect a sneeze!

Reverse sneezes only last a few seconds, but may occur in episodes of many sneezes in a row.

Your corgi will sit there like he’s choking and stand in place.

He’ll then stick his head out and you’ll notice that the corners of his lips will be retracted.

During a reverse sneeze, your corgi will have his mouth shut, in sitting position, and a long neck.

He’ll then start a session of deep and fast, spasmodic inhalations.

He may appear to be choking, vomiting, or even having a seizure.

A pattern of rhythmic gags will take place as he sneezes.

This will last a few minutes in the series.

Once your corgi’s sneeze session is over, he’ll continue his normal activities.

What causes sneezing?

Sneezing and reverse sneezing are both caused by many of the same triggers.

The majority of cases are because of some kind of pollutant caught in your corgi’s airways.

This then forces him to involuntarily clear it out by sneezing or reverse sneezing.

Allergies and environmental triggers

Similar to regular sneezing in dogs, your corgi may reverse sneeze due to a variety of triggers.

The most common reactions come from things like:

  • Dust
  • Perfumes
  • Household chemicals
  • Bugs
  • Mites
  • Spiders
  • Hair (or dander)
  • Food
  • Plant matter
  • Foxtail burrs
  • Flea bites
  • Viruses and bacteria
  • A piece of grass stuck in the noise

Your dog may also have post nasal drip or a nasal problem.

Brachy breeds and smaller dogs are both prone to reverse sneezing.

Note that foxtail burrs are considered dangerous for dogs as they can get stuck in their nose, eyes, and mouth.

This is NOT something to ignore.

You need to take your dog to an emergency vet if you suspect that your dog’s having a reaction to foxtail.

If he’s sticking his nose around the home, especially corgi puppies, he may pick up something you missed.

Dogs can’t use paws to clear their nose, so their only way to clear whatever is up their nose.

So they need to sneeze. Constantly. Until it’s cleared and removed.

Allergies can be controlled using vaccinations. If your dog has other accompanying symptoms like runny eyes, wet nose, or feet licking/chewing, this can be an allergy at play.

Human activity

A corgi playing with his owners and reverse sneezing.
Playing, feeding, or even petting your corgi can make him sneeze.

Human activity also may trigger reverse sneezing. If your corgi’s on a leash and you pull at the right time, you can make your corgi sneeze.

Or if you get your dog overly excited, he may be triggered also.

Sneezing has also been reported when they drink, exercise, or eat.

Your corgi may even sneeze to get your attention or when he’s happy.

After being fed a nice meal, the sneezing may also be a followup “thank you” to their owner.

He’ll eat, rub his nose on the carpet, lie on their back, and then get back up and SNEEZE.

You may also notice this during play sessions or physical exercises.

If the sneezes only happen during this time and you can repeat the trigger consistently, you probably have nothing to worry about.

But you should get your vet to check it out anyway just to be sure.

A play sneeze rarely is something to worry about. It’s a communication signal and dogs show this to their playmate just to get some energy out.

Unlike humans, sneezes are a communication tool by dogs.


Disease and viruses like kennel cough may cause constant sneezing.

This is a dangerous disease that requires immediate vet attention.

Being unable to determine the source of the triggers warrants a visit to the vet who can determine the next steps to correct it.

Tracheal collapse

This is a serious condition that affects smaller breeds.

If your corgi starts making “honking” sounds or seems like he can’t breathe, take him to an emergency vet.

This is not something that can wait and requires professional attention.

You’ll have to recognize the difference between “regular” episodes of sneezing/reverse sneezing and when you notice something’s amiss.

That’s why it’s critical to know the “usual” episodes your dog has, as mentioned earlier.

How to stop reverse sneezing

Even though the sneezing sessions may seem disturbing, the act is usually safe and nothing to worry about.

Some dog owners have reported that you can help stop the sneezing by doing the following.

Depress the tongue

If the reverse sneezing doesn’t end, you may be able to press down on your corgi’s tongue to stop the sneezing. If the episode continues much longer than usual, pressing on the tongue may end the session.

This forces the mouth to open and move air through your dog’s system.

Do NOT attempt this if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Get your dog to the vet if the sneezing gets worse or doesn’t stop.

Take your dog to a non-polluted area

Some corgis may have allergic reactions to pollens, dust, smoke, or other triggers and stimuli in the air.

You can move your corgi to an area with clean air to stop and cut off the trigger, which may help stop the episode.

Depending on where you are, you’ll have to move your dog either inside the home or outside the home.

Find out what the dog is reacting to and get the dog out of the area.

Massage the throat

You may be able to gently clear the dog’s reflexes by rubbing the throat.

Use circular, rubbing motions to help dislodge the throat and mouth.

Force your dog to swallow

Covering the dog’s nose forces him to swallow.

This may help clear the irritant if it’s in the throat, tongue, or mouth. You should not attempt this if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Blowing in their face

You can try lightly blowing in your dog’s face.

This may help them swallow which will stop the reverse sneezing.

You should ALWAYS consult your vet when you’re in doubt or unsure about your dog’s well being.

Constant sneezing that’s nonstop can be a dangerous condition or allergic reaction that can suppress the dog’s normal breathing patterns.

When to see the vet

A corgi on the field with allergies.
Anything that’s different from his regular episodes should be checked out by the vet.

If your corgi constantly has episodes of sneezing and you just can’t find out what’s triggering them, it’s time to bring Fido to the vet.

Any of these symptoms are worth a visit:

  • Unknown triggers that cause sneezing
  • Frequent reverse sneezing episodes
  • Sneezing that lasts longer than usual episodes
  • Honking sounds
  • Unable to breath
  • Failure to recover after an episode
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Failure to exercise
  • Blue or black gums
  • Other symptoms that occur along with the sneezing (bloated face, change in diet, weight loss, strange gagging or spams, etc.)

Your vet can determine the source of the trigger- whether it’s dust, pollen, or some other allergy.

The professional may also check out your corgi’s nose and conduct a rhinoscopy to see what’s going on.

This can help you eliminate or reduce the sneezing episodes in the future to let Fido sneeze less.

Your corgi may be put on allergy meds, get a shot, or antihistamines if there’s some allergy at play.

Further reading

Here are references you may find useful for the gesundheit:

Did you stop the sneezing?

A corgi sleeping.
You shouldn’t be worried unless you notice something fishy!

Well,k you probably won’t be able to just outright stop it.

But at least now you know a bit more about why your corgi sneezes and what to do about it.

If you have any questions or tips regarding this matter, drop a comment.

Or if you found this page helpful, onisder telling a afriend.

Thanks for reading.

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3 years ago

The vast majority of reverse sneezes don’t require medical intervention. You can try calming your pet by stroking its neck or offering water. Typically, once the sneezing bout is over, your pet will be back to normal.