Why do Beagles Reverse Sneeze? 5 Useful Tips for Preventing and Managing It

Why do Beagles Reverse Sneeze? You may have noticed that sometimes your beagle makes a strange noise that sounds like a combination of a hiccup, a snort, and a hiss. This is called reverse sneezing, and it is a common occurrence in beagles and other small or brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds. But what is reverse sneezing, why does it happen, and how can you help your beagle when they experience it? In this article, I will answer these questions and more.

What is Reverse Sneezing?

Reverse sneezing is a respiratory reflex that occurs when the soft palate and throat of your beagle become irritated or inflamed. The soft palate is the tissue that separates the mouth from the nasal cavity, and it can spasm when something triggers it. This causes your beagle to rapidly inhale air through their nose, making a snorting or honking sound. Unlike regular sneezing, where air is pushed out of the nose, reverse sneezing involves air being pulled into the nose.

Reverse sneezing is usually harmless and does not pose any serious health risks to your beagle. It typically lasts for a few seconds to a minute, and your beagle should resume normal breathing afterward. However, it can be alarming and distressing to witness, especially if you don’t know what it is or what causes it.

Why do Beagles Reverse Sneeze?

Beagles reverse sneeze more than other breeds because of their physical characteristics. Beagles have long, floppy soft palates that can easily get irritated by various factors. They also have narrow nasal passages and short noses that can make breathing more difficult. These features can make them more sensitive to anything that affects their nasal cavity or throat.

Some of the common triggers of Beagles reverse sneeze are:

  • Irritants: Pollen, dust, grass, smoke, perfume, household chemicals, and other substances can enter your beagle’s nose and cause irritation or inflammation. This can make them sneeze or reverse sneeze to try to clear their nasal passage.
  • Allergies: Your beagle may have allergies to certain foods, plants, insects, or medications that can cause an allergic reaction in their respiratory system. This can result in swelling, itching, or mucus production that can trigger reverse sneezing.
  • Nasal mites: These are tiny parasites that can infect your beagle’s nose and cause itching, bleeding, discharge, and noisy breathing. They can also cause reverse sneezing as your beagle tries to get rid of them.
  • Obesity: If your beagle is overweight, they may have more pressure on their chest and throat that can affect their breathing. This can lead to obstructions or narrowing of their airways that can cause reverse sneezing.
  • Excitement: When your beagle gets excited or overstimulated, they may breathe faster and harder than usual. This can cause their soft palate to vibrate or spasm, resulting in reverse sneezing.
  • Pulling on the leash: If your beagle wears a collar and pulls on the leash during walks, they may put a strain on their neck and throat. This can also cause their soft palate to spasm or their airways to narrow, triggering reverse sneezing.

How to Help Your Beagle When They Reverse Sneeze?

beagles reverse sneeze

If your beagle is reverse sneezing, there are some things you can do to help them calm down and stop the episode. Here are some tips for Beagles reverse sneeze:

  • Stay calm: Don’t panic or yell at your beagle when they reverse sneeze. This will only make them more anxious and worsen the situation. Instead, speak to them softly and gently, and reassure them that everything is okay.
  • Massage their throat: Gently rub or massage your beagle’s throat area with your fingers. This can help relax their muscles and ease the spasms.
  • Cover their nostrils: Lightly cover your beagle’s nostrils with your hand for a few seconds. This will make them swallow or lick their nose, which can help clear the irritant or stop the spasm.
  • Offer water: Give your beagle some water to drink after they stop reverse sneezing. This can help soothe their throat and wash away any remaining irritants.
  • Consult your vet: If your beagle’s reverse sneezing is frequent, severe, or accompanied by other symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, bleeding, or discharge from the nose, you should take them to the vet for a check-up. They may have an underlying condition that needs treatment.

How to Prevent Reverse Sneezing in Beagles?

While you cannot completely prevent beagles reverse sneeze, there are some steps you can take to reduce the frequency and severity of the episodes. Here are some suggestions:

  • Avoid irritants: Try to keep your beagle away from potential irritants such as smoke, perfume, dust, or chemicals. Use an air purifier or humidifier in your home to improve the air quality and keep your beagle’s nose moist.
  • Manage allergies: If your beagle has allergies, follow your vet’s advice on how to treat them. This may include giving them antihistamines, steroids, or immunotherapy. You should also avoid exposing them to allergens such as certain foods, plants, or insects.
  • Treat nasal mites: If your beagle has nasal mites, your vet will prescribe medication to kill them and prevent reinfection. You should also wash your beagle’s bedding and toys regularly and keep them away from other dogs that may have nasal mites.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Make sure your beagle is not overweight or obese by feeding them a balanced diet and giving them enough exercise. This will help prevent pressure on their chest and throat and improve their breathing.
  • Use a harness: Instead of a collar, use a harness for your beagle when you walk them. This will prevent them from pulling on the leash and straining their neck and throat.

Should I let my dog reverse sneeze?

When your dog experiences reverse sneezing, there’s generally no specific action required. Similar to regular sneezing, these episodes typically resolve on their own without causing significant problems. If your dog appears to be uncomfortable during these episodes, offering gentle petting can be a comforting gesture to help ease their distress.

Is it normal for a beagle to reverse sneeze?

In the majority of cases, the reverse sneeze is a minor and not a cause for excessive worry. Typically, these sneezing episodes last for less than a minute, and dogs resume their normal activities afterward. Importantly, there are no adverse health consequences associated with these episodes, and your dog is likely to quickly recover without any lasting effects.

When should I worry about beagles reverse sneeze?

In most cases, reverse sneezing doesn’t necessitate any medication or specific treatment, and it’s usually considered a relatively harmless condition, particularly when it occurs infrequently. However, in instances where reverse sneezing is frequent or severe, your veterinarian might explore the possibility of prescribing medications to address any underlying issues or offer symptomatic relief.


Beagles reverse sneeze is a common phenomenon that is usually harmless and short-lived. It is caused by irritation or inflammation of the soft palate and throat, which makes your beagle inhale air rapidly through their nose. You can help your beagle when they reverse sneeze by staying calm, massaging their throat, covering their nostrils, or offering water. You can also prevent reverse sneezing by avoiding irritants, managing allergies, treating nasal mites, maintaining a healthy weight, and using a harness.

Beagles reverse sneeze is not a serious health problem for your dog, but it can be uncomfortable and scary for both of you. By understanding what it is and how to deal with it, you can make your beagle’s life easier and happier.

I hope this article was helpful to you. Please note that this article is not intended to replace professional veterinary advice. If you have any concerns about your beagle’s health or behavior, you should always consult your vet.

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