Have you ever wondered what "that sneeze" means? Sneezing while playing is a great sign that your dog is a happy, fun loving, and well socialized dog.
There is a difference between an allergy/sickness sneeze and a play sneeze, based on its sound and how the sneeze is coming out. A real sneeze comes from deep in the chest, and fluid(like saliva or mucus) releases. Dogs with allergies or respiratory infections also tend to have other symptoms: like red and itchy eyes, runny nose, cough, and sometimes even colored nasal discharge. Outbursts of sneezing and drainage from the nostril can show that a dog has teeth problems. The root of dogs' teeth are located next to their nasal cavity. The infection can progress to the dogs' sinuses if it is not treated.
A "play sneeze” is more of an excited snort sneeze, or a fast exhalation from the nose. When dogs are playing, they sneeze to let the other dog know that they are having fun and that they don't want to fight. While playing, dogs tend to curl their lips, which then causes them to wrinkle their highly sensitive nose, leading the body to interpret a signal to sneeze.
When dogs are playing with people, they watch our facial expressions and try to copy us. They yawn, bark, and even smile(show their teeth) in order to bond with us. Try barking or play sneezing with them. They will get very excited, wag their tail, bow, or even bring you a toy to show they understand what you're trying to get them to do. Or...
They might just look at you like you’re CRAZY! Dogs also use sneezing as a way to communicate that they need to calm down, slow down playing, or take a break and go lay down.