Sneezing isn’t exactly enjoyable — especially if we’re unprepared. But the second that either a newborn baby or a cute dog sneezes, it’s one of the most adorable experiences ever. Which leads to the question — why do dogs sneeze a lot whenever you play with them?

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It seems to be a universal thing amongst dog breeds. For some reason, when they get amped up and have a wagging tail, sneezes follow. These sneezes are actually different from sneezes dogs deal with when they have a cold. So hold off on calling the doctor about allergies if they seem pretty contained.

I Heart Dogs reports that sneezing while playing is all part of the fun. It’s a dog’s way of saying that they’re having a good time and they’re not a threat to anyone around. Obviously, dogs play a little differently than normal with humans — and sometimes their cues might get a little mixed up.

Those excitement sneezes are to make sure that other dogs know that whatever’s happening is good-natured. (Just imagine if humans tried this same approach.)

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So, why the sneeze? Good question. Dogs normally have a specific stance that says “I’m ready to play,” so the sneezing seems like a bonus. Tailsmart believes that the sneeze occurs while a dog is already in the midst of the excitement and doesn’t have the time to stop and bow down.

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Of course, if your furry BFF is sneezing a lot outside of play, you’ll want to make sure they get checked by the vet. Serious sneezes will sound a little different from play sneezes. Be on the lookout for other symptoms like watery eyes and runny noses. Dogs get seasonal allergies just like we do, and they depend on you to help ease the discomfort. And really, it’s the least we can do.

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