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15 Alarming Reasons Why Your Rabbit Keeps Sneezing + 11 Tips

Why Does My Rabbit Keep Sneezing

Rabbits are quiet animals… 

So whenever they make a sound… 

It can capture your attention right away. 

Frequent sneezing can be alarming in rabbits.

While it can make you curious, it can also make you panic.

To secure your rabbit’s well-being… 

Read on to find out:

  • 15 reasons why rabbits sneeze.
  • 11 tips on how to help a sick rabbit. 
  • How to avoid diseases for your rabbit. 
  • Whether your rabbit can catch your cold or not.
  • Respiratory diseases in rabbits like sinusitis and snuffles.
  • And a lot more… 

Why does my rabbit keep sneezing?

Your rabbit might be sneezing because of a respiratory disease. Dust and a dirty cage can also cause sneezing. Allergies can also make them sneeze. Other times… strong odors can cause it too.

15 reasons why your rabbit keeps sneezing

#1: Strong odors 

Rabbits have a powerful sense of smell… 

Research shows that bunnies rely on their nose 99% of the time.

They have over 100 scent cells which is 20 times better than a human’s.

It can make their nose sensitive to strong fragrances. 

Your rabbit might keep sneezing if there’s an unpleasant scent in the air…

Here are 7 examples of scents that can irritate their nose: 

  • Scented lotions.
  • Scented candles.
  • Strong perfumes. 
  • Scent of other animals or predators.
  • Caffeine and powdered food products.
  • Spices like chili pepper or chili powder.
  • Chemical cleaning products like air fresheners or wax.

These odors can be so intense… 

It can make your bunny’s nose tingle. 

As a result… they might sneeze a lot. 

#2: Dust and smoke 

Bunnies are always hopping around…

Sniffing their surroundings to investigate.

They’d hop… hop… sniff… sneeze.

It’s because they inhaled some dust in their nose.

This can happen if they roam in corners that are unclean.

Even the tiniest speck of dust can make them sneeze.

They have sensitive noses after all.

They might get drawn to the smell of smoke too…

Which can irritate their noses.

As a solution…

Keep your bunny in a secured environment…

Where they can’t get reached by dangerous smoke.

Warning: Smoke can be a threat to your rabbit’s health. If it can cause cancers in humans… then it can affect your rabbit’s respiratory system as well. This can be any form of smoke.

#3: Allergic reactions

A study states that rabbits can have allergies too.

They can be more sensitive to certain or specific objects and scents.

Here are 7 things that can cause allergies in rabbits:

  • Dust.
  • Smoke.
  • Insects bites. 
  • Strong scented cleaning products. 
  • Contact with flies, bees, or wasps. 
  • Unhealthy food ingredients in pellets.
  • Toxic chemical fumes in the air like carbon dioxide. 

Allergic reactions can be more severe.

Other than sneezing a lot…

They might show other symptoms too.

Here are 7 signs of allergy in rabbits:

  • Losing fur. 
  • Skin problems. 
  • Eye discharges.
  • Severe itchiness.
  • Excessive scratching.
  • Swelling in bite areas.
  • Red, itchy, and watery eyes.

Like most allergies in humans…

It most likely won’t go away on its own.

To confirm if your rabbit has allergies…

Consult your vet for proper examination.

#4: Air pollution 

If your rabbit lives in an open space…

They get exposed to more health risks.

A big threat to your rabbit is air pollution…

Chemical pollution in the air can cause allergies for your bunny.

It will lead to medical concerns.

This can cause breathing problems…

Which leads to constant sneezing.

Carbon dioxide from fire is an example that can affect your bunny.

Toxic fumes from cars can also have the same effect.

#5: Dirt from digging 

Dirt Can Get In Your Rabbit's Eyes

Rabbits love digging… It’s a known fact for bunnies. 

According to a study, bunnies dig as part of their natural instincts. 

But… this can cause tiny accidents for your bunny. 

Sometimes, dirt can get in their big round eyes. 

When their eyes get irritated… 

It can sometimes affect their nose too.

Or… they might also inhale dust from the floor. 

This is often only a one-time incident… 

Your rabbit should stop sneezing after a few minutes. 

To make sure your rabbit won’t sneeze again… 

Take them to a safe and clean digging spot. 

#6: Humidity 

Humidity is also a factor to consider.

It can cause inflammation in rabbits… as revealed by research.

Their immune system can get weakened…

If there’s too much moisture in the air.

Dry air can also cause mucus buildup.

It can lead to breathing and lung issues.

An example of a disease they can get…

Is chronic sinusitis.

While it’s not very life-threatening…

It can turn fatal when ignored.

Here are 7 signs that your rabbit has sinusitis:

  • Salivating.
  • Nose bleeding.
  • Loss in appetite. 
  • Teeth problems. 
  • Eye discharges.
  • Excessive sneezing.
  • Nasal discharges a.k.a runny nose.

Note: For proper diagnosis, consult your vet.

#7: Eye infections 

A rabbit’s tear ducts are close to their nose.

This means that…

Eye problems or infections can affect the nose too.

When the tear ducts get blocked…

It can create bacteria buildup… and cause disease.

Respiratory diseases will make your rabbit sneeze a lot.

It can be difficult to spot eye infections in your rabbit…

But try to spot eye discharges in your rabbit.

If your rabbit washes their face, check their paws…

You can find traces of mucus discharge in their paw’s fur.

#8: Poor ventilation  

When the air is not getting filtered…

The dust particles in the air can cause an allergic reaction.

Poor ventilation also means…

That the room temperature isn’t regulated.

Or the pollution in the air doesn’t get removed.

It can happen if you keep your bunny in small enclosures too…

So the best solution is to install a proper ventilation system.

#9: Sneezing from their own fur 

Sometimes, bunnies can also inhale their own fur. 

When they’re shedding… 

It’s not impossible for them to get tickled by their own hair. 

Even if they’re not shedding… 

Their stray hair all over the place can also do the trick. 

If you have other furry pets… 

Their fur can cause sneezes too.

#10: Fleas and mites 

Rabbits can also fall victim to fleas and mites… 

When this happens, it’s often not that alarming. 

But in some cases… 

Your rabbit might also have an allergy to fleas or mites.

Most of the time, they will only have skin irritation. 

But if left untreated… 

The infestation can grow worse and lead to other problems. 

For example… 

The itchiness can spread around the area of the eyes.

If the skin near the eyes gets infected… 

There’s a chance for it to spread to the nose or inside the eyes. 

This will take us back to reason #7 which is eye infections.

If you want to know more, read this article: Why does my rabbit shake?

#11: Imbalance in diet 

An imbalanced diet is bad for your rabbit.

Not having the right food to chew…

Will make it hard to trim their teeth.

Rabbits have teeth that keep on growing…

This can lead to dental issues.

Overgrown teeth can cause problems…

Such as bacteria build-up.

A study shows that dental problems can also infect the nose.

Nose infections are a cause of lung problems…

Which often leads to sneezing.

This is why rabbits need a balanced diet.

Research reveals…

You can include high-fiber hay to promote chewing for your bunnies.

It lowers the risk of developing dental diseases for your bunnies.

#12: Incorrect bedding

Not having the right bedding can also affect your bunny… 

Here are some examples of bedding issues: 

  • Dust in hay beddings. 
  • Allergy to hay products.
  • Wood shaving beddings.
  • Allergy in pellet beddings.

Hay beddings often capture a lot of dirt… 

Causing dust to build up. 

Wood shavings can also contain small particles of dust. 


Rabbits can also be sensitive to certain pellet products. 

This can happen if it has ingredients your rabbit might be allergic to.

You can try to replace your rabbit’s bedding… 

Test other options until you get the best results.

Here are 7 ideas you can try: 

  • Paper pellets.
  • Aspen bedding.
  • Hemp beddings.
  • Fleece beddings.
  • Pelleted straw bedding.
  • Crumble paper bedding.
  • Shredded paper beddings.

If your rabbit still keeps sneezing…

You can watch this video for tips: 

Check out also: 11 Surprising Reasons Why Rabbits Move Their Bedding

#13: Low temperatures

Low temperatures can affect your rabbit’s blood pressure.

As a result… it may get in the way of your rabbit’s respiratory system.

High temperatures can also cause hyperactivity in the bronchial cells…

This often leads to diseases such as snuffles…

Which will get explained further below.

#14: Dental problems 

Poor diet is not the only cause of dental issues…

Here are 3 more causes of dental problems in rabbits: 

  • Old age.
  • Small teeth of certain rabbit breeds. 
  • Hereditary diseases such as malocclusion.

Based on a study

Malocclusion can damage critical areas…

It will affect the tongue, cheeks, or gums.

This can cause infections…

Which will lead to respiratory diseases.

Research also states that certain breeds are more prone to dental problems.

Netherland Dwarf and Lionhead rabbits are an example.

Old age can also weaken a rabbit’s teeth.

You might also be interested in: Why does my rabbit poop so much?

#15: Respiratory disease a.k.a snuffles

While snuffles sounds like a cute term…  

It’s actually a deadly disease for your rabbit. 

Snuffles is a disease also known as “Pasteurellosis” 

It develops when there’s a lung infection.

As you’ve read from the no.1 up to here… 

There are many factors that can infect their respiratory system. 

To summarize… 

Here are 7 main factors that cause snuffles: 

  • Humidity.
  • Temperature.
  • Eye infections.
  • Poor ventilation.
  • Dental problems.
  • Dust in an unclean environment.
  • Air pollution and allergic reactions.

Studies claim that rabbits try their best to hide their diseases.

This can make it difficult to notice lung conditions. 

But… snuffles have very noticeable symptoms. 

Based on research… 

Here are 5 common symptoms of snuffles:

  • Lethargy and appetite loss.
  • Biting their fur out a.k.a depilation.
  • Nasal discharges a.k.a runny nose.
  • Rapid weight loss a.k.a emaciation.
  • Mucus buildup and crust formations.

If your rabbit is sneezing too much… 

And they’re showing these symptoms…

You should take your rabbit to the vet immediately. 

Warning: Untreated snuffles can lead to sudden death.

“Can rabbits catch your cold?” 

Good news, rabbits can’t catch our cold.

But… rabbits can pass it to someone else.

This is why we should be careful when petting our bunnies… 

If there are other people who touch your rabbit… 

They can catch your cold through your bunny.

Continue reading: Do Rabbits Get Colds? 21 Rabbit Snuffle Symptoms + 7 Tips

11 tips on what to do if your rabbit keeps sneezing

#1: Give them treats to chew on

Treats To Chew On

Make sure that your rabbit’s teeth can get enough trimming. 

Other than providing high-fiber hay… 

You can also buy chewable treats for your bunny. 

Buying safe and interactive chew toys can also help.

#2: Avoid their allergies

As explained earlier… 

There are plenty of things that can cause an allergy to your bunny.

Pay attention to what your rabbit is allergic to… 

Check the ingredients in your rabbit’s food pellets… 

Take notes if there is any food in it that your rabbit doesn’t like.

Switch up your rabbit’s pellets and compare the results.

If your rabbit stops sneezing with their new pellets… 

Then they are only allergic to the previous one. 

As long as you know the causes of your rabbit’s allergy… 

It becomes to keep them away from it.

#3: Change their bedding 

A rabbit’s bedding can also collect dust… 

Hay bedding is prone to dust buildups. 

You can try to clean your rabbit’s bedding… 

Or you can switch to a new one instead.

#4: Provide proper ventilation

Bunnies need fresh air.

By installing proper ventilation…

The air will get clean.

It will make it safe for your rabbit.

#5: Keep their living space clean 

Dirt or dust can be anywhere… 

And we all know rabbits love exploring everything. 

Make sure their whole area is clean and free from dust. 

It will also get rid of fur that they can inhale by accident.

#6: Avoid using chemicals near your rabbit 

Many cleaning products are toxic.

A few examples are…

Bleach and chlorine.

Air fresheners are toxic too.

Before cleaning their enclosure…

Move your rabbit to a safer area first.

Let the chemicals wear off before taking them back.

#7: Pay attention to their dental health 

Dental problems can lead to sinusitis or snuffles.

Always keep an eye on their teeth… 

Because rabbits will avoid showing you their pain. 

Pay more attention if your rabbit is a Netherland Dwarf or a Lionhead breed.

If your bunny is a senior bun… ask help from a vet to check up their teeth.

#8: Their room must have proper temperature 

To avoid lung problems… 

You should keep your bunny in a well-maintained room. 

The best room temperature for most rabbits should be…

Around 60 to 65 Fahrenheit (15 to 18 degrees Celsius). 

#9: Avoid strong scents that can irritate their nose 

Keep strong odors away from your rabbit’s nose. 

They might sneeze because of chili powders… strong perfumes… scented candles… 

And many more. 

You only need to remember… 

If it smells strong to you… 

That scent is twice stronger in your rabbit’s nose.

#10: Check for fleas and mites 

By checking for fleas or mites…

You can avoid skin infections around their eyes.

If your bunny is scratching more often…

It can be a sign of fleas or mites.

Note: These parasites multiply fast… so get rid of fleas and mites ASAP. You can ask your vet to recommend safe products for removing fleas or mites.

#11: Take them to the vet for professional help

If you suspect that your rabbit is sick…

Only a professional can help you treat them the right way.

Take your rabbit to the vet as soon as possible.

People also ask: 

Is it normal for rabbits to sneeze?

It’s normal for rabbits to sneeze because they have sensitive noses. Even the tiniest speck of dust can cause them to sneeze. 

But… excessive sneezing is NOT normal for rabbits. 

A rabbit might sneeze once in a while due to dust or dirt… 

Or because of strong odors in their environment. 

But if your rabbit is sneezing too much… 

That’s when you need to check for respiratory infections.

How do I know if my rabbit has a respiratory infection?

You will know if your rabbit has a respiratory infection if their eyes are watery. Red, itchy, watery eyes are common signs of an infection. 

More symptoms of respiratory infection include: 

  • Lethargy.
  • Weight loss.
  • Appetite loss.
  • Rapid breathing. 
  • Constant sneezing.
  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Loud breathing or wheezing.
  • Runny nose or nasal discharges.
  • Stained fur on front paws because of eye discharges.

Warning: Untreated respiratory infections can be dangerous. Consult your vet as soon as possible.