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Why does my dog snore?

dog sleeps on a pillow

Is it normal for dogs to snore? This is quite natural for some breeds and can be safe for the others but sometimes snoring can be a symptom. Let’s consider all these moments in the article.

First of all, snoring is the sound that appears when a dog is sleeping and its breathing is obstructed somehow. In other words, the air coming from the mouth or nose meets obstacles in the airways and makes harsh noises. The causes differ. But the volume of sound may be very high. There are a lot of complaints like My dog snores so loud I can’t sleep. Before we consider what can be done with it, let’s figure out the reasons.

What causes dogs to snore?

Why do dogs snore? There are a lot of causes of dog snoring.

First of all, there are breeds with a peculiar design of nasopharyngeal cavity. Some breeds just cannot avoid snoring like flat-faced ones including Pekinese, pugs, and bulldogs. Being ‘brachycephalic’ they have short noses while the area between their throat and nose is of a standard size. That difference causes vibration when air is drawn in, and as a result the sound appears. Thus we have a snoring dog of these breeds. But if the noise is too loud, this is not normal. You should pay attention to your pet’s health. It can be a breathing difficulty requiring veterinary intervention.

Even dogs with a common facial structure can snore because of an unsuitable sleeping position. For instance, lying on their backs, a dog sleeping with mouth open will snore highly likely due to a partially blocked throat. The position impacts the airflow into a dog’s throat. Add a block, provided by a tongue, a particular shape of a dog’s neck and the way a dog holds it.

Medical conditions may cause snoring in dogs too. First, you should exclude hyperthyroidism, sleep apnea, and obesity. If a dog has an excess weight, it will experience difficulties with breathing due to an additional pressure. The troubles with a tooth (growth or abscess) can be linked with snoring. Do not forget about allergies making a dog sensitive to various irritants including food, dust, smoke which lead to inflammation. The body tries to fight the problem, generates mucus, and that leads to stuffiness in the nose, snoring, sneezing and a runny nose. Different infections in the airways or the mouth can cause snoring too. There is also Aspergillosis resulting in snoring. This is a fungal disease developing after contact with straw and any objects accumulating dust where there is mould. The harmful microorganism penetrates into the dog’s nose and triggers the disease. If your dog spends too much time outside (if you live in the country), it may catch this fungus easily. The common signs of infection are sneezing, swelling, and snoring. This condition should be treated without any delays. The vet will prescribe antifungal medicine which will clear it up.

The most complicated and dangerous reason for puppy snoring is obstruction in the airways. In most cases you will not do without veterinary assistance. It happens suddenly. When a dog usually does not snore, but one day you hear this noise, you should look into his nose to ensure there is nothing inside blocking the airway. Blockage can be provided with any foreign particle, benign conditions (polyps) or even tumors. Obstructions usually lead to bleeding or overproduction of mucus but not always.

You should start worrying if

So, we understand that dogs snore not always because of problems with their health. Still, you should be careful. If a dog begins snoring suddenly, you should inspect its nose and probably go to a vet and ask: Is it normal for my dog to snore? This is the right decision which will help to prevent development of a medical problem. The pup can produce noise when it is sleeping or at any time of a day. If the reason is inflammation, you should not postpone treatment. If a dog suffers allergies, or gets injured, picks up an infection, an inflammatory process can start.  To stop it, you should consult with a professional. When you know that your dog has an excessive weight and it snores, you’d better change the diet to reduce pressure on the airways.  Anyway, veterinarian’s advice is highly recommended. Go to a vet if your dog snores loud and view other symptoms like:

·           seasonal change of intensity of snoring;

·           troubles with swallowing, like choking on food;

·           coughing or sneezing;

·           dropping food out of a dog’s mouth;

·           sounds like snoring with excessive panting appearing when a dog walks;

·           itchy skin, runny nose, sore eyes – and other symptoms of an allergy;

·           easy fatigability when a dog is not active as usual.

How can I help my dog snore less?

If snoring is caused by body position during sleeping, you may try to encourage your dog to change it and sleep on its side. Accustom your dog to sleep with its head on a pillow. If a pet is sensitive to allergies, you should avoid smoke in the house or any other uncommon scents. You will have to refuse using scented candles or air fresheners. Also, in spring it would be better to wash the dog after every walk to remove pollen and dust. The house should be clean and the air in it is humid enough. Do not forget about a good diet. The regular exercises will be of help if there are no contraindications.  

And once again, it’s nothing to panic about if a dog is healthy but still slightly snoring. Because for some dogs this is quite common. As we have mentioned brachycephalic dogs will snore in a regular basis. If you are a master of such a “flat-faced” pup as Chihuahuas, Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, pugs, Lhasa Apsos, Pekingese, Bull Mastiffs and others, be ready to accustom yourself to a noisy pet.

You can take the above measures to reduce snoring or prevent it in all other cases because it is quite difficult to have a good rest in the house with a loudly snoring dog. If you are sure that there is nothing wrong with your snoring dog, and your veterinarian excludes medical conditions, you should prepare ear plugs because in some cases there is no way out.

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