Why Do Dogs Snore?12 Factors Behind Snoring

Lisa M. Langan

Lisa M. Langan

Why Do Dogs Snore

Do your dog snore loudly? Is it normal for dogs to snore? And some may find it amusing, snoring is something that can be funny or annoying at times. You may have some second thoughts about it. Often, it is perfectly normal, even in healthy dogs. Although it is true that some dogs snore as humans do, some of the potential causes are not as harmless as expected. Dog snoring can be a symptom of a range of health issues and it is worth being cautious. Especially, when a dog makes snoring sounds when awake.

‘Why does my dog snore?’ The grunting sound of snoring happens from the partial obstruction of the nasal passage across the uvula at the back of the throat and the soft palate. The grunting sound level varies, usually, it is soft and quiet. Sometimes, the dog snores loud and strenuous.

Fortunately, there are Remedies to help stop or mitigate the snoring problem.

Is it Normal for Dogs to Snore?

Yes, it is fairly normal for dogs to snore, in many cases, snoring is harmless. Sometimes, the dog owner admires the cute or funny sound of their dog snoring. Sometimes, you may find it annoying. Especially, if your dog shares your bedroom or living room.

However, to be on the safer side consult your Vet. Snoring can be a symptom of various other health issues.

My Dog Snores! Do I need to worry?

Snoring is normal in dogs in most cases, they snore just as humans snore. Snoring in dogs is a harsh noise that arises when air flows through the soft tissues in the mouth and throat. The vibration arises when something disturbs the flow of air in the airways. Snoring occurs commonly because of the wrong sleeping position or if the tongue of your dog is blocking his air passages making your dog snore.

There are several other reasons for snoring. For example, overweight, allergies, etc.

Do dog snoring when awake?

It is a funny thing when dogs snore when they are awake. Actually, some dogs are just noisier than vocal, expressive and keen to use their voices and other sounds. They try to let you know about how they are feeling, and if they need something. This is voluntary sound, meaning that, they are intentionally making these sounds with control over it.

However, breathing and snoring is another case, where the congested sounds are involuntary sounds. This means, unlike the other case, your dog has little to no control over its sound. It is very likely that they are not really aware of the loud noise. Some dogs snore a lot and are snuffly and breathe audibly when awake, even at rest – as opposed to simply panting and making more noise after exertion or exercise. While others dogs breathe silently unless they are panting.

For some dogs, this noisy breathing or apparent snoring whilst the dog is awake is normal, and caused due to their conformation. But it can also indicate a potential problem in the making, particularly if this is not common for your dog’s specific breed or type.

My dog is snoring! What is the reason?

Here are 12 reasons why your dog sounds congested when sleeping:

  • Inhaling Blockages or Obstruction
  • Nasal infections
  • Nasal polyps and Tumors
  • Allergies
  • Obesity
  • Medication
  • Cigarette Smoke
  • Fungal disease
  • Rhinitis
  • Dental problems
  • Sleeping position
  • Anatomy – Brachycephalic Snoring

Dog snoring – Inhaling blockages or Obstruction

An obstruction may be a symptom of a nasty infection or due to a serious type of blockage. In some cases, the debris or a small piece of an object can lodges into the dog’s throat or nasal passage, making it difficult to breathe. The debris may be sniffed or got stuck maybe during their playtime or on his walk. If your dog rubs his nose often out of discomfort, immediately visit your vet to get it removed.

Dog snoring – Nasal infections

Dogs are susceptible to upper respiratory infections. Kennel Cough (kind of canine flu) can develop an infection in the nasal passage to become blocked and inflamed. This can cause temporary snoring until the dog recovers from the infection.

If a dog sneezes often and rubs its nose, it is maybe due to the buildup of the mucous in its nose. However, it’s important to pay attention to nasal discharges in the dog. In many cases, nasal discharge is a sign of an infection.

Dog snoring – Nasal polyps and Tumors

Nasal polyps is an abnormal growth of tissue that most often look small pink bump in the nose. They can disturb the airflow causing snoring. Sometimes, they cause bleeding in the nose.

In some cases, nasal polyps can be signs of tumors. Visit your nearest vet immediately, earlier detection might help your vet to cure the tumors in their early stage. The treatment for tumors could involve surgery or radiotherapy. Removing the polyps or tumors may definitely help stop snoring in dogs.

Dog snoring – Allergies

Infection in the nose or an eye condition like conjunctivitis can cause nasal discharge. Maybe symptoms that your dog has allergies.

An allergy can cause swelling of the tissues in the mouth and throat. Consequently, it affects your dog’s nasal passage and causes snoring. This is often accompanied by a clear and watery nasal discharge.

If you find your dog showing symptoms of allergies, visit your vet immediately. If it is an allergy, your vet can prescribe medications to recover from allergies, which will help reduce the snoring.

Dog snoring – Obesity

Many breeds snore due to obesity. It is estimated that more than half of all the doge are overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). Your dog does not have to look obese, a little overweight can trigger snoring in dogs.

If your dog is a little overweight, apparently snoring is perfectly alright. Reducing your dog’s weight a little bit will help him against snoring. While in Obese dogs, pads of fat deposited around the throat or extra tissues can interfere with the airflow. Losing weight can help prevent snoring and a range of other health problems.

Dog snoring – Medication

You may find your dog snoring after starting a certain course of medication. So, do you think can medicines cause snoring in dogs? Some drugs, such as painkillers, muscle relaxants, and tranquilizers can relax your dog muscles in such a way that, it can loosen up throat muscles and cause snoring. If your dog snores because of the medicines then, check with your vet.

Dog snoring – Cigarette smoke

Dogs that living along with cigarette smokers may develop snoring. Because your dog’s lungs and air tract are very similar to humans. Just like people, smoke can damage an animal’s respiratory system, leading to asthma, bronchitis and snoring. Cigarette smoke contains chemicals that can cause inflammation or infections in the dog’s nasal passage. It is better to smoke far away from your pets to avoid such infections.

Dog snoring – Fungal disease

A fungal disease called aspergillosis is caused by aspergillus. Triggered by a common mold, often picked up on grass clippings, hay, straw or dust. This mold lives both indoors and outdoors. The presence of fungus in the nose’s moist lining and cause sneezing, swelling, nasal discharge and snoring.

Dog snoring – Rhinitis

Rhinitis is swelling or inflammation of the mucous membrane in the dog’s nose. Seasonal colds or allergies are the cause of Rhinitis. This cold can be characterized by a runny nose and stuffiness. Which can result in nasal discharge, sneezing, snoring and labored breathing in dogs.

Dog snoring – Dental problems

Brachycephalic breeds tend to have shorter jaws, with adult dogs usually having 42 teeth in that shorter jaws can be a problem. Overcrowding of teeth could block airways, which leads to snoring. Check with your vet, if left untreated, these complications may lead to infections that may need serious medical intervention.

Dog snoring – Sleeping position

Dog’s sleeping position can trigger snoring. Generally, dogs lying with their backs on the ground are more likely to snore than those that curl up or sleep on their stomachs. Because in curled position air passages can expand easily.

Dog snoring – Anatomy – Brachycephalic snoring

Certain dog breeds naturally snore while others don’t. Many dogs breed like the flat-faced ones including pugs, bulldogs, Boston terriers, English Bulldogs, Pugs, Chihuahuas, or Boxers, and other short snouts have shorter noses are more likely to have breathing issues at night. These brachycephalic breeds have shorter air passages than other dogs. Therefore, they have to work harder to breathe in some cases. But, ensure to check with your vet that the condition doesn’t call for medical or surgical intervention.

What is Brachycephaly?

Certain breeds of dogs are prone to difficult, obstructive breathing because of the shape of their head, muzzle and throat. The most common dogs affected are the “brachycephalic” breeds. Brachycephalic means “short-headed.” Common examples of brachycephalic dog breeds include the English bulldog, French bulldog, Pug, Pekingese, and Boston terrier. These dogs have been bred to have relatively short muzzles and noses. Because of this, the throat and breathing passages in these dogs are undersized or flattened.

Brachycephaly Dogs Snore

Do Brachycephalic dogs needs Vets attention?

With a brachycephalic pet dog, you need to be watchful. As snoring can lead to other problems such as lower oxygen levels, laziness, distress and they are found reluctant to exercise.

You can also feel the snoring or congested sound when they breathe while they are awake. Your vet may suggest some medications, surgery or lifestyle change that can help alleviate the problem.

Let’s look at the risks and remedies in another article Dog Snoring-Risks and Remedies.

Credit: Photos by Martin Castro and Matthew Henry Unsplash.

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