Why Do Dogs Snore? Everything Pup Owners Need To Know

Tanya Parkhi
Feb 01, 2023 By Tanya Parkhi
Originally Published on Oct 22, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
The little brown puppy of the Cocker Spaniel breed is sleeping.

Like us, dogs tend to snore for a variety of reasons.

If your pup is snoring, they need not be going through health problems or suffering. However, if this is an uncommon habit, it may indicate some underlying issue that needs to be checked out on your next visit to the veterinary clinic.

Has your dog suddenly started to snore more than usual? Are your dogs snores keeping you up at night and disrupting your sleep? Are you worried that snoring is bad for your pup?

Or are you just curious about why dogs snore? We have all the answers to your questions and more! If you enjoyed this, why not read about Why Do Dogs Growl or Why Do Dogs Drag Their Butts here on Kidadl?

What causes dogs to snore?

Dog snores sound similar to those of humans, and they usually snore for the same reason humans do, a restricted passage of air in the nasal passages and throat. This may also be caused by the dogs tongue blocking the flow of air from the throat, which can easily be fixed by it sleeping on its back.

Blockage of the throat passage can also occur due to the build-up of fat, which happens if your dog is overweight or suffers from obesity.

Snoring in dogs can also stem from several health conditions, such as if they are suffering from sleep apnoea, which causes shallow breathing or in some cases a complete lack of breathing for a short time. When they resume breathing, it causes the dog to take a sharp intake of breath, which sounds very much like snoring.

Similar to humans, dogs may suffer from allergies as well.

Your dog may be allergic to certain triggers such as dust, pollen, perfume, or the fur of other pets, which may mess with their noses and respiratory passages and causes snoring.

Other problems which can lead to snoring in dogs include dental problems such as an abscessed tooth, hay fever, fungal diseases, and rhinitis. If your pup suddenly starts snoring, it is advised to take them to a veterinarian as they could be suffering from a health condition too.

The environment of the house is important for the health of a pet dog as well. If there is a smoker in your house, the second hand smoke might be causing blockages in your dog's airways and causing breathing problems.

A dirty, dusty environment will also cause snoring if the dog is allergic to dust and smoke. If you own a pet, it is necessary to make sure that they live in a clean, hygienic environment so that they do not develop any serious health conditions.

Is it normal for dogs to snore?

Though in most cases it is perfectly normal for dogs to snore, it occurs naturally in some breeds more than others.

Snoring is usually expected in brachycephalic dog breeds, dogs that have short snouts and flat, squat faces. The shape of their skull causes their mouth and nose to be closer to each other, which may cause several infections and breathing problems.

This facial structure also means that these dogs are prone to snoring due to constrictions in the nasal and throat passages.

For brachycephalic dog breeds such as Pugs, Bulldogs, Boxers, Pekingese dogs and Boston terriers, snoring is quite normal.

However, for other domestic dog breeds such as in Labradors, Golden retrievers, German Shepherds, snoring may be a sign of a weight problem, allergies, a health issue or may simply be due to an improper sleeping position.

If your dog starts snoring out of the blue, it is better to have a check-up done to detect any possible health concerns.

Small beagle puppy sleeping in a hammock.

What does it mean when dogs snore?

If your dog is from a brachycephalic breed, snoring is nothing to worry about. However, if your dog belongs to any other breed it is better to determine the cause as soon as possible.

In many cases, snoring is just caused due to the dog sleeping in an improper position, which can be solved by poking the sleeping dog until it adjusts to a better position in which it can breathe comfortably.

However, if the snoring does not go away, it may be due to other underlying conditions. If your dog is overweight, excess fat tissues can cause obstruction to the oesophagus and respiratory passage, which can cause breathing issues.

Other causes such as allergies, rhinitis, and sleep apnoea must not be ruled out either, as these can be the reason behind you and your dog both not getting a good night's sleep.

It is also quite common for dogs of all breeds to start snoring as they get older. Senior dogs sleep quite a lot compared to younger dogs, being out of the count for at least 12-14 hours a day.

Due to this, their snoring may become quite noticeable. In older dogs, partial or complete laryngeal paralysis may occur due to the collapse of aging nerves, which leads to the floppy voice box blocking the throat airway. This restricted airway causes loud snoring in dogs.

How to stop dogs from snoring?

Depending on the cause of snoring, the issue can be solved by taking your dog to the vet and taking appropriate measures, or maybe incurable. For brachycephalic dog breeds, snoring is quite normal.

There is not much need for concern unless there are visible abnormalities or symptoms such as discharge from the nostril (which may mean a cold, allergy or something lodged in the nasal passage), sneezing, or jerky, irregular snoring.

In most cases, poking a sleeping dog or getting it to adjust its position or lie on its back may clear the airways and help it breathe properly.

If the dog suffers from allergies or has a sensitive nose, investing in an air purifier or humidifier can work wonders and ease the dryness in their open mouths and throats, preventing the dry flaps from sticking to each other and causing problems.

If the problem is caused due to weight gain or obesity, the dog's diet must be watched and it must be given plenty of exercise to reduce the fat content in its body and relax the affected airway.

Buying them a round dog bed can encourage them to sleep in a curled-up position at night, which will help to open up their airways and promote a regular flow of air. This will also relieve pressure off their oesophagus.

Dogs must also be given clean sheets and rugs to sleep on. The buildup of dust and other allergens in their bedding may create sleep as well as health problems for them over time. Owners must ensure the timely cleaning and dusting of their dog's bedding.

For senior dogs, snoring cannot be helped and is not concerning as this is a normal development due to aging nerves. However, if there are any symptoms of disease or cold take your dog for a check-up right away to resolve the issue.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do dogs snore? then why not take a look at related articles such as Why do dogs sneeze? Here are the explanations and beagle facts.


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Written by Tanya Parkhi

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Tanya Parkhi picture

Tanya ParkhiBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Tanya is a skilled content creator with a passion for writing and a love for exploring new cultures. With a degree in Economics from Fergusson College, Pune, India, Tanya worked on her writing skills by contributing to various editorials and publications. She has experience writing blogs, articles, and essays, covering a range of topics. Tanya's writing reflects her interest in travel and exploring local traditions. Her articles showcase her ability to engage readers and keep them interested.

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