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Dog Snoring - What Does it Mean

Dog Snoring - What Does it Mean

Author WDF Staff

15.04.2021.


Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for proper functioning the next day. However, having a dog that snores next to you might prevent that. Dog owners often let their dogs sleep in their beds, but having a dog that snores loudly can make it impossible for you to relax and get a healthy amount of sleep. The same goes for our human partners.

Humans that snore are prime candidates for sleep apnea, a disorder that makes you stop breathing when you are sleeping. This is a severe medical condition, and dog owners can be worried about their dog snoring for a good reason. Here is what you should know about dog snoring.

chihuahua sleeping

What causes dog snoring?

Humans and dogs share the exact snoring cause. When the air movement and flow are restricted in the throat or nasal passageways, your dog (or you) can start snoring. There are different reasons the air can get blocked from flowing naturally and without problems. Some of those reasons are;

  • Your dog likes sleeping on their back - When dogs sleep on their backs, their tongue ends up partially blocking the airways. If that happens, your dog will most likely start snoring and possibly quite loudly.
  • Allergies - Dogs that suffer from allergies can start snoring. Dogs can be allergic to different things, and they can end up snoring. Things like cigarette smoke or dust can trigger your dog’s allergies.
  • Sleep apnea - Although sleep apnea is very rare in dogs, it can still happen and cause your dog to snore.
  • Abscessed tooth - An abscessed tooth can cause all sorts of problems for dogs. It can make its way into the nasal cavity and cause the dog to snore. Make sure you check your dog’s teeth if you notice them snoring. Taking care of the tooth issue or the sleep apnea issue will require surgery.
  • Hypothyroidism - Another reason dogs can snore is that they have hypothyroidism. This condition can develop when the dog’s thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough metabolism-controlling hormones. Luckily, this health issue is easily controlled with medication. The bad news is that the dog has to take medications for the rest of their life.
  • Foreign objects - If your dog has a foreign object stuck in their throat, they might start snoring. That object can partially block their airways, and if you notice your dog started snoring, and that wasn’t normal for them earlier, you should get them checked out.
  • Obesity - Obese dogs are prone to snoring. Overweight and obese dogs have excess layers of fat around their upper airways, which means they can start snoring. Obesity is dangerous, and dog snoring is an additional reason you should make sure your dog isn’t overweight.
  • Respiratory problems - Respiratory problems can be noticed a lot earlier, and snoring is just one of the symptoms connected to these problems. Things like asthma, bacterial, and fungal infections can block your dog’s airways and cause them to start snoring. Other symptoms will include nasal and eye discharge, energy loss, lethargy, coughing, sneezing, and loss of appetite.
  • Trauma - Dogs that suffered trauma to their airways can snore. That can happen if the dog pulls on the leash too much or got injured while playing and running. Whatever the cause might be, you should schedule a check-up with your vet.

dog sleeping

Are some breeds prone to snoring?

Some dog breeds are indeed prone to snoring more than others. If you caught yourself thinking, “Why is my dog snoring so much?” the answer might be - they are naturally prone to snoring.

Brachycephalic dog breeds have a short snout combined with a broad, short skull. Because of the shorter snout, the dog’s soft palette in the back of their throat doesn’t change, and a short skull means shorter breathing passage. That makes them prone to specific health issues, and snoring is often one of the symptoms.

However, according to a prominent L.A. vet, Dr. Jeff Werber, a short snout isn’t the only thing that will impact your dog’s snoring. Other things will affect it too; things like their body position, the length of their noses, and the shape of the dog’s neck. These breeds came under a lot of scrutinies, especially from animal rights movements like P.E.T.A.

overweight labrador laying

These types of organizations are fighting against breeding historical breeds just because they have shorter muzzles. Their main argument is these dogs are riddled with diseases, which is not true. Reputable breeders are taking special care and making sure their dogs are as healthy as possible. Nobody wants to produce sick dogs that cannot live a normal life. Some of the brachycephalic breeds are;

As a part of the cynology community, our stance is to support ethical breeders and kennel clubs fighting for ethical breeding and good breeding practices. We support 100% ethical treatment of animals, but all the dog breeds we know and love will be lost if dog breeding is forbidden.

frenchie sleeping

Can I stop my dog from snoring?

While short-muzzled breeds can be prone to snoring, other dogs with longer muzzles can snore for any of the reasons we mentioned earlier. Luckily, there are ways we can prevent them from snoring. Here is what you can do to make sure your dog stops snoring;

  • Slow-feeding bowls - If you feed your dog from a slow-feeding bowl, they will likely ingest less air while eating. That might prevent your dog from snoring.
  • A healthy diet and physical activity - This is an excellent solution for all overweight and obese dogs. If your dog is snoring because they are overweight, the best way to resolve dog snoring is to make your dog lose weight.
  • Air purifiers - If your dog is allergic to dust or cigarette smoke, you can purchase an air purifier that will clear the air from all particles that can be bugging your dog. If you are not sure where to start looking for air purifiers, check out this article for more information - Best air purifiers for dogs.
  • Regular vet visits - Making sure your dog is healthy and has no breathing issues is the best way to ensure your dog will not snore. Keep in mind not to skip your regular vet appointments.

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