Picture this: You’re about to sleep with your dog by your side, feeling all warm and fuzzy as you cuddle with your best friend. A good night’s sleep is at hand (or so you thought). Suddenly, you hear your furry friend making an all too familiar sound — a sound that some humans make when they’re sleeping, which may or may not cause their companion to lose sleeping hours.
“Is that... snoring?” you think to yourself after realizing that it's indeed your dog.
Just like humans, some dogs snore too. Whether it just happened or if it has been happening for a while now, you’re probably wondering how snoring affects your dog. What if your dog snores too loud? What are the causes of dog snoring and should you be concerned when they do it? And are there ways to stop your dog from snoring?
Causes of dog snoring
Generally, snoring has something to do with your dog's breathing. Just as with humans, it's usually related to the restriction in the airflow that passes through the nose or throat. Let's look at the possible causes in more detail:
1. Predisposition due to dog's breed
Is your dog a Shih Tzu, English Bulldog, Boston Terrier, Pug, Pekingese, or French Bulldog? These are among the dog breeds that are more prone to snoring because they have flat faces with short snouts and heads. This combination of features is referred to as brachycephalic syndrome, making the breeds above more likely to have breathing issues.
Dogs with brachycephalic syndrome can make different noises, which depends on the location of the obstruction. For instance, some dogs can produce respiratory noises when they're playing, eating, or when they're excited or stressed. In some cases, surgery is recommended, as snoring and snorting might be symptoms of airway obstruction.
On the other hand, other dog breeds may also experience breathing issues due to different factors, such as a sleeping position, or neck shape.
Excess weight might also contribute to breathing issues due to the extra fat in a dog’s chest or stomach that might restrict air to pass smoothly. As a result, this might take your dog extra effort to breathe and may thus cause loud breathing or snoring.
3. Allergens and irritants
Another possible reason why your dog or puppy is snoring is due to the presence of allergens in their environment. Some examples include dust, pollen, and even human dander (just like how pet dander may sometimes affect humans). These allergens can trigger mucus formation, which can lead to snoring. Allergies may also cause inflammation, causing a blockage in the passage of air.
Among the things that may irritate your dog’s throat is tobacco, particularly secondhand smoke. Just like with humans, secondhand smoke may affect your dog too and irritate their throat, resulting in snoring due to a disturbance in their airflow. Another irritant that may cause breathing issues in your dog is perfume.
4. Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder when a dog occasionally stops breathing for a little while, then they awake startled to gasp for air. This disorder is more common in humans, but it's still possible for dogs to have. Apart from being jolted awake while losing air, the symptom is often accompanied by your dog snoring loudly.
The same with humans, sleep apnea may cause a lack of sleep, as well as risks to a dog’s health (both short-term and long-term). This disorder can pose a serious health risk, so it's best to consult with your vet if your dog shows signs of sleep apnea.
Among those dogs who have a greater risk of developing sleep apnea are those with short noses, with excess weight, as well as those with allergies.
Viral upper respiratory infections such as kennel cough, flu, or canine distemper can affect a dog’s breathing. Along with viral respiratory infections, fungal and bacterial ones may also cause blockages in airflow, resulting in snoring.
Parasites, like heartworms or roundworms, can also cause snoring. If there are tumors inside your dog’s nasal passageways, this may result in snoring too. Consult with a vet to get advised on a proper diagnosis and treatment for your dog.
Do puppies snore?
Witnessing your puppy snore may be endearing. However, if your puppy is snoring loudly and often, it's best to consult with a veterinarian to rule out possible health issues.
One common issue why some puppies snore is excess weight. As puppies usually have better appetite than adult dogs, they might have a tendency to overeat if their food isn’t portioned correctly. This leads to exsessive weight, and the excess fat may result in snoring.
You should also be on the lookout for allergens and irritants, since puppies are more sensitive to them compared to adult dogs. Illnesses can also cause puppies to snore.
Dog snoring while awake
Snoring in dogs is quite common when they are asleep, especially in certain breeds. However, if a dog is snoring when awake, the reasons are usually simiral to the ones that cause your dog to snore when they sleep.
Ingesting or inhaling a foreign object can possibly cause an airway obstruction and make your dog produce sounds that resemble snoring. If the object can be easily removed, carefully extract it with tweezers. If you can't do it at home, bring your dog to a vet to get the foreign object removed by a professional. In some cases, anesthesia or surgery might be required.
How to stop a dog from snoring
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent or stop your dog from snoring or at least make it a rare occasion. They might not only help your dog but will also help you have a good night’s rest as well.
1. Comfortable beddings
Providing your dog with comfortable beddings may prevent them from snoring. A good example is a circular dog bed that is designed to encourage your dog to curl up not to put pressure on your dog’s esophagus. It also allows for the dog's easy breathing. In addition to this, a dog pillow also helps improve quality of sleep providing comfort for your dog’s neck.
2. Air humidifier
When there is too little humidity, it may cause your dog to snore as their mouth and throat become dry. An air humidifier is beneficial not only to your dog, but also to you.
3. Eliminating allergens and irritants
When a dog snores due to allergens such as pollen and dust, you can use the vacuum cleaner more often to prevent allergen exposure. Irritants such as secondhand smoke and perfume can also be kept away from your pet.
4. Consulting with a vet
When you’re not quite sure what is causing your dog to snore, especially when your dog snores loudly and often, consult with a veterinarian. Meanwhile, more serious cases such as sleep apnea might require surgery.bracy