Has your dog always been a snorer? Perhaps you dog just recently started snoring, and it’s happening every night, preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep. There is nothing worse than having a loud snorer in your home, especially if it’s nearby where you sleep.
While we tend to think of humans as the main source of snoring, our dogs can fill this role quite well. So, what could cause a dog to snore so loudly? Is this due to the breed of dog or a potential health concern? Believe it or not, there are actually several reasons that your dog may be snoring like a log.
In this article, we’ll dive into the details of why dogs snore. You’ll learn the most common reasons it happens, and it will help you understand why your furry friends can snore louder than a human. You’ll also learn when it’s time to call the vet.
What Is Snoring, Anyway?
Before we discuss the many reasons why your dog may be snoring, we should first determine what snoring is in the first place. The act of snoring in our canine friends is identical to what occurs in every other mammal.
Snoring is simply a result of a restriction in the normal airflow passing through the nasal canal and throat. This leads to the vibration of the tissue in the area. This vibration causes the distinctive snoring sound while sleeping, varying in severity from pup to pup.
The snoring sound typically occurs while a dog is sleeping, but it can also happen when they are awake if there is significant restriction of their nasal and throat passages. This reason is why you may hear brachycephalic breeds (short snouts) making a snorting sound when they are excited, as they are the poster breeds for snoring in our furry friends.
Dog Breeds Prone To Snoring
As we mentioned above, brachycephalic breeds are more prone to snoring than other types of canine friends. Their short noses and elongated soft palates can cause airway restriction when breathing, leading to an increased chance of snoring when they rest. Some of the dog breeds prone to snoring include:
- English Bulldogs
- French Bulldogs
- Boston Terriers
- Shih Tzus
- Chow Chows
- English Mastiffs
The above breeds are some of the most common brachycephalic pups that experience snoring, but there are many more out there. If your pup has a shortened snout, it may be considered a brachycephalic dog.
7 Reasons Dogs Snore Loudly
Ranging from facial structure to allergies, many factors can cause a loud snore in our canine companions. To help you get to the bottom of Fido’s noisy sleep habits, let’s discuss the eight possible reasons why your dog snores so loudly.
Your dog’s sleeping position can play a role in his snoring habits. A dog that sleeps on his back is much more likely to snore than a dog that sleeps on his side, as lying on his back can disturb the airflow.
When a dog sleeps on his back, the tissue in his throat and nasal cavity will slightly collapse. This slight collapse can lead to snoring and noisy breathing in many furry friends, even those with long snouts. If your canine companion only snores when he is sleeping in a specific position, it’s safe to say that the sleeping position is the cause.
Obesity can impact many aspects of a dog’s life, including his sleeping habits. When a dog is overweight, extra fat can constrain his airway with each breath. This constraint can not only make catching their breath a bit more challenging but can cause them to snore when they sleep as well.
If the snoring began only when your pup put on some extra weight, their body frame may be the source of their snoring. This means it’s time to slowly increase their daily exercise while being put on a calorie-restrictive dog food formula.
If you are unaware of whether your dog happens to be overweight, you can always seek advice from your veterinarian. Your vet can not only determine the best weight range for your pup but can create a healthy weight loss plan moving forward.
As we mentioned above, facial structure can be the leading cause behind his snoring habits. A shortened snout and elongated soft palate can impede his ability to breathe with ease, causing snoring and snorting in many cases. These brachycephalic breeds not only experience loud sleeping habits but struggle with their respiration in many other ways as well.
Some cases are so severe that they qualify for surgical repair to open their nares and shorten their soft palate. If you think your dog’s facial structure is impacting his daily life, you can always talk to your veterinarian about options available to help your furry friend.
Nasal Cavity Swelling
Nasal cavity swelling is another potential cause of snoring in our beloved pups. If you have ever experienced a stuffy nose, you know how challenging it can be to sleep regularly. Finding a position that allows for normal airflow is almost impossible, and can lead to snoring in many cases. Our furry friends can experience this nuisance as well.
Nasal passage swelling, or rhinitis, can be due to an infectious respiratory illness, nasal foreign bodies, and more. If you think nasal cavity swelling is the cause behind snoring noise, it’s best to seek care from your veterinarian. Your vet can determine the best treatment plan for your pup moving forward and can closely monitor him for any further complications.
If it seems like your pup only snores during certain times of the year, they may be experiencing seasonal allergies. Our dogs can have sensitivities to materials in the world around them which leads to sneezing, congestion, and other uncomfortable symptoms.
For example, many pups experience seasonal allergies during spring and summertime due to the influx of plant material in the air. Allergies may cause congestion and nasal irritation, leading to snoring when they rest. If you think allergies are the cause behind your dog’s snoring, we suggest discussing the best treatment options with your veterinarian.
Upper Respiratory Infections
Just as a common cold can cause us to huff and puff, it can do the same for our canine friends. Upper respiratory infections can lead to excessive mucus production, making it more challenging for air to pass through the nasal passages. Not only can a respiratory illness lead to an influx of mucus, but it can also cause swelling in the nasal canal. Add these factors together, and you may have a snoring dog on your hands.
If you think your dog suffers from a respiratory illness of any kind, it’s best to seek veterinary advice as soon as possible. URI’s can progress quickly without medical intervention, potentially leading to severe symptoms.
Underlying Medical Conditions
While this is rarer than other causes on this list, sometimes a dog will snore due to an underlying health condition. Some medical conditions can cause changes in his respiration, obstruct their airways, or even seriously impact them metabolically. These underlying conditions can range from nasal tumors, laryngeal paralysis, and even sleep apnea in rare cases.
Diagnosing any of these complications will require a veterinary visit with in-depth diagnostics. If you are concerned with an underlying condition being the source of your dog’s snoring, we suggest speaking with your veterinarian.
What If My Dog Suddenly Starts Snoring?
A snoring pup isn’t always a cause for concern, but a dog that suddenly starts snoring should be a bit worrisome. Any sudden change in a dog’s behavior should always be noted and warrant a discussion with your veterinarian.
As we discussed above, our dogs can experience sudden changes in their overall health that can lead to the act of snoring. While some of these complications may be minor and easy to treat, some are more serious and require action.
If snoring suddenly starts from nowhere, it’s best to schedule a check-up with your veterinarian. We suggest examining your dog’s daily life for any other changes and bringing a detailed list of symptoms to your veterinarian.
When To Be Concerned
So when should you be concerned about loud snoring? It can be challenging to know when our furry friends need additional help, especially when they can’t tell us how they are feeling each day. To help determine when you should speak to your vet, let’s list the symptoms to look out for in a snoring pup.
You should speak to your veterinarian about your snoring dog if he experiences any of the following:
- Sudden onset of snoring
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Runny nose or congestion
- Discharge from the eyes
- Labored breathing
- Increased respirations
- Facial swelling
- Difficulty chewing
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in weight
- Any other changes in their health or daily life
If your dog has started snoring recently, it’s important to understand what may have caused it. As you can see, there are a few potential causes, most of which are relatively harmless. But if it’s presenting breathing problems, it’s important to get it checked by your veterinarian. By understanding the information above, you can better understand your dog’s snoring habits and treat them appropriately.