Dog Snoring – Why A Veterinary Exam May Be Necessary

Having your pup sleep by your side or in the same room as you can be wonderful, but if your pup snores loudly then you may be wondering what is causing your dog to snore so loudly, whether you should get your pup checked with a vet, and what you can do to help your pup.

What Causes A Dog to Snore?

Snoring problems in dogs boils down to the ease or restriction of airflow through your pup’s respiratory system. One of the biggest factors leading to restricted airflow is your pup being overweight. An overweight pup may have extra tissues in their neck and throat areas which can collapse around the esophagus when they sleep and will restrict airflow. Obesity can also lead to diabetes and other health conditions. Some ways to see if your pup is overweight include:

  • Check your dog’s body shape from above. If your pup is round or oval-shaped near the middle, chances are they are overweight.
  • Look at your dog from the side and see if there are signs of a sagging stomach. 
  • Feel for your dog’s ribs. They should be prominent and easy to find. 
  • Examine your dog’s behavior for signs of laziness, inactivity, and fatigue. Overweight pups also can eat much more food than what’s normal for them. 
  • Weigh your pup. Many vets will include this as part of the regular wellness exam

Additional reasons your pup may be snoring include:

  • Allergies: Dust, debris, or pollen in the air could cause your pup to snore loudly at night. 
  • Cold: If your pup has a cold, then their body will produce extra mucus which could cause them to snore.
  • Posture: Another reason your pup may be snoring could simply be due to the way they sleep. Certain positions, such as lying on the back while sleeping, can restrict airflow and cause snoring.

When Should I Worry About My Dog Snoring?

Some dogs are actually more prone to snoring than others due to the shape of their skull and the way the air flows through their nostrils and mouth. If your pup is brachycephalic, meaning they have a short skull with a short snout, then they have shorter airways to breathe through and tend to snore much more often. Breeds such as English bulldogs, boxers, pugs, Boston terriers, and Shih-tzus are examples of dogs that are brachycephalic. 

If your pup is a breed that is predisposed to snoring, such as brachycephalic dogs, then you most likely have nothing to worry about. However, if your pup is either snoring more loudly than usual, or didn’t use to snore but is now snoring consistently, then you should consult with your local veterinarian on whether there is an underlying health condition that is negatively impacting their sleep. Sometimes a pup that has serious dental problems may snore. Additionally, pups that suffer from a fungal disease can have clogging and restricted airflow in their nostrils, which will impact their sleep quality. 

What You Can Do To Help Your Snoring Pup

Luckily, there are a few tricks you can use at home to help your pup (and you!) sleep easier at night:

  • Use an air humidifier: Humidifiers are great tools to add moisture in the air and prevent any irritation in the body that’s caused by dryness. Additionally, air humidifiers also help ease symptoms of the common cold.
  • Prop up their head with a pillow: Using a small pillow to prop up your pup’s head can help air flow through your dog’s nostrils easier and reduce the snoring.
  • Take your dog out for daily exercise: If your pup is suffering from symptoms of obesity, then be sure to take your dog out on a daily walk or some sort of exercise. Additionally, you can consult with your vet on nutrition and diet options to help your pup lose any excess weight.
  • Have your dog sleep in an area without any toxins: If someone in your house smokes, then be sure to keep your pup’s sleep area away from the smoke. Toxins and other debris in the air can impact your dog’s breathing and result in poor sleep quality and increased snoring.

There are solutions you can implement to help reduce your dog’s snoring. Although snoring pups are nothing to be overly concerned about, if your dog didn’t snore before and is snoring loudly all of a sudden, then you may want to get a veterinary exam to make sure there aren’t any underlying health conditions that are impacting your pup’s sleep at night.