Gentle snores drifting from a sleeping dog can be cute. In the darkness of night, those soft, muffled sounds may even lull you to sleep. On the other hand, some dogs snore so loudly they keep the humans awake, as well as themselves. Let’s talk about why dogs snore and what to do about it.
Causes of Dog Snoring
Snoring occurs when something partially blocks the airway. Although some doggy snoring can be an indication of a number of serious illnesses, most canine nasal music is due to simpler causes such as excess weight, allergies, low or high humidity, or inherited brachycephalic breathing difficulty.
How to Stop Dog Snoring
Overweight or obese dogs may have excess tissue in the back of the throat which hampers the respiratory process. A sensible weight loss program consisting of fewer calories and appropriate exercise can benefit the overweight, snoring dog. It’s best to ask your veterinarian’s advice on a weight loss program and to start out slowly.
When pollen, dust, smoke, perfumes, or chemical cleaners cause mucus to obstruct the respiratory tract and cause snoring, eliminating or minimizing allergen contact is helpful. In this case, an allergic dog may benefit from being kept away from tobacco smoke and perfumes, frequent cleaning of carpets and dog bedding, and staying inside when pollen counts are highest, which is usually early morning and on dry, hot, windy days. Switching chemical cleaners for organic cleaners can also help.
Excessively low or excessively high humidity levels can irritate the respiratory passages and cause inflammation, resulting in mucus blocking the airway. Regulating air quality with humidifiers or air conditioning can be beneficial in these cases.
Brachycephalic breeds, the dogs with pushed in noses, often have breathing problems due to the structure of the face. They may not only snore while sleeping but make snorting noises when awake as well. These dogs also have trouble panting efficiently to stay cool in warm temperatures and are at higher risk of heat stroke.
In breeds such as the Boston terrier, Pug, or Boxer, breathing passages are often small, the windpipe may be narrow, and the soft palate may be too long to fit into the short facial structure causing it to extend into the back of the throat and flap with each breath.
In some cases, sleeping in a round bed, curled up rather than lying flat, or with the head elevated will relieve snoring.
What to Do for Heavy Snoring in Dogs
Most cases of doggy snoring are not of particular concern. But if home remedies do not relieve it or if your dog snores heavily and loudly, snores and snorts even when awake, or seems to tire easily and have trouble getting enough air, he should see a veterinarian. In extreme cases, surgery or treatment for more serious issues may be needed.