Why Does My Dog Snore? – 8 Dangerous Reasons Your Dog Snores
Dogs, for the most part, can be noisy creatures. Barking, whining, growling, even howling are all perfectly normal noises that we can expect from our dogs. But what about something like snoring – is that normal? Why does my dog snore?
While hearing your dog snore on occasion is usually nothing to really worry about, there are some situations where a snoring dog and noisy breathing can be a sign of something more serious. If you are dealing with loud, constant snoring that is keeping you (and maybe even your dog!) up at night and suspect that there is a problem, then keep reading for 8 of the most dangerous reasons that your dog snores.
Certain breeds of dogs suffer from brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome (BAOS). While you may not have heard this term before, you will certainly recognize the dogs with the anatomy characteristic of this syndrome: flat faces and short noses. This includes breeds like Pugs, Shih Tzus, bulldogs, boxers, and Boston terriers.
So, why does my dog snore if they have BAOS? While the dogs’ skulls are flattened at the front, other parts of the head and neck like the tonsils, soft palate and tongue are the same size as if the skulls were more of a normal rounded shape.
Therefore, everything is kind of squished in there. This causes dogs with BAOS to suffer from small windpipes, large tonsils, long, an elongated soft palate, and narrow nostril passageways, making it more difficult for them to breathe normally.
Not only is it difficult for them to get a good deep breath in as it is, but their long soft palates constantly vibrate with each breath, and this causes inflammation. The inflammation, in turn, makes their palates thicker, which once again makes it even harder for them to take a breath. And then the cycle continues…
So, with these chronic breathing issues, it is mostly considered normal for dogs with BAOS to snore regularly. However, you should still check with your vet to see if your dog would benefit from any medicine or surgical procedures because, in some cases, you can provide some relief to your dog.
It is fairly common to see an overweight dog out and about these days – some people actually find chunky dogs to be especially cute! But canine obesity is a real problem that can lead to a whole host of other issues for dogs, including snoring.
Why does my dog snore if they are overweight? More weight means that there is more tissue around the dog’s throat, which can obstruct and constrict a dog’s airway. This makes it harder for them to breathe and results in snoring while asleep.
Not only does it make breathing more difficult, but an overweight dog may run the risk of its tracheas collapsing or closing entirely while asleep, so this is not something that a responsible dog owner wants to take lightly. If your dog is snoring and overweight, it would be prudent to get them on a healthier diet and exercise regimen to help stop the snoring and give them better overall health.
Like humans, dogs can indeed develop allergies to a lot of the same things that we do, such as pollen, perfume, dust, and other animal dander. Allergy symptoms in dogs are most often in the form of itchy skin, but they can cause inflammation in the nasal passage or nasal cavity when breathed in, resulting in sneezing and/or snoring.
If you suspect that your dog’s snoring is due to allergies, speak with your vet about your options. The answer could be as simple as changing the air filter in your house or even putting your dog on medication for their allergies.
Again, like humans, dogs can get stuffy noses and sore throats from the common cold and other infectious diseases. These types of infections can affect dogs and cause snoring in different ways.
If a runny or stuffy nose is the problem, it means that your dog may have inflamed and irritated mucus membranes. This can cause sneezing and snoring by constricting the nasal airways and making it harder to breathe.
If your dog seems to have a sore throat, it could be due to swollen glands in the neck because the lymph nodes in the dog’s throat are being filled with infection-fighting cells. The swollen glands then lead to a narrowing of the larynx and airway, resulting in snoring.
Fortunately, the answer to this problem is mostly just to wait it out – most of these types of infections will clear up eventually without medical intervention. However, if your dog seems especially bad or has been suffering symptoms for a while, talk to your vet to see if antibiotics may be an appropriate course of action.
5. Physical Blockages or Growths
There may be something in your dog’s airway that is constricting their breathing and causing them to snore. It could be something as simple as a small piece of a toy or something that they got into outside, or it could be something more serious such as a growth like a polyp or a tumor.
No matter what the source of the blockage is, you should get your dog to a vet as soon as possible to see if it needs to be physically removed before it causes any more distress or damage.
6. Dental Problems
Many people may not take the time to properly check and clean their dogs’ teeth, as many dogs certainly are not thrilled to have you in their mouths, but there are dental problems to watch out for that can lead to snoring in dogs. Any kind of growth or abscessed tooth in the mouth can contribute to blocked airways, resulting in snoring.
If left untreated, the infection from an abscessed tooth can spread throughout the body and cause even more serious issues. If you suspect this is the cause of your dog’s snoring, then check with your vet about possible treatment.
7. Aspergillosis: Fungal Disease
Aspergillosis is a type of fungal disease brought on by mold that has usually been inhaled from grass, hay, compost, or dust. When inhaled through the dog’s nose, it can cause irritation to the nasal cavity, resulting in symptoms such as sneezing and snoring.
Unfortunately, if you suspect your dog has aspergillosis, it can be difficult to completely cure them of this disease. Talk with your vet about your options to see if you can at least make your dog more comfortable with the symptoms.
8. Secondhand Smoke
Yes, secondhand smoke can negatively affect your dog’s respiratory system, just like it does with humans. Secondhand smoke inhalation in both dogs and people can lead to issues such as bronchitis, asthma, and a snoring problem.
If you smoke, you can talk to your vet about what you can do to help your dog with these problems, but the first thing you should really do is quit. Even if you are just smoking outside your house, the irritants in smoke will still stick to your skin and clothes, eventually making their way back to your dog. If you cannot do it for yourself and your health, try and do it for the sake of your dog.