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Home » Is a Snoring Dog Suffering?

Is a Snoring Dog Suffering?

Dog snoring and sleeping

We humans know snoring during sleep is common among us, but we also know that it can be a symptom alerting us to an underlying condition. The same goes for dogs. Although it can be quite normal for a dog to snore while sleeping, it can also indicate it’s suffering from a problem.

Just like you, your dog may periodically snore because it is so relaxed and comfortable.  If you think the snoring is being caused by the way its body is positioned, cautiously adjust your dog’s body so that its neck is elongated in its bed or against cushions. 

Dog Breeds That Tend To Snore the Most

Some dog breeds naturally display what is called brachycephalic breathing due to their anatomy.  Picture breeds like pugs, boxers, and bulldogs.  Their broad, short skulls differ dramatically from those found in dogs like Labradors, German shepherds, and beagles. 

Both of these groups can snore, but we expect snoring to occur in the former group because of their flattened skulls. 

Those breeds with smooshed-in faces are cute, but they are cursed with tongues, tonsils, and soft palates that are just too big for air to flow in without causing turbulence. 

Why Do Dogs Snore?

As the air, they suck in causes vibrations in their short upper airways, snoring results.  Sometimes their breathing causes a chronic disorder affecting their lymphatic tissue. 

When a dog has everted laryngeal saccules, it has actually sucked this tissue into its airway.  Brachycephalic breathing may be normal, but chronic snoring in any breed can cause inflammation, and that is why it is important to let your vet know how frequently snoring is present. 

If your dog is overweight and snoring chronically, it’s probably time to start a new diet and exercise regimen.  Chronic snoring can signify a deeper problem.  Your vet should be aware of this. 

If your dog has had an event that requires medication, don’t be surprised if snoring is a side effect.  Pain meds, antihistamines, sedatives, and muscle relaxants commonly cause dogs to snore.  These medicines typically relax the tissues inside a dog’s throat, resulting in snoring.  Ceasing the medication will probably stop the snoring, but you shouldn’t make the decision to do this on your own.  Following your vet’s instructions for administering any medication is necessary. 

When You Should Worry About Dog Snoring

The time to react is when you notice a sudden change or other symptoms in your dog, no matter the breed.  Don’t ignore wheezing or rattling sounds either.  The cause may be easily addressed.  Consider irritants, for example.  Inside your dog’s nose are a network of turbinates and mucus membranes that allow your dog to have a powerful sense of smell.  Imagine how they are affected when subjected to an environment filled with cigarette smoke, heavy perfumes, scented candles, or dust. 

You may have to eliminate these irritants from your home if you suspect they are too much for your dog to handle.  Frequently vacuuming and washing your dog’s bedding can help remove some of these irritants but use scent-free detergent and forget the fabric softener.  Air purifiers and humidifiers can help, too, and you will benefit from their use as well. 

Putting the blame on seasonal allergies could be a correct supposition, but allergies affecting dogs are not exactly like those affecting humans.  You may sneeze and snore because of allergies, but your dog is more likely to have symptoms affecting its skin.  A vet will help you make the determination. 

Whatever you do, don’t give your dog allergy medication like Benadryl without your vet’s consent!  Infections can also cause snoring if the larynx is swollen.  Depending on its cause, the infection may go away on its own.  Sometimes though, a tooth has abscessed so badly that it causes snoring among other serious problems. 

Causes of Snoring in Dogs

Obstructions cause snoring in dogs.  Something as simple as a blade of grass may have worked its way into the nasal passage.  More concerning is the presence of polyps or tumors.  Foreign objects and growths will all be revealed through a rhinoscopy performed by your vet or specialist. 

Depending on what’s found, it may be removed then and there.  Sometimes tissue samples are collected to be certain of the condition. 

Final Thoughts

Your dog’s snoring may just be a natural annoyance that has no reason for concern. If you are unsure or think that it may be due to something else, waste no time in scheduling an appointment with your vet. Act quickly to find a remedy or to stop a condition from worsening. You and your pet will both sleep more easily!

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