Does your dog snore like a log being sawed in half? Do you ever wonder if it’s normal? Could this be a sign that your dog is having a health problem?
Here are the possible reasons why your dog snores and how you can help her stop this habit.
Possible Causes of dog Snoring
First let us clarify, yes, dogs do snore. It is considered normal behavior for some breeds. Like humans, dogs could snore lightly or loudly.
Snoring happens when the nose, nasal passage, or throat of your dog becomes abnormal. Various things could restrict, restrict, or block the passages. Your dog will snore if the air doesn’t flow properly.
The first step to helping your pet lessen or even stop this behavior is to understand why she snores in the first place. Here are some factors that might be causing this issue.
Some breeds are prone to snoring. Brachycephalic dogs are the most vulnerable. Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, Beijingese, Pugs, Shih Tzus are examples of the breeds. They are predisposed to this habit because of the following reasons:
- They have snouts that are shorter than normal.
- They have shorter nasal passages.
- But they have the same soft palates as other dogs. So, compared to their snouts, the palates are long. These block the opening of the larynx. This makes moving in and out of their bodies difficult for air.
- Their windpipes also flatten as they breathe resulting in loud snores when they sleep.
So, if you have a brachycephalic dog, have the vet check her to make sure that the snoring is a normal physical limitation.
But, just because your dog is from a different breed, it does not mean that she will never have a snoring issue. It’s better to keep a close eye on the habits of your dog and catch any sign of snoring.
If your dog likes to sleep on her back, then her tongue ends up blocking her passageways. Even just a partial blocking of the throat could lead to snoring.
Like humans, dogs also have ideal weights. The range takes into account a dog’s breed, height, and body mass. If your dog goes above the range then she becomes overweight or even obese. One side effect of this condition is snoring.
The extra fat collects in the throat, which can block the airway. The trachea could end up collapsing if too much fat develops in this area of your dog’s body.
There’s more to obesity than just snoring. It can cause heart disease and problems with the joints. So, keeping the weight of your dog within the optimal range is important.
The older your dog gets, the more her throat weakens. This is why snoring is common among senior dogs.
Some drugs can make your dog’s throat relax more than normal, which can lead to snoring. It is generally considered harmless. When your dog no longer takes the medicine, the snoring normally goes away.
Your dog could be suffering from one or more health issues that could be affecting the way she breathes.
- Allergies – your dog might be allergic to dust, pollen, dander, or cigarette smoke. She might also be allergic to her food.
The allergic reaction might restrict the passageways, resulting in snoring. The allergens may also cause mucus to form in the nose of your dog, thus blocking it.
The snoring will continue until the allergy subsides and her airways are clear again.
- Common cold – just like you, your dog can catch a common cold. The cold could make your pet sneeze, wheeze, and snore.
- Dental problems – Even bacteria from an abscessed tooth could spread and infect the airways. The inflammation may restrict the throat and result in snoring. An abnormally growing tooth’s long roots could also block the passages and cause snoring.
- Fungal irritation – this is related to allergies. Your dog could inhale fungi like mold spores from grass, hay, or compost piles. The fungi can irritate the nasal cavity. This could lead to a bodily response similar to an allergic reaction.
- Hypothyroidism – this condition means that the thyroid gland does not produce sufficient metabolism hormones. This condition affects many parts of her body. Hypothyroidism has no cure, but there is a medicine that helps to control it.
- Laryngeal paralysis – the laryngeal folds open when your dog inhales and closes up when she swallows. Sometimes, though, the vocal cords do not retract completely. The larynx becomes weak and even paralyzed. This results in your dog breathing loudly and snoring.
- Physical blockage – Your dog might be a naughty one eating anything in sight. If she has this habit then you might not be surprised that something might block her airway. It might be part of her favorite toy, a sock, or a towel of balled-up paper.
If you think that something is stuck in her windpipe, don’t try to force it out by yourself.
- Sleep apnea – This is a very rare condition for dogs. However, it can still affect your pooch, sadly. If her breathing stops and begins repeatedly while she sleeps, you will know your dog has this condition. She’s going to snore loudly. She will also startle into a full alert mode for no apparent reason. This condition needs to be treated with surgery.
- Sleep-related problems – besides sleep apnea, your dog could be suffering from other sleep-related issues. Some of these could be:
- insomnia – yes, dogs can have trouble sleeping;
- narcolepsy – sometimes too much sleep can be a cause of concern too; or,
- REM sleep behavior disorder – dogs dream just like humans do and like humans they can act out bad dreams by kicking, whimpering, flailing, or loud snoring.
What Should You Do
Monitor your dog when she sleeps. You should be concerned if she normally does not snore then suddenly starts snoring. This sudden change could mean an underlying illness or disease.
The cause may be a simple issue that can be treated with a change in the lifestyle of your dog. But the cause may be severe, requiring medication or surgery. Many of the causes could have an impact on her energy or blood pressure levels. If left untreated, this may be life-threatening.
The best way to do this is to get her to the vet for proper examination. A tip before the vet’s trip: record your dog while she is snoring. You won’t have trouble explaining the condition of your dog to the vet this way. The recording may also help your vet identify the cause of the snoring quickly.
Based on what you and your vet discuss, you can develop a treatment plan that will remedy your dog’s condition.
Tips To Stop Your Dog’s Snoring
- Gently change your dog’s position as she sleeps. Encourage her to sleep on her side. This position will expand the airways of her body and allow air to flow more freely.
But if she is touched when she is asleep, your dog may react negatively or even aggressively. You can change her bedding so she won’t sleep on her back in this case.
Get her around dog bed with raised edges. This kind of bed will encourage her to curl up on her side rather than sleeping on her back.
Some owners also recommend elevating the head to reduce the snoring. You can train her to use a pillow. Or, her new bed could have edges that act as pillows.
Try these beds:
- Casper Memory Foam Dog Bed – has four “bumpers” that act as a natural pillow. The memory foam of the whole mattress supports your dog’s whole body. There are three sizes to choose from so you can find one that fits a little or a large dog.
- Petlo Orthopedic Pet Sofa Bed – has edges raised that can be used as comfortable pillows. The edges are thick so that the body of your dog should fit snuggly in the middle of the bed as it curls up into it. The memory foam of the bed has a high density which supports all the pressure points of your dog.
- Best Friends By Sheri Donut – is shaped like a donut so it will encourage your dog to curl up in the middle of it.
- Use a humidifier in the area where your dog sleeps, especially during the dry winter months. A humidifier is necessary if you use a heater during cold months. This device causes the air in a room to dry out.
It will be difficult for a dog with a dry mouth or throat to breath. Because there is no lubrication between the throat flaps, it will touch and stick together. A humidifier increases the humidity in the air. The extra humidity will act as a lubricant and will alleviate the condition of your dog.
- Install in your home an air filtering system to keep the air free from dust or other pollutants. If an air filtering system is already in place, change the filter regularly to ensure that the air from which your dog breathes is kept clean.
- If you are a smoker, do not do it where your dog could suffer from second-hand smoke. Make sure that she does not smell smoke from other people either.
Consider this problem when you go outside. Avoid spots where you know people might be smoking.
- Clean the bedding of your dog every day. You need to make sure that when she sleeps on her bed or crate, there is no dust or other allergens.
- Vacuum the areas where your dog loves to play in. Do not forget the rugs, curtains, and carpets that might be accumulating dust and other allergens.
- Avoid spots with lots of pollen or spores when you take your regular walks. If it’s the pollen season, you may need to take your dog to an indoor facility until the levels of pollen are low.
- Ensure that your dog maintains her proper weight. Control her food intake. Do not give her too many treats. Take her on walks and runs regularly.
If your dog is already overweight, address how to change the diet of your dog slowly and make it lose weight with your vet. You’ll also need to create and implement your dog’s exercise program.
- If the snoring is because of your dog’s breed, train your dog to sleep in a different area. She can snore all she wants without waking you up in the middle of the night.
But even if you can no longer hear her, with fewer chances of snoring, you should still try to make her sleep better. Even if she sleeps in her own dog house, you can give her a bed.
- As a last resort, consult your vet about surgery for the condition of your dog. Your veterinarian will be able to guide you when you have to decide whether or not to let your dog go through the knife.
If you sleep with your dog in the same bed or room, a lot of sleepless nights may arise as a result of her snoring. Her snoring has many causes. It is good to consult your veterinarian for the best diagnosis and treatment. Doing this you can then help your dog to overcome her situation. Soon, both of you will have quiet nights and pleasant dreams.