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8 Reasons Why Dogs Snore | Pupford

January 31st, 2024

Filed under Health + Wellness

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As pet parents, we have all likely found ourselves chuckling at the rhythmic sounds emanating from our dogs during naptime. Dog snoring is a common occurrence, but we may find ourselves wondering why they snore and when it may be cause for concern.

In this blog post, we’ll delve into the 8 reasons why dogs snore. Whether your pup is a champion sleeper or an occasional snorer, understanding the reasons behind their snoring can provide valuable insights into their health and well-being.

Here's what we cover:

  1. What is Snoring?
  2. Why Does My Dog Snore?
  3. When Should I Be Concerned About My Dog’s Snoring?


dogs may snore more depending on how they sleep

According to Emergency Vets USA, snoring is the same for dogs and humans and occurs due to restricted airflow passing through their nasal canal and airway. Because airflow is limited, the tissues in the area vibrate causing the snoring sound. The severity of the snoring will vary depending on how restricted the airflow is.

Related Reading: Do Dogs Have Dreams?


Now that we know what snoring is, let’s dive into the various reasons why your dog may snore during their slumber.

1. Breed Characteristics

bulldog breeds snore because of their short snouts

One of the primary factors influencing a dog’s likeliness to snore is their breed and anatomical structure.

Certain breeds are more predisposed to snoring due to anatomical features such as brachycephalic (short-nosed) or flat-faced breeds like Bulldogs, Pugs, and Shih Tzus.

These breeds are characterized by their narrower airways and trachea, and elongated soft palates, contributing to increased snoring.

The shortened muzzles and compressed airways of brachycephalic breeds create a unique set of challenges when it comes to breathing, especially during sleep. Their anatomical differences from other dogs contribute to an increased likelihood of airway resistance, resulting in the characteristic snorts and snuffles they are known for.

Understanding your dog’s breed characteristics can help you appreciate the uniqueness of their snoring patterns.

2. Weight and Body Condition

Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for overall canine well-being and it also plays a role in snoring tendencies.

Dogs that carry excess weight may experience the accumulation of fatty tissues around their neck and throat, leading to airway obstruction and snoring. By managing your dog's weight, you can reduce their snoring and improve their overall health.

To learn more about obesity in dogs, check out our article: Obese & Overweight Dogs: Chart, Symptoms, Treatments.

3. Infections and Illnesses

a sick dog may be prone to snore more

According to Dr. Rania Gollakner from PetMD, snoring can also be caused by tissues in the airway becoming swollen and inflamed due to an infection or other illness.

Some illnesses to be aware of that may cause this are:

  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Kennel cough
  • Abscesses
  • Nasal Mites
  • Fungal infections

4. Sleeping Position

Just like humans, dogs have their preferred sleeping positions, and some are more conducive to snoring than others depending on how it affects airflow in their nasal canal.

Whether your pup is a back sleeper, belly snoozer, or a curled-up cutie, their chosen position can influence the likelihood of snoring.

Do you want to know about your dog’s sleeping position? Learn more about dog sleeping positions and what they mean here!

5. Environmental Factors

a dog with allergies may snore more

The environment in which your dog sleeps can also contribute to snoring. Factors such as air quality, temperature, and the presence of allergens can influence respiratory health.

To improve the environment they sleep in, look into improved ventilation, air purifiers, humidifiers, and the bedding they sleep on.

6. Allergies

According to Dr. Pippa Elliott from Petful, dogs may also snore due to allergies. While allergies in dogs most commonly show up as skin-related issues, allergies can sometimes be displayed as sneezing or snoring.

This happens when allergens are breathed in and cause inflammation in the nasal cavity. This is comparable to hay fever in humans.

If you want to learn more about allergies in dogs, check out this blog post about why dogs sneeze!

7. Age and Seniority

dogs may snore more as they age

As our beloved companions age, changes in sleep patterns may become more apparent.

Senior dogs, in particular, may develop conditions such as arthritis or muscle weakness, impacting their ability to find comfortable sleeping positions.

Additionally, older dogs may experience a decrease in muscle tone, including the muscles in the throat, which can contribute to snoring.

Senior dogs may experience changes in sleep duration and quality. While some older dogs sleep more soundly, others may experience frequent awakenings or changes in sleep-wake cycles.

Consider providing your aging pup with a more supportive bed to alleviate joint pressure and encourage comfortable sleeping positions. Regular veterinary check-ups become even more crucial during the golden years, allowing for early detection and management of any underlying medical conditions.

Our senior pups often need even more love and care. Learn more about caring for senior pups here.

8. Underlying Health Issues

In some cases, snoring may be a sign of underlying health issues. Respiratory conditions, airway obstructions, and dental problems can all contribute to snoring in dogs.

If you feel like your dog’s snoring has drastically increased or is decreasing their ability to breathe easily while sleeping, check with your veterinarian for any underlying medical concerns.

While rare, some underlying medical concerns that can cause snoring are:

  • Laryngeal paralysis
  • Nasal tumors
  • Sleep apnea
  • Lung disorder
  • Cardiac conditions

Please, reach out to your veterinarian, if concerns arise.


dog sleeping under the covers

If you notice any sudden change in your pup’s behavior, we always recommend a vet visit, and snoring is no different.

If your dog has never been a frequent snorer or doesn’t have a history of breathing concerns and suddenly they are snoring every night, it may be a good idea to have your veterinarian rule out any underlying health issues - just to be on the safe side.

If your dog’s sudden onset of snoring is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, take them to the vet immediately:

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing or difficulty breathing
  • Lethargy
  • Loud or labored breathing when awake

Remember, that every dog is different and their snoring may be caused by a combination of these reasons as well. Understanding our dogs' snoring can ensure they are getting the best possible care. Sweet dreams to you and your furry snoozer!


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