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Why Do Dogs Snore?

Learn why dogs snore and how you can stop it.

You're having a particularly nice dream, snoozing away, when you're suddenly jolted awake by the sound of a train bearing down on you. You look around wildly, heart pounding, and realize the sound is just your dog, snoring loudly at the foot of your bed.

You wrap your pillow around your ears and try to go back to sleep, but you're still awake when your alarm goes off.

What Causes Snoring in Dogs?

Snoring is caused by an interference with the air flow in the nasal passages or throat while a dog is sleeping. There are many reasons this could occur. Below are the most common ones.

  • Being overweight can result in extra tissue interfering with a dog's breathing while asleep.
  • Brachycephalic breeds, or those with flat faces like pugs, Pekinese, and bulldogs, often have extra tissue in the back of their throats and narrowed nasal passages that lead to snoring.
  • Allergies and illnesses affecting the nose can cause snoring in a dog that doesn't normally do it.
  • Being exposed to smoke is irritating to dogs' respiratory passages and can result in snoring as well as other health problems.
  • The development of nasal polyps or tumors can cause snoring.

What Can You Do About Your Dog's Snoring?

First, if your dog's snoring is something new, visit your veterinarian. He or she can check for respiratory infection or allergy and offer treatment if they are found.

  • If your dog suffers from allergies, be sure to keep his bedding as clean as possible, vacuum often using a HEPA filter, and don't forget to regularly clean curtains and dust shelves and light fixtures.
  • Brachycephalic breed dogs sometimes need surgery to reduce the tissue in the back of their throat and/or enlarge their nasal passages.
  • If your dog is overweight, ask your veterinarian for a plan to help him lose weight. Increase his exercise and help him get in better shape. You can learn more here: "Dog Weight Loss: Tips For Helping Your Dog Lose Weight."
  • Don't smoke around your dog or in your home.
  • Adjust your dog's sleeping position by changing the angle of his bed or adding a pillow.

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