Is Your Dog Snoring Normal or a Cause for Concern? Find Out Now


Typically, it’s common for dogs to snore, however, occurrences of severe snoring in dogs could be an indication of underlying health issues with your pet.

Several factors can be the short answer to ‘dog suddenly starts snoring’. As a dog parent, it is essential that you know exactly when to see the vet for your dog’s loud snoring.

This article discusses various causative factors in a dog’s body that can cause a dog to snore louder than usual.

Let us find out!

Is it Normal for Dogs to Snore? What Causes Excessive Canine Snoring?

Several factors can cause snoring in dogs, Factors like your dog’s weight and breed are some of the most important considerations. For example, larger and obese dogs are more likely to snore. Moreover, certain brachycephalic dog breeds like pugs, bulldogs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, etc. are more likely to snore.

Here are the detailed reasons behind a dog’s snoring:

Your Dog’s Weight

According to vets, excess fat can cause snoring in dogs. This is due to the fact that weight gain can result in excess tissues or extra fat around the pet’s neck, upper airway, and throat region. This causes blockages in the airways, resulting in loud snoring.

Your Dog’s Breed

As mentioned above, brachycephalic dog breeds like Pugs, Pekingese, English and French Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, Boston Terriers,  Chow Chow, Boxer, Cane Corso, etc. have peculiar skeletal structures.

These result in ‘squashed-in faces’ with short snouts and noses. Such breeds also have an elongated soft palate or shorter breathing passage, which causes the membranes to hang down the back of the dog’s throat.

Dogs with normal length soft palates don’t make noises when breathing, unlike these brachycephalic breeds.

As a result, these brachycephalic dogs tend to have trouble breathing and many of these dogs even require surgeries to fix the stenotic nares. These dogs also tend to pant heavily post-exercise and many dogs resort to open-mouthed respiration and wheezing due to which snoring occurs.

Dental Issues 

Pet owners often fail to think of dental issues when their dogs snoring gets louder than normal. However, an abscessed tooth could cause the airways to get blocked resulting in dogs snore.

Sinuses, nasal passages, and dental issues are also often linked together. This indicates that poor oral hygiene in dogs could affect their sinuses and result in snoring.

Respiratory Issues and Infections

There are various respiratory issues that could cause dog’s airways to get blocked and subsequent snoring in dogs.

These include tracheal collapse, ear infections, inflammation/severe infection of the throat, dog influenza or upper respiratory infections, rhinitis, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, fungal infections, etc. If there’s discharge from your dog’s nose with breathing problems, then see your veterinarian immediately.

Sleep Apnea

Experts believe that both humans and dogs could suffer from sleep apnea. This can cause dogs to snore loudly and they may even stop respiring temporarily while asleep. Excess weight or obstructed airways due to malformed nostrils can be the cause of canine sleep apnea that can trigger snoring.

Sleep Position

Dogs often sleep in the most unbelievable positions and a strange position could increase their chances of snoring during sleeping. According to PetMD, dogs that sleep on their backs are more likely to snore since their tongues fall back and may obstruct the airways.


Dogs could suffer from allergies due to mold, pollen, and secondhand smoke that can cause the nasal cavity to become inflamed. This could cause an obstruction in the dog’s throat resulting in louder-than-normal snoring, respiratory problems, and runny noses in our furry friends.

Thyroid Issues

A dog with a health problem or medical problem like thyroid gland-related disorders – especially hypothyroidism- is more likely to snore since the underactive thyroid increases the dog’s intolerance to colds and tends to inflame the airways. This could cause a pet to start snoring.

Is My Dog Snoring or Having Trouble Breathing?

It can be difficult for pet parents to know when their pup’s snoring is normal or if it is having trouble respiration. Here are some signs that can help you assess if your dog is snoring or having labored respiration.


A dog snore is usually rhythmic and will produce an even sound whereas labored respiration could cause a louder and uneven sound.


Dog snore is intermittent whereas, troubled respiration could be persistent and more frequent. Also, snoring will usually only occur when your dog is asleep while labored respiration could occur even during waking hours.

Presence of Other Symptoms

A dog or puppy with breathing issues could also show other signs and symptoms like wheezing, excess panting, coughing, shallow breaths (or, conversely, fast breaths), etc. Normal snoring won’t have these other symptoms.

Dog Sleeping Position

Respiratory difficulties may occur in any dog’s sleeping position whereas snoring usually occurs when the dog sleeps on its back or on its side.

What Can you Do for a Dog That Snores? How to Get a Dog to Stop Snoring?

There are several things you can do for a dog that snores:

Manage Weight

Even a few extra pounds of weight loss can show dramatic results in the form of reduced snoring in your dog. Practice portion control, exercise your pet, and switch to low-calorie dog food (after consulting your vet) to help your pet shed those pounds.

Change Your Dog’s Bed

Switch to a dog bed having side bolsters so your dog can elevate its head. A change in a dog’s sleeping habits and sleeping position can be an effective way to reduce your dog’s snoring by reducing blocked airflow and improving air movement while sleeping.

Use a Humidifier

Dog owners may use humidifiers to add humidity to the air. This can help reduce dryness that results in swollen sinuses. This could curb snoring in your dog.

Get Rid of Allergies

If your pet is allergic to mold, dust, pollen, etc. then eliminate these with frequent vacuuming. If needed, get your veterinarian to prescribe antihistamines for your dog’s seasonal allergies.

Surgery/Veterinary Medicine

Treat any underlying health issue that may be resulting in your dog’s snoring. If needed, consider surgery to remove the obstruction of the nasal passages, if any, as advised by your vet.

Also Read: Dog Breathing Heavy – Here’s What You Need to Know

Conclusion – What to Do for Canine Snoring?

Dog snoring can occur due to weight gain, dental issues, respiratory infections, sleep apnea, or even your dog’s facial structure. If the dog suddenly started snoring and is also showing other symptoms like coughing, wheezing, etc. please see your vet right away.

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