Why Does My Dog Snore So Loudly?

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One of the greatest joys of pet ownership is cuddling up with your dog at night. Having a furry, warm body sleeping next to you can be a great source of comfort, and even helps many pet owners fall asleep.

What’s not so relaxing, though, is when you have a dog who tends to snore loudly.

If you have a loud snorer, you may be wondering if there’s an underlying health issue or other concerning reason. Truth is, in most cases, loud dog snoring is perfectly normal and not something to worry about.

In this post, I’ll cover everything you need to know about dog snoring, including how to stop it, when it’s indeed a sign for concern, and which breeds snore the most.

Why Do Dogs Snore?

Just like humans, the most common reason for dog snoring is because the airflow in their nose or throat is blocked.

This blockage can be caused by any number of things, including something as simple as your dog’s sleeping position or his tongue hanging towards his throat.

Allergies, infections, and diseases are other, less common causes of snoring in dogs.

What Can Cause My Dog Snoring?

Typically, dog snoring is perfectly normal. Many times, it’s merely caused by his sleeping position, which can be easily and quickly fixed by repositioning him.

However, snoring can also be symptomatic of an underlying condition:

  • Obesity is a common cause of dog snoring because fat builds up in dogs’ throats and can restrict airflow.
  • Allergies can also cause blockages and snoring. If your dog is sensitive to dust and/or pollen, you may want to consider an air purifier.
  • Sleep Apnea can occur in dogs, just like humans, although it’s very rare. If your dog stops breathing while sleeping and then resumes breathing with a loud inhale, he may have sleep apnea and need to be treated by a vet.
  • Dental Issues, Rhinitis and Fungal Disease are other rare causes of dog snoring that need to be checked by a vet.
  • Second-hand Smoke can cause snoring and many other much more serious health problems for your dog, such as nasal cancer, lung cancer, respiratory illness, eye infections, chronic allergies, and more.

Which Dog Breeds Snore the Most?

Some breeds are more genetically predisposed to snoring than others. If you’re a light sleeper and sensitive to snoring, you may want to avoid certain dog breeds.

Brachycephalic breeds, meaning dogs with short snouts and flatter faces, almost always snore. In fact, some airlines refuse to fly these breeds because of their short muzzles and soft palates, which can cause breathing difficulties.

This includes:

  • Pugs
  • Boxers
  • Bulldogs (including French Bulldogs)
  • Shih Tzus
  • Chihuahuas (particularly apple-headed Chihuahuas)
  • Chow Chows
  • Bull Mastiffs
  • Pekingese
  • and more

Why Does My Dog Snore When He’s Awake?

Dogs snore when they’re awake for the same reasons they snore when they’re asleep.

Brachycephalic breeds and obese dogs are much more likely to make snoring sounds when they’re awake. Dogs suffering from allergies may snore throughout the day as well.

How To Make Your Dog Snore Less Loudly?

cute dog sleeping upside down

If your dog’s snoring is bothering you, there are a number of ways you can reduce his snoring, depending on the cause.

Remember, the most common cause of dog snoring is his sleeping position.

  • You might be able to reduce snoring by gently and slowly moving your dog into a better position. For example, sleeping on his back often causes snoring, so try gently rolling him over on his side.
  • If your dog sleeps in the bed with you, try arranging pillows around him so that he sleeps on his side instead of rolling over on his back.
  • You can put a dog bed in your room for your dog to sleep in, which may both allow him to sleep in a better position that reduces snoring and give you some space, so the snoring sounds quieter.
  • As a last resort, you may have to have your dog sleep in another room.

How Can I Deal With My Dog Snoring?

The fact is that most dogs snore at least some of the time. If you’re losing sleep over your dog’s loud snoring, there are a few things you can do to get a better night’s rest.

  1. First, try the techniques above to reduce your dog’s snoring.
  2. Sleep with a white noise machine on or use a white noise app on your phone to drown out the sound of snoring.
  3. You can also try wearing earplugs, which are especially convenient if you’re traveling with your dog or don’t like the sound of white noise.
  4. If your dog is obese, work with your vet to determine a safe and healthy weight loss plan for your pup. Also, be sure he’s getting plenty of outdoor playtime and exercise.
  5. Since allergies are another cause of dog snoring, keep a clean house, and make sure all of your dog’s bedding and lounging areas are particularly clean. This keeps dust and pollen from building up in those areas, which may be causing his airflow restriction.
  6. In case you or anyone in your household smokes, it’s very important that you take precautions to keep your home a smoke-free environment. Only smoke outdoors and away from your dog and wash your hands after smoking and before coming in contact with your dog.
  7. If you’ve tried everything and your dog is still snoring loudly, you should see a vet to find out if there are any medical conditions your dog is suffering from.

In Conclusion

Let’s face it, most dogs snore sometimes, and snoring is to be expected in certain breeds. Luckily, it’s usually not a reason for concern or indicative of a health problem.

If you can’t stand the noise, there are ways to help prevent your dog’s snoring, such as repositioning your dog and keeping a smoke-free and clean home. When all else fails, you may need to invest in a set of earplugs or a white noise machine.

Or you can just let your sleeping dog lie, even if he’s snoring like a chainsaw!

About the author

Li-ran Bukovza

Li-ran believes that our dogs can teach us more than we could ever teach them. He's fascinated by the dog-human bond and loves researching and writing about new pet trends. With the help of Richie (his trusty Maltese sidekick), he hopes to help as many people as possible understand the beautiful, complex world of canine companionship.