Does your dog snore? Learn all the facts on dog snoring and what you can do as their owner to help.
Not only do I have a husband that snores every night, our King Charles Cavalier, Chewie also saws some logs! At first, I was very concerned with Chewie’s snoring because it was louder than my husbands and occurred every night since we got him.
But after careful research and a visit with our veterinarian, I became more aware of why he was snoring and how I can help alleviate some of his breathing troubles. It also encouraged my husband to visit an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist for his snoring as well!
Learn the basics of what breeds tend to snore, why they snore, health concerns to be aware of, and healthy tips and suggestions to help you and your pup get a good night’s sleep below.
Common Breeds Who Snore
The most common dog breeds who are known to snore are those who are classified as brachycephalic. That means they have a short snout, flat-face, or a shortened head. These types of breeds are prone to snoring because they tend to have restricted airways between their mouth and nose due to a shorter upper jaw.
Just like humans, if one has a narrow pathway between the nose and throat, restricted air may cause the tissues to vibrate and cause the noise we call snoring. Other factors might contribute to your pup’s snoring and should be evaluated by a professional if you are concerned or if they show any signs of the difficulty of breathing.
Now if you have a pup snorer or a breed that is considered brachycephalic, don’t fret yet. Being proactive and communicating with your vet is key. Some dogs snore for no reason at all so investing in a good pair of earplugs or relocating your pup to a new sleeping location might be the best option for your situation. Discussing your concerns with your veterinarian will help you determine why your pup snores and decide the correct steps to help get rid or lighten the snoring.
On a personal note, we found out our Chewie’s short snout and allergies were the cause for his snoring issues at our annual checkup with our veterinarian. Providing a new adaptive environment to suit his needs and showing him some extra compassion has helped his snoring immensely.
Check out the following brachycephalic breeds that are known to be quite the snorers.
Determining Why My Dog Snores?
Now that you are more familiar with common breeds who snore, it is important to find out why your pup may snore and potential health concerns associated with snorers.
All brachycephalic dogs have what is called brachycephalic airway syndrome that can cause several serious conditions if not addressed properly. It is important to always communicate and schedule annual checkups with your veterinarian.
Here are some common potential health concerns associated with snoring.
Just like humans, your pup can have allergies that can cause blocked nasal passages. When nasal passages are clogged, it forces you to breathe through your mouth and affect your soft palate, or the soft tissue in our mouth restricting the airway causing one to snore.
Brachycephalic dogs have the same amount of teeth as other breeds; 42 adult teeth. But because they tend to have a shorter jaw, it causes the issue of overcrowding that can cause gum disease and cavities. Make sure you have a weekly dental routine to best assist your pup with the essentials for good dental care.
Elongated Soft Palate
Dogs who snore tend to have an elongated soft palate than other breeds. This typically means the soft tissue around their mouth, nose, and throat has not decreased in size causing a narrow airway. In other words, less oxygen can pass through the airway making it hard for them to breathe at times. This is why you may notice if your dog snores, they might breathe or pant heavily at times as well.
Everted Laryngeal Saccule
Everted Laryngeal saccules can occur when sacs located in the larynx turn outward into the airway when excessive pressure occurs from difficulty breathing due to having an elongated soft palate or stenotic nares restricting the airway.
Because brachycephalic dogs are more prone to respiratory problems, heart issues are more common. Having a continuous lifetime struggle with a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, the chances for heart problems such as chemodectoma, heart disease, heart failure, or hypertension increases.
When a dog becomes overheated, they cool themselves down by panting. Panting helps bring more oxygen into the snout to the top of the tongue. When he has a short snout, it becomes difficult to bring in enough air to the amount of time needed to cool them down efficiently.
So, in other words, a brachycephalic dog easily becomes overheated, which leads to a greater chance to suffer from a heatstroke.
When a dog is both overweight and brachycephalic, it can make the airway in the throat even more narrow with extra fat that may cause a blockage. Providing a well-balanced diet and regular exercise routine will help keep your pup in tip-top shape.
Snoring is one the biggest symptoms in dogs who have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can be described as abrupt pauses in breathing when sleeping. Although not very common in dogs, sleep apnea is and can be very detrimental to your pup’s health and should be discussed with your veterinarian. If you notice your pet having a difficult time breathing while they snore, make sure you mention that as well.
If your dog has heavy or a hard time breathing during exercise, it might be a sign that they have stenotic nares, or narrowed or collapsed nostrils. When a pup has stenotic nares, it makes them rely on mouth breathing to receive the oxygen they need. Inhaling oxygen only through the mouth makes it quite strenuous for them to receive the correct amount of oxygen needed when exercising.
9 Tips To Help Alleviate Dog Snoring
1. Provide a well-balanced diet
Keeping your pup at a healthy weight will help decrease the chance of a possible blockage in their airway that increases the chance of snoring. Check out Best Nutrition and Diet Tips articles for more information for your loved one.
2. Incorporate a daily exercise routine
Exercising is a great way for your dog to keep in shape and have a healthy lifestyle. Make sure if your dog is brachycephalic, make sure you adapt their routine that is not too difficult. Walking at a slow pace, playing fetch or letting them run around at a small park are great ideas for brachycephalic dogs.
Try to avoid strenuous exercises like swimming, jogging, or running.
3. Invest in a humidifier
When air is dry, it can trigger respiratory issues such as nasal congestion or allergies. A humidifier is a great way to add extra moisture to the air. The URPOWER Humidifier is a great option if you are looking for a quality humidifier.
4. Avoid smoking around your puppy
Just like in humans, smoking increases the chance for snoring because it swells and irritates the airway.
5. Clean and vacuum regularly to control allergens
Brachycephalic dogs are prone to having allergies, so cleaning and vacuuming your home regularly is important.
6. Help change your dog’s position and sleeping location
You can encourage your pet to change positions while sleeping by providing them with a pillow to elevate their head or providing them with a round bed to help them sleep in a curled position.
A curled position will help their airways expand easier. Moving your pup to a different room in the house might be another option to consider as well so you and your family can get some much-needed sleep at night.
7. Keep your dog well hydrated
Drinking water is essential for dogs who snore for several reasons. Besides being a vital component for survival, water will help keep the airways moist and decrease the risk of a heat stroke.
You can also encourage your furry friend to drink more water by making water more easily accessible throughout the house with multiple water bowls.
8. Rub your dog’s throat gently when they have a difficult time breathing
When our King Charles Cavalier has a tough time catching his breath or having a reverse sneeze, our veterinarian recommended rubbing his throat with a finger in an up and down motion to help.
9. Understand your pup’s normal breathing and snoring patterns
It is important always to keep track of your dog’s normal behaviors, so it is easier for you to detect if something is out of the ordinary. Learning their normal breathing and snoring patterns could help answer any questions your vet may ask.
Learning information about dog snoring and accepting the fact that you just might need to invest in a good pair of earplugs is just part of being a pup parent. Understanding signs of difficulty breathing and communicating with your veterinarian will help you determine what is best when handling your dog’s snoring. Being patient and trying new ways to alleviate snoring will also help you provide the best lifestyle for your loved one.