Updated at: 24-12-2021 - By: petexpert

If your dog slept quietly for years and has just recently begun snoring, she may have developed a medical problem that interferes with her breathing during sleep.  Any inflammation of the airway can cause snoring.  Inflammation can result from allergies, trauma, infection, or irritants like perfumes or smoke.  Obstruction of the airway can also cause snoring.  Your veterinarian will check your dog for polyps and other types of tumors that can grow in the throat.  Additionally, your vet may need to ensure that the larynx is opening fully with each breath.


Some dogs snore simply because they are sleeping in an odd position.  Try waking your dog to see if his snoring goes away once he is sleeping in a different position.  Obesity will also contribute to snoring.  Excessive weight, especially around the chest and belly, will put pressure on the airways and cause noisy breathing.  In rare cases, there is a neurological problem resulting in snoring, so it is always important to seek your veterinarian’s advice.

What is Snoring?

Snoring has many sources of origin, including a weakening of the throat muscles which causes a partial closing of the throat leading to snoring as air is forced along. Another reason could be your dog is overweight, or it may even be his sleeping position. Lying on his back can put pressure on the throat area and obstruct normal breathing. For some breeds, it comes from having a short snout and being pushed in faces. But whatever the cause, if it is persistent or annoying, it is time for a checkup to see that it is not one of the following.

An obstruction within the nasal or throat area



Dental problems

Fungal disease (Aspergillosis)


Sleeping position

Why Snoring Occurs in Dogs


Blockages may occur due to a weakness of the throat muscles, or excessive fat around the throat, and even a cold can cause a blockage with mucus and enlarged capillaries. If your dog has only just started snoring it could be a blockage caused by seed heads or even a part of a toy that he has been chewing on.


If your dog is Inhaling secondhand smoke fumes, pollen, dust or mold spores, these irritants can all create allergic reactions. Snoring will be a symptom that can be accompanied by wheezing.


If your dog is one of a breed with a short snout and pushed in nose, he may have a problem known as brachycephalic airway syndrome. These dog breeds (Boxers, Pugs, English Bulldogs, Pomeranians, and the Shih-Tzu) have small nostrils known as stenotic nares, which are not that effective during breathing. Combine that with an elongated soft palate protruding into the dog’s airways, and a narrow windpipe with soft tissue protrusions into the larynx area, you have a recipe for a habitual snorer. If your dog is overweight regardless of the breed, the extra fat (especially around the neck area) can be the cause of the snoring, which when your pet reduces weight will naturally cure the condition.


Dental Problems

Untreated dental problems in your dog’s mouth can cause snoring. A tooth abscess or any swelling in the oral cavity or sinus can be the cause.

Fungal Disease (Aspergillosis)

Disease can result from inhaling mold spores while outside and can enter your dog’s body through the lining of the nasal cavity causing nasal swelling, nasal discharge and snoring. Medication will be needed to clear up the infection.


Tumors that are growing within your dog’s airway can be a cause of snoring. Veterinary evaluation is essential in order to determine the location and severity of the tumors.

Sleeping Position

The position in which your dog sleeps can also impact on the snoring. If your dog assumes the flat on his back position, it is more likely that he will snore than if your dog sleeps on his side.

What to do if your Dog is Snoring

In the case of obstruction, your dog needs to be checked by your veterinarian to see whether it is a foreign object such as a seed head or whether the weight your dog is carrying is causing an obstruction. Your dog may need to be anesthetized to carry out the removal of a foreign object, or a diet may be prescribed to help your pet lose some weight. Usually, with weight loss and more exercise, the snoring is resolved.


Allergies are tricky to correct unless you can pinpoint the cause. Certain months like spring and summer when there are hot, dusty winds and pollen blowing around can be hard to avoid unless you keep your dog indoors. If you are a smoker, opening windows to disperse the smoke will help, or smoke outside, or perhaps giving it up are all options.

For those dogs with a short muzzle, snoring is almost a certainty due to the shape and structure of their nose. If your dog’s breathing is labored even when he is awake, it would be advised to take your dog to your veterinarian to be checked. Corrective surgery may be carried out to enlarge the small nostril or reduce elongated palates or everted laryngeal saccules. But usually, a bit of snoring is considered part of the personality of the short nosed type pooch. After a check with your veterinary specialist and if they have the health clearance, then you must decide whether you want your dog sleeping in your room or perhaps moving him into another room.

Can I Stop My Dog from Snoring?

The first thing to do is to identify the possible environmental reasons your dog may be snoring. For this, you need your vet to help you diagnose the underlying issue. Again, if it’s allergies, frequent bathing and clean bedding might be all that’s needed to keep your dog from snoring.

Another good tip is to get a circular dog bed. These encourage the dog to sleep in a natural, curled up position which discourages snoring. Lastly, if your dog has a dry mouth or throat, they may snore. It’s safe to say if you feel dryness in your sinuses and mouth, your dog probably does too. A humidifier in the room where they sleep will assist in relieving the dryness.

Are you still asking yourself, “why does my dog snore?” Hopefully, we’ve given you some ideas to find the underlying issue. It’s important to remember that some dogs just snore. It’s their nature. If you want to avoid getting a dog that snores, be mindful of the breeds that are prone to this common issue. Your vet is the best resource for any airway problems dogs struggle with. So, if you’re concerned about your dog’s health, make sure you reach out to your vet.

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