Dog Snoring: What It Means, And When to Be Concerned

Written by Marisa Wilson
Published: October 1, 2022
© Jaromir Chalabala/
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You had a long day at work and came home to have to cook and clean. Hours pass, and before you know it, it’s bedtime. After a busy day, you’re probably excited to relax finally. Your dog is excited they can finally lounge on you. As you start to dose off, your dog beats you to it and is snoring like a wild animal. 

While most of the time you don’t mind it, like when you’re washing dishes, it can be a different story when you’re trying to sleep. Why do dogs snore? They snore for several of the reasons we do, along with some illnesses. If you’re worried about your dog snoring, you’ll learn about the causes and when to see a vet in this post. Now nudge your dog to stop snoring as you try to enjoy reading this article in peace!

Allergies or a Cold

Your dog only snores during the summer. Like us, they undoubtedly experience seasonal allergies. They may create more mucus due to the allergy, which could be the problem. Try keeping your dog indoors with air conditioning and washing their face and paws when they return inside if they go outside. If they are allergic to dust, pollen, or other physical allergens, wiping them off can limit their exposure. 

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Your dog may have a cold if he has been sneezing, congested, and suffering from watery eyes. This cold may also be the cause of snoring. It’s not always necessary to take your dog to the vet if they are still acting normally overall (eating, drinking, and playing), but it’s recommended to take them in if their symptoms worsen or continue.

dog sneezing
One cause of snoring in dogs could ber allergies.


Fungal Infections

A fungal illness called aspergillosis is typically spread through dirt, hay, and grass clippings. The fungus is brought on by mold and might enter the dog’s nose through its wet lining. Dogs who spend significant time outside are especially prone to this. Sneezing, puffiness, nasal discharge, and snoring are typical symptoms. If untreated, it can become dangerous but usually goes away after taking antifungal medication.


Dogs who snore frequently often have weight problems. Fat can build up in the throat of an overweight or obese dog, obstructing the airways and resulting in snoring. Because it may cause a tracheal collapse in dogs, this can be exceedingly deadly. Excessive weight gain in dogs can cause many other problems besides snoring, so if you know your dog is otherwise healthy but has gained a few pounds, take steps to reduce it. You can discuss a weight-management strategy with your veterinarian and the ideal weight for your dog’s breed.

Breed Characteristics

Breeds with short or flat features are destined to battle snoring. They are referred to as “brachycephalic,” meaning that their snouts are shorter than typical, and they are more likely to experience breathing problems. Breeds like Pugs and Chow Chows all fit into this group and may snore for the rest of their lives without experiencing any adverse health effects. 

However, these dogs can frequently experience breathing problems that could prevent them from getting adequate oxygen, typically resolved through surgery. Your doggies vet will let you know if there are more serious issues or if everything is going well if you have a brachycephalic puppy. Examples of other dog breeds that snore are:

Pugs are brachycephalic, meaning their short snouts make them prone to breathing problems.

©220 Selfmade studio/

Hypothyroidism or Medications

Before starting any new medication, you must discuss any potential side effects with your dog’s veterinarian. Some prescribed medicine could make his throat more relaxed, resulting in snoring. You’ll have to put up with snoring if your dog’s medication is the cause yet still necessary for their health.

In addition to snoring, your dog may also be experiencing other problems if they have hypothyroidism. These include hair loss or thinning, an unattractive coat, excessive shedding, scaly skin, weight gain, decreased activity, and a reduced tolerance for the cold. To address the problem and lessen the snoring, your veterinarian may recommend taking medication or prescribing hormone supplements.


Has your dog been ruthlessly digging holes? What about drinking water whole? Yup. Something could become lodged in there if your dog pokes his nose around. If a transient impediment is the cause of the snoring, it should simply stop within a few days. If it doesn’t, your best option is to visit a veterinarian. 

You shouldn’t take a chance by disregarding snoring if it continues because it could be a tumor or cyst. A vet should be seen if a dog’s nasal discharge is evergreen or bloody, as this may indicate an infection or obstruction. Once these problems are identified, your doggie will feel better sooner if they get an appointment quickly.

Sleep Position

Even healthy dogs without short snouts can snore depending on how they sleep. Like people, dogs snore more frequently when supine or sleeping on their backs because gravity pulls the tissues in the throat lower, constricting the airway. 

The simplest solution to stop your dog from snoring is to turn them onto their side or provide a pillow to lay on to lift their head and keep their airways from getting too small. There are other sleeping positions besides supine that make breathing more challenging. For example, if your doggie sleeps on its side, it may cause their airways to become constrained enough to cause snoring.

dog sleeping on back
Dogs that sleep on their backs are more likely to snore.

©Sandor Gora/

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a less likely reason your dog snores. This sickness can affect dogs just like humans, but it is considerably less prevalent. People and animals with sleep apnoea have very shallow breathing during sleep, and occasionally they cease breathing entirely. They typically recommence breathing with a sharp inhale that sounds like snoring. It’s crucial to take your doggie to the doctor to get examined if you have any concerns that he may have sleep apnea.

Abscessed Tooth or Upper Respiratory Infection

The tissue surrounding an infected tooth may enlarge due to dental abscesses, obstructing the free passage of air. Additionally, tooth abscesses might result in rhinitis or sinusitis when an upper tooth sticks out too far upward, causing an increase in mucus production that obstructs the airflow.

Bacteria or viruses that produce symptoms like nasal congestion and snoring in your dog might cause upper respiratory infections. For instance, the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica frequently causes kennel cough, an upper respiratory illness in dogs. Fortunately, you can vaccinate your dog against Bordetella, which might be necessary if you intend to board your dog.

Smoking Inside Your House 

Your dog can suffer if you smoke. Dogs exposed to tobacco smoke frequently or continuously will snore more regularly. Your dog may become irritated by the chemicals and poisons inherent in tobacco. They might also make them more susceptible to allergies and severe canine respiratory infections. If you stop smoking, or at the very least, cease in the house, your dog’s snoring—if it is caused by tobacco smoke—will stop.

Smoking in your house can cause your pet to have breathing problems, which can lead to snoring.


How Vets Can Help

Your vet can assist you in identifying the problem if there is no apparent cause for your pet’s snoring or if it suddenly started. While prescription medicine will enhance your pet’s health and lessen snoring from hypothyroidism, tooth-related snoring should be relieved by extracting an abscessed tooth and treating the infection with antibiotics.

Making a few adjustments to your doggie’s environment can be helpful if allergies are the cause. Reduce exposure to allergens by wiping your pet off with a damp towel after going outside, and wash your floors and bedding frequently. A humidifier will maintain moisture in your pet’s nasal passages, while air conditioners and filters will remove allergens from the air your pet breathes. Additionally, your veterinarian may suggest medicated shampoos or issue an allergy medication prescription.

Snoring in dogs with short noses isn’t always a symptom of a problem. If you own one of these breeds, it’s critical to maintain your pet’s healthy weight and keep an eye on your dog’s breathing in case it develops a cold or another upper respiratory infection. Your veterinarian can suggest surgery to enhance airways if your pet’s snoring is a sign of a serious problem.

How To Help Your Dog Snoring

Sometimes all it takes to stop or lessen snoring is gently encouraging your dog to roll over or encouraging your pet to drop a little weight. Your vet can assist you in coming up with a weight loss strategy that will enable your dog to safely lose any excess weight if they are overweight or obese. If your pet has a cold or an upper respiratory illness, the snoring will probably stop once they start to feel better.

When to Worry About Your Dog Snoring

Dogs frequently snore, and it’s not usually a sign of a significant medical condition. However, if your dog’s snoring has only recently begun, their sleeping position hasn’t changed, and their weight hasn’t altered, it may be a sign of a significant underlying health issue. At your dog’s subsequent appointment, bring up your concerns about your dog’s snoring to see if your veterinarian has any advice. 

If not, you can enjoy your dog’s sleep while you ignore their snoring. Although snoring may not be serious most of the time, you should see a veterinarian if your dog suddenly starts snoring and exhibits other symptoms, such as lethargy or lack of appetite. Take your doggie to the closest emergency clinic for evaluation and treatment if they have trouble breathing, including wheezing or gasping for air. This could mean that their airways are blocked.


Like people, dogs typically snore when airflow is impeded in the throat or nasal passages. Dogs sometimes prefer to sleep on their backs, which results in their tongue partially obstructing some of the airflows in their passages, which can contribute to canine snoring. Alternatively, your dog could snore due to an allergy to dust or secondhand smoking. There are also severe health conditions to consider, like a tooth abscess that travels into the sinuses of the nose or even sleep apnea. 

In fact, both illnesses may call for surgery. Sleep apnea diagnosis for a dog is incredibly uncommon. Snoring is frequently a sign of hypothyroidism in dogs, a condition in which the thyroid gland produces insufficient amounts of the hormone that regulates metabolism. Although it does necessitate keeping your dog on medication for the remainder of its life, it’s reasonably affordable. Now that you know why your doggie might be snoring, you should share this with other pup owners! You might help them get a good night’s rest too.

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About the Author

Creepy-crawly creatures enthrall Marisa. Aside from raising caterpillars, she has a collection of spiders as pets. The brown recluse is her favorite spider of all time. They're just misunderstood. You don't have to worry about squishing the creatures as her catching, and relocating abilities can safely move stray centipedes or snakes to a new location that's not your living room.

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