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What to Do When Your Dog Snores

By Samantha Johnson on Jul. 14, 2016

I have a confession to make.

My dog snores.

Yes, it’s true. My adorable and energetic Peaches the Corgi has an undeniable propensity to snore. Not every single night, but it’s usually quite obvious when Miss Peaches has fallen asleep for the evening. Regular, repetitive purring sounds float through the room until Peaches finally falls into her deepest sleep, at which point she flips over onto her back (it’s true) and the snoring ceases.

Why do dogs snore? (And what can you do about it?)

Just like humans, dogs snore for a variety of reasons and it can sometimes be difficult to precisely pinpoint the factors that results in your dog’s nighttime noise. But here are a few that may play a part:

  • Anatomy and physical characteristics are a common factor, as dogs with brachycephalic skull shapes (such as Pugs, Bulldogs, Boston terriers, Boxers, Pekinese and Shi Tzu's) are noted for their increased tendency to snore. In these dogs, the shape of the head limits their ability to breathe normally, which is then manifested by snoring as the dogs sleep.
    (Tip: Since these breeds have varying levels of brachycephalic respiratory syndrome, you will need to learn how to care for your pet and take precautions. These breeds are prone to heat stroke, possible complications while under general anesthesia and other conditions). 
  • Physical condition and weight also play a role. Obese or overweight dogs have an increased tendency to snore, so if your dog is packing some extra pounds, talk to your veterinarian about an appropriate diet and exercise program that will help your dog get in shape and return to a healthier weight. Once your dog is in shape, his snoring should decrease accordingly.
    (Tip: Consult with your veterinarian on a proper diet for your pet. Many dog food brands offer weight management formulas).
  • Dogs also snore due to allergies, smoke or even viruses, so limit your dog’s exposure to allergens and prevent him from being exposed to secondhand smoke if at all possible. By minimizing allergens and smoke, you’ll hopefully diminish the snoring as well.
    (Tip: Vacuum regularly, clean or replace your pet's bedding regularly and keep rugs and curtains dust-free.)
  • Sometimes medical or dental problems, such as tumors or abscesses, can manifest themselves via snoring. This is one of the reasons that it’s important to be observant and take note if your dog has suddenly developed a tendency to snore, or if the volume and frequency of the snoring has changed or increased.
    (Tip: If you see unexpected changes in your dog’s snoring habits, it’s wise to schedule a veterinary evaluation to rule out potential problems of any kind.)

And then there are dogs—like Peaches—who snore for no apparent reason at all, although I have noticed that she snores more when she’s curled up on the furniture and less when she’s stretched out. Your pet’s choice of sleeping spots may contribute to his propensity to snore, especially if his preferred sleeping position results in the partial obstruction of his airways.

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How to live with the noise

Luckily for me, I don’t mind the sound of Peaches’ snoring. It’s rhythmic and soothing and I think of it as an “all’s well with the world” type of reassuring sound. When Peaches is snoring, I know she’s happily sleeping and peacefully dreaming of all her favorite things.

But not everyone is fond of the sound of a dog snoring. It can—admittedly—get a bit annoying when it goes on and on (and on), or when it’s especially loud, or when it interrupts your sleep on a regular basis,

So what’s a sleep-deprived pet parent to do?

The obvious answer is to sleep in a separate room away from your dog. But this may not be a valid option for many people, given the high percentage of pet parents who prefer to share a bed with their dog. For many people, being with their pet is more important than the mild inconvenience of listening to them snore.

So if a separate room is not the answer, the next option is to try to block the noise. Earplugs are an option, but it’s also possible to mask the snoring noise with another noise—perhaps from a white noise machine or app, or the sound of an electric fan. The calming sound of a fan can effectively diminish the intensity of snoring sounds. (Trust me, it works!)

Does your dog snore regularly? Share your experiences and tips in the comments section. 

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by Kathleen Spaeth
‎09-11-2016 11:27 AM

We have a 16-month old Labrador, whom we have been raising up since she was 8-weeks old, and she snores mildly. She usually starts to snore, during her pre-sleep, at night (between the hours of 9:00-11:00 P.M., while we are cuddle up on the sofa watching television.  We do not mind, because we see it as a sweet way she tells us that she has had a busy (and active day) and she is happy (and content) to share tv cuddle time with us. We do not let her sleep with us, not because of her snoring, but because it is essential (for all of us) to sleep in our own beds (hers is her Crate) and to have alone time away from each other.  Also, she is a Dog that likes to move around in her sleep and her constant movement is too disruptive to our sleep.  Finally, her Dermatological Veternarian tells us that because she has to deal with Environmental Allergies it is normal to hear her mildly snoring and then to hear her breathing settle in for the night.  Your Article brought a smile to my Face!

We have a 16-month old Labrador, whom we have been raising up since she was 8-weeks old, and she snores mildly. She usually starts to snore, during her pre-sleep, at night (between the hours of 9:00-11:00 P.M., while we are cuddle up on the sofa watching television.  We do not mind, because we see it as a sweet way she tells us that she has had a busy (and active day) and she is happy (and content) to share tv cuddle time with us. We do not let her sleep with us, not because of her snoring, but because it is essential (for all of us) to sleep in our own beds (hers is her Crate) and to have alone time away from each other.  Also, she is a Dog that likes to move around in her sleep and her constant movement is too disruptive to our sleep.  Finally, her Dermatological Veternarian tells us that because she has to deal with Environmental Allergies it is normal to hear her mildly snoring and then to hear her breathing settle in for the night.  Your Article brought a smile to my Face!

Posted on Sep. 11, 2016
by Cavmom
‎09-16-2016 04:16 PM

My King Charles Cavalier has always snored, but it was becoming much worse about a year ago.  She acted like she had sleep apnea and would stop breathing momentarily, gasp and then continue sleeping and snoring.  My regular vet suggested I take her to a specialist about 100 miles away. They discovered that she had paralyzed larnygeal flaps and a dropped soft palate which prevented her from getting enough air to breath.  The appointment was on a Friday and they warned me that she should not even make the trip home, but leave her there where she could be given oxygen until the surgeon could operate on Monday.  She spent 7 days in intensive care and it was touch and go for a while.  She now always sleeps with her head propped up and she seems to know that she can breathe better that way.  I must always soak her dry food and mince up her chicken and puree other foods.  She never snores now.  I realize now the snoring was alerting me to a very serious condition that could have caused her death.

My King Charles Cavalier has always snored, but it was becoming much worse about a year ago.  She acted like she had sleep apnea and would stop breathing momentarily, gasp and then continue sleeping and snoring.  My regular vet suggested I take her to a specialist about 100 miles away. They discovered that she had paralyzed larnygeal flaps and a dropped soft palate which prevented her from getting enough air to breath.  The appointment was on a Friday and they warned me that she should not even make the trip home, but leave her there where she could be given oxygen until the surgeon could operate on Monday.  She spent 7 days in intensive care and it was touch and go for a while.  She now always sleeps with her head propped up and she seems to know that she can breathe better that way.  I must always soak her dry food and mince up her chicken and puree other foods.  She never snores now.  I realize now the snoring was alerting me to a very serious condition that could have caused her death.

Posted on Sep. 16, 2016
About the Author
  • Samantha writes about the happy things in life—pets, home, family, food, and gardening—and thinks Mondays are the most wonderful day of the week. She is the author of ten books and shares her home with Peaches, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi; Toppy, a Holland Lop rabbit; and Maureen O'Hare-a, a Mini Rex rabbit.
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