If you’ve ever seen your dog snore, you might find yourself wondering whether you should be worried about him. After all, snoring seems a little less common in dogs than it is in humans, and some dogs never seem to snore at all.
The good news is that snoring is rarely a cause for concern in dogs. However, there’s more to the situation as well, and if you have a dog who snores a lot, you might need to look for more information to figure out why.
Allergies and Respiratory Infections
Just like humans, dogs snore more frequently when they are sick with allergies or respiratory infections. A sore throat and a stuffy nose can both contribute to snoring behaviors in dogs. If your dog’s snoring is an acute problem related to one of these issues, there’s nothing to worry about—if he’s getting treatment for the underlying health problem.
Dogs with serious allergies may need to be on allergy medications. Similarly, if your dog is sick with a respiratory infection, you’ll need to talk to the veterinarian to find out if he needs medicine to recover.
If your dog happens to inhale something that gets stuck in his windpipe or nose, he may snore because of it. He might also wheeze and seem to struggle to breathe. However, some dogs may inhale blockages that do not cause them to have much difficulty breathing, but still contribute to snoring behaviors.
If you think your dog might have inhaled a blockage, talk to your vet. The vet will need to perform some scans to check for blockages and find out where they are. From there, the vet can usually remove the blockage through surgery in most instances.
Nasal tumors are not very common in dogs, but they are possible. These tumors may be benign or cancerous and may be large or very small. If your dog develops a nasal tumor, he may start snoring more and more as the tumor grows.
Your veterinarian will need to do a few tests to determine whether your dog has a nasal tumor. If so, the vet will work with you to figure out the right treatment plan to manage or heal the tumor.
Brachycephalic breeds of dogs are much more prone to snoring than other breeds. These dogs have flat faces with very short snouts. The breeds in this category include pugs, French bulldogs, boxers, Boston terriers, and more. Snoring is one of the many health problems associated with these dog breeds.
These dogs have much smaller, flatter skulls than other breeds, but the tissues inside the dog’s head are not smaller. This means the dog’s necessary soft tissue is crammed into a space that is too small, which in turn causes a lot of breathing difficulties. Snoring in these breeds is normal, but it’s not healthy.
Medications such as some muscle relaxants and sedatives cause snoring in dogs. If your dog has been prescribed one of these types of medicines and you hear him snoring shortly after he takes it, this is perfectly normal, and the snoring behavior should stop when your dog stops taking the medication.
The most common cause of medication-induced snoring is a relaxation of the muscles in the back of the throat. The more relaxed the throat, the more likely you will be to hear snoring from your dog. If you are giving the medication as prescribed by the vet, there’s nothing to worry about here.
Humans who are obese tend to snore more often than those who aren’t, and the same is true of dogs. When your dog has too much fat and weight, this problem can cause a slight blockage of the windpipe while sleeping. In turn, your dog may snore, especially when sleeping in certain positions.
The best way to resolve this problem is to get your dog back to a healthy weight. Make sure he is eating the right amount of food and is getting plenty of exercise for his weight and age for best results.
Still Wondering About Your Dog’s Snoring? Talk to Your Vet
As you can see, most of the causes of snoring in dogs are benign. Even those that may be more concerning are easy to manage or treat with the help of a vet in almost all situations. It’s rare for snoring to indicate a serious problem in dogs, but since the possibility is still there, it’s important to have your dog check out if he starts snoring suddenly and never has before.
Your vet can provide you with more information and thorough examinations of your dog to figure out the underlying cause of his snoring and how to move forward, too. To book an appointment with your Birch Lake Animal Hospital vet call (651) 426-2246 or use the online form!
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