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9 Reasons Your Dog Snores That Might Surprise You

Like humans, dogs snore because air movement in their nasal passages and airways has become disrupted. This disruption causes vibration in the tissues of their nose, mouth, or throat, resulting in the sound that you know as a dog’s snoring.

The real question to ask yourself is, what is causing this disruption? Why does my dog snore? In some cases, this disruption is entirely normal and not something you should worry about. However, in other situations, dog snores can be a sign of something more serious and may require an appointment with a veterinarian.


Why Does my Dog Snore? 9 Reasons

There are several reasons for a dog snoring, including its sleep position and breed.

1. Sleep Position

If your dog is used to sleeping on its back, this is the likely cause of the snoring keeping you up at night. When dogs are in this sleeping position, their tongues return to the throat. This, in turn, obstructs your dog’s airways, resulting in a snoring dog.

If your pup is snoring because of its sleep position, the simplest solution is to readjust it so that it’s no longer sleeping on its back. Alternatively, you can buy a dog bed with a built-in pillow that allows your pooch to prop its head up, reducing the risk that it’ll roll over onto its back in its sleep.

dog asleep on owners legs

2. Your Dog’s Breed

Some dog breeds are simply more likely to snore than others. The simplest way to tell whether your dog is of a breed that is predisposed to snoring is to look at its snout. If your dog has a shorter snout – such as a pug, french bulldogs, English bulldogs, boston terriers or Shih Tzus, for example – they’re likely genetically prone to snoring.

Dogs with short noses are known as brachycephalic. Brachycephalic dogs are more likely to suffer from breathing complications than non-brachycephalic dogs such as brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome. In some cases, these respiratory infections are serious enough to prevent the dog from getting enough oxygen, which requires surgery to correct. 

pug asleep on tiles

However, in most cases, snoring is simply a normal part of owning a brachycephalic dog – so if you’re planning to get a dog with a short snout, be aware that you’ll be exposed to some interesting sounds at night!

3. Allergies

Like humans, dogs can suffer from seasonal allergies. If your pup only snores in one season, it might be a sign that it’s allergic to something.

Seasonal allergies are most common during the spring and summer when dogs are more exposed to allergens like dust and pollen. These allergies inflame your pup’s nasal passages and cause them to swell, resulting in the passage of air being obstructed. This, in turn, results in snoring.

black-dog-sleeping-on-feet why does my dog snore

4. Your Pup Has a Cold

Another condition shared by both pups and humans is infections and colds. If your dog sneezes and has a runny nose or watery eyes along with sudden snoring, it’s likely a sign that your canine is suffering from a cold.


Colds do not always necessitate a trip to the vet, especially if there’s nothing else out of the ordinary with your pup. That said, if the cold continues for several days or worsens over time, getting in touch with a medical professional would be best.

5. Upper Respiratory Damage

Some several conditions and infections cause damage to your pup’s upper respiratory system. One of these is the common cold, as discussed above.

However, other conditions that can result in upper respiratory damage to dogs include living in a house with a smoker. Secondhand smoke is not just harmful to humans – it can also cause conditions like asthma and bronchitis in pups. If your pup has started snoring suddenly and your home is a smoking house, it’s a sign for dog owners to contact their vet as soon as possible.


6. Obesity

Is your pup looking a little thicker around the midsection than usual? Obesity in dogs can lead to a number of health issues, including osteoarthritis, bladder stones, and even cancer. However, aside from these concerns, another issue that can arise from excess weight is snoring. 

Excess body weight doesn’t just reflect in the midsection of a pup’s body – it can also result in excess fatty tissues forming around your pup’s neck and throat. This, in turn, can restrict your pup’s airflow, resulting in snoring.

two dogs asleep dog sleeping positions

If you suspect your pup is overweight, taking it to a vet for a checkup is essential. Not only will the vet be able to confirm your suspicions, but they’ll also provide you with a diet plan to move that excess fat and exercise schedule to help get your dog back to a healthy weight.

7. Sleep Apnea

Some dogs may develop sleep apnea. This disorder is generally rare in pups but is more common in breeds with flat faces and obese dogs. Sleep apnea is essentially a condition where something – generally excess fatty tissue around the airways or issues with a pup’s respiratory system – can result in temporary narrowing or even collapsing of the airways.

This leads to your pup taking shallow breaths when it’s sleeping. In some cases, it may stop breathing altogether for a few seconds. This can result in 2 things – a sound that resembles snoring when your mutt starts breathing again (it’s actually a very sharp inhale) and your pup being jolted out of sleep for a few seconds before they return to bed.

Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that a trustworthy vet should always address. If you suspect your pet has sleep apnea, contact your vet immediately – this condition often requires surgery.

brown dog asleep on stomach

8. Other Health Conditions

There is a range of health conditions that can result in snoring in dogs, including:

  • Tooth abscess or other dental issues
  • Hyperthyroidism 
  • Growth in the oral cavity
  • Growth in the sinuses
  • Fungal diseases like aspergillosis

In all of these cases, consulting a vet is essential. Some conditions, like abscessed teeth, can be extremely serious and require surgery. Other conditions, like aspergillosis, are easy to treat but can develop into something more serious if left untreated for a long time.

woman with sleepy beagle what do dogs dream about when they cry

9. Obstructed Airways

Do you have an intensely curious pup that loves to get into everything it can? If the answer is yes, there’s a chance that your dog has gotten a foreign object stuck up its nose while playing.

Something stuck up a dog’s nasal passageways – which can be anything from a small toy to water – could lead to sudden snoring when your dog sleeps. If the obstruction is temporary, the snoring should stop on its own within a couple of days. 

However, if the snoring does not stop, contact a vet and get a professional opinion. While the obstruction could be harmless, there’s always a risk it may be a tumor or cyst, and a vet will be able to provide you with more information.

jack russell dog sleeps with female child

Final Thoughts

There are several reasons your pooch may be snoring, from breed-specific characteristics to overweight dogs to kennel cough to serious health conditions. If you’re concerned that your pup has recently started snoring out of the blue, it’s a good idea to contact a vet for advice as to the cause of your dog taking on this new habit.

That said, keep in mind that dogs can snore for reasons that do not need medical intervention. For example, if you’re planning on getting a brachycephalic dog, you should expect at least some snoring.

dog asleep on human bed

Related Posts:

Why does my dog sleep with me but not my husband? 

What do dogs dream about when they cry? 

Why do dogs bark in their sleep? 

Why does my dog pee on my bed? 

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