Dog Snorting | What You Need To Know

Have you ever wondered why your dog snorts?

It’s not just a quirk – there are several reasons why dogs may snort.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the top three causes of dog snorting, so you can better understand your furry friend. 

The Causes Of Dog Snorting


Dogs can be allergic to pollen, dust, mold, and other airborne irritants, which leads to snorting.

Dogs can experience allergies similar to humans and may react when exposed to pollen, dust, mold, and other airborne allergens.

While occasional sneezing isn’t necessarily a cause for concern, consistently snuffling could indicate they’re suffering from allergies.

If this is the case, it’s best to take preventive measures.

Avoiding allergen-rich places or taking allergy supplements helps prevent excessive snorting.

Respiratory Infection 

Having a cold or other respiratory infection can be quite a nuisance.

Unfortunately, our canine friends are sometimes not spared from these afflictions.

A telltale sign that your dog may have an infection is if they start snorting.

Sneezing, coughing, and nasal discharge may indicate your dog has taken up pathogens from the environment.

If you suspect your dog has a respiratory infection, take them to a vet for a complete evaluation to start their recovery.

Nasal Blockage

If your dog is making some peculiar snorting noises, it could be due to a blocked nose.

Nasal obstruction can severely impact your dog’s breathing.

Bacterial or fungal infections, nasal tumors, and other factors can induce nasal obstruction.

Dogs may also develop nasal issues from inhaling dust, smoke, chemicals, or other irritants.

If you’re noticing your dog snorting more frequently, it’s best to take them to a vet right away to assess what is causing the issue before further problems arise.


When a dog snorts, it could be an indicator of excitement!

If your dog starts snorting when you come home or bring out their favorite toy, it likely means they are happy and ready to play.

Dogs snort for various reasons, but when accompanied by a wagging tail, jumping up and down, and other signs of delight.

It’s often a sign that your dog is excited.

Whether you are excited to see them or they are excited to see something else, snorting can signify joy in the air, like humping the air!


Anxiety can be caused by changes in their environment, loud noises, or even something as simple as the presence of a stranger.

Anxious dogs may start snorting as a way for them to cope with difficult emotions.

If your dog is anxious, it may start taking quick, shallow breaths, which can lead to snorting.

Since anxiety can trigger medical conditions such as aggression and hyperactivity, it’s important to listen to your dog if they’re snorting and look out for other signs of distress.

Taking steps towards calming your dog may help alleviate their anxiety-related snorting and ensure they stay healthy and emotionally balanced.

Related: 12 Common Signs Of Dog Anxiety

Reverse Sneezing

Reverse sneezing, or ‘paroxysmal respiration,’ is troubling but fairly common in many dogs.

It appears as a loud honking noise in the middle of inhaling and can be caused by several factors.

Though it can be distressing to witness, reverse sneezing is not usually a cause for alarm.

Many veterinarians suggest a few simple measures, such as covering your dog’s nose or gently massaging its throat, as ways to relieve the sneezing symptoms to give your dog some temporary relief.

If the problem persists, however, you may wish to visit a vet to confirm the diagnosis and obtain further treatment advice.

Related: Why Is A Dog Sneezing A Lot?

Communication With Other Dogs Or Humans

While it may be due to the size and shape of their anatomy, communicating with other dogs or humans can also play a role in why a dog might snore

Excited or worried dogs may snort and breathe heavily.

Dogs are sensitive, so it’s best to quiet them down before they get too worked up and start snoring.

Sniffing And Exploring

Sniffing and exploring are triggers for snoring in dogs, just like humans when we yawn.

Dogs continually use their noses to take in information about the world around them.

When a dog or adult dog is on the move, snorting helps them explore further by involuntarily inhaling more odors they wouldn’t get with passive sniffing.

In addition to exploring, snorting may also indicate that the dog is relaxed, as sleeping can stimulate deeper inhalations.

While some cases of canine snoring may require medical attention, it’s usually nothing to worry about if you catch your dog by taking an olfactory journey!

Irritation From Contaminants

Regarding respiratory irritants, our furry family members are not exempt. 

Exposure to toxic mold, smoke, and other contaminants can cause episodes of snorting in dogs.

These irritants stimulate the airways, causing the dog to snort.

These symptoms may indicate an allergy or upper respiratory infection, so don’t panic.

When your dog snorts often, contact your vet immediately to diagnose and treat the problem.

Inhaled Foreign Object 

Inhaled foreign objects are a surprisingly common cause of snoring in dogs. 

These objects range from the smallest pieces of grass to larger items, such as toys, that end up deep in the dog’s system.

This can block their airways, leading to difficulty breathing and snoring while they sleep.

In some cases, an inhaled foreign object may require medical attention to be cleared.

Owners need to observe any changes and reach out to their vet immediately if they suspect their dog has inhaled something that is causing them distress.

Breed Related 

Many dog owners experience their beloved dog snoring away at night, but the root cause of it varies between breeds.

Generally speaking, the cause is based on three factors:

  • The size of the nasal cavity
  • The conformation of nasal passages
  • The shape of a dog’s windpipe

Smaller breeds, such as Chihuahuas, tend to have a more narrow nasal passage, while larger breeds, like Bulldogs, are known for having a much wider one.

Also, squashed faces can lead to difficulty with airflow due to the collapsible nature of their windpipe.

All these conditions can easily lead to snoring throughout various dog breeds and sizes.

Collapsing Trachea

Collapsing trachea is a common medical ailment that can cause a dog to snort or snore.

Due to their smaller tracheas, tiny breeds are more susceptible to windpipe cartilage ring collapse.

When going through a state of collapse, the affected dog may also cough and gag due to breathing difficulties.

Treatments are available that help manage collapsing trachea.

It includes keeping your dog at a healthy weight and giving them supportive accessories such as specially designed collars.

What To Do If Your Dog Keeps Snorting

As you now know, dog’s snorting can be caused by various factors, from allergies to blockages.

Changes in your dog’s snort may suggest a more serious issue, so pay attention.

If your dog has been snorting for longer than 48 hours, it’s best to take them to the vet.

They can diagnose the issue and provide treatments specific to your dog.

In the interim, try keeping their environment free of irritants like cigarette smoke or dust and get plenty of exercise to maintain a healthy weight. 

Following these easy steps should help keep your dog happy and snort-free.

When To Visit The Vet If Your Dog Is Snorting Heavily

When dogs start snorting heavily, it can be hard to determine how serious the issue is.

It’s important to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible so any underlying health problems can be identified and addressed quickly.

Your vet can perform a full examination of your dog and run any necessary tests, ensuring they are given the best care available.

If there is an emergency or you cannot get to the vet right away, contact them first for advice on how to get help as soon as possible.

This could include contacting a 24-hour emergency service.

Taking your dog for regular checkups with the vet is also key in keeping them healthy and reducing the risk of illness.

Particularly if they are elderly or have known health conditions.

Understanding what causes dog snorting will help you identify when to take them for treatment and how to prevent it in the future.

If it seems out of the ordinary for your dog, seek veterinary service as soon as possible.

Before You Go…

You now know the reasons for dog snorting.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.