Why Do Dogs Snore?

Dogs are beloved companions that bring joy and happiness to our lives.

However, just like humans, dogs can experience snoring, which can be alarming or concerning for pet owners.

While it may seem like a harmless annoyance, snoring in dogs can actually be a sign of underlying health issues.

Understanding why dogs snore is important for pet owners to ensure the well-being of their furry friends.

In this article, we will explore the various factor why do dogs snore.

By gaining a deeper understanding of why dogs snore, we can take steps to prevent or manage this common issue and promote better health for our four-legged companions.

Why Do Dogs Snore? – The Reasons

Sleeping On His Back

The position a dog sleeps in can often influence his chances of snoring.

Some breeds, such as pugs and bulldogs, are known for their prolific snoring capabilities.

However, even if your pet isn’t typically associated with being a noisy sleeper, the watchfulness of their sleeping positions is essential to mitigating snores.

Sleeping on the back may be something that dogs instinctively do when they’re comfortable and relaxed.

Still, this position makes more air pass through their soft palates, which makes it more likely that they will snore.

If your dog’s sleep is making loud vibrations and he’s sleeping on his back, you might want to move him to his side or stomach so he doesn’t make as much noise.

Blocked Nasal Passages

One of the leading culprits behind the loud snoring of dogs is their blocked nasal passages.

Air vibrating through a partially obstructed airway causes snoring.

Multiple obstructions like swollen tissue or inflammation make these vibrational sounds louder and more noticeable.


When it comes to snoring dogs, obesity is a common culprit.

Dogs carrying too much weight may have excess fatty tissue at the back of the throat that relaxes and vibrates when they breathe, producing a snore.

Veterinary studies suggest that snoring dogs are more likely to be overweight than their non-snoring canine friends.

To reduce snoring in an obese pup, weight loss is the best long-term solution.

Talk to your veterinarian about an appropriate diet for your puppy and other ways to help them shed extra pounds safely and comfortably.

Ensuring your dog maintains a healthy weight can also help keep other health issues at bay.


Dogs are known to snore, and this can be attributed to their anatomy.

Like humans, dogs have a respiratory system that includes the nose, mouth, trachea, and lungs.

However, the shape and size of their airways are different, and this can lead to snoring.

For instance, dogs with flat faces or short snouts, such as pugs and bulldogs, have narrower nasal passages, making it harder for them to breathe.

Overweight dogs with excess fat around their neck and throat can also snore because their airways narrow.

Sleep Apnoea

Sleep apnoea is a disorder in which a dog’s breathing becomes shallow and/or stops during sleep.

It can occur because of an obstruction in the airway passage or due to an underlying medical issue.

Heritable factors, such as flattened faces, can make dogs more likely to develop this condition.

Sleep apnoea can cause snoring, difficulty or rapid breathing, energy changes, and nighttime restlessness or inability to get comfortable.

Sleep apnea can lead to other issues, such as cardiac complications, if left untreated.

If your pet may suffer from sleep apnoea, it’s best to take them to the veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Fortunately, there are several options available for managing this condition so be sure to speak with your vet about the best solution for your fur baby.


Our furry little companions are prone to snoring from time to time, and often the cause of this can be attributed to allergies.

Dogs snore, but excessive snoring may be caused by allergies, especially during pollen season.

These allergies can cause nasal congestion and snoring in dogs.

Your dog may benefit from an antihistamine or hypoallergenic diet from the vet to reduce allergic snoring.

Dental Problems

Snoring in dogs can be symptomatic of underlying health issues, and dental problems are among the most common causes.

When teeth are misaligned, oral tumors or gum disease interfere with a dog’s ability to breathe normally, and snoring can occur.

Bad teeth can also trap old food from previous meals and act as an irritant that causes inflammation, which can worsen their breathing.

Dogs with severely damaged or missing teeth may snore due to the lack of stability and support for their soft tissue structures as they inhale and exhale.

Regular dental checkups prevent many health issues, including dental-related snoring.

Fungal Disease

Fungal diseases can be a cause of snoring in dogs.

Some pups get Aspergillus and Alternaria in their nasal cavities, causing congestion and airway obstruction.

The fungal disease causes snoring, coughing, sneezing, loss of appetite, and difficulty breathing.

If you suspect your dog has a fungal infection, take them to the vet immediately for diagnosis and treatment.

With early detection and proper care, fungal diseases are usually treatable in dogs.


Snoring in dogs is often caused by rhinitis, which is an inflammation of the nose and throat mucous membranes.

Rhinitis is commonly caused by irritation due to allergies or infections and can be exacerbated if the dog is overweight or has a long nose.

It can cause opportunistic snoring by blocking airflow through the nasal passages.

Recognizing rhinitis as a common cause of canine snoring helps explain why some breeds have noisier nights.

Secondhand Smoke

Dogs who inhale secondhand smoke may snore.

Veterinarians say chronic secondhand smoke exposure causes sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and increased mucus production in dogs’ upper respiratory tracts.

This can lead to difficulty breathing and snoring during sleep.

When people are smoking or tend to be around smoke often, their pets can suffer significantly due to the secondhand smoke they inhale.

Dogs in heavily trafficked areas or with owners who are exposed to secondary smoke for long periods may have more side effects than those in non-smoking environments.

Pet owners should prevent secondary smoke from harming their pets.

Bacterial Or Fungal Infection

Bacterial or fungal infections can play a part in why your beloved four-legged friend may be snoring.

These issues can cause inflammation of the Upper Airway, which narrows the airways and increases snoring sounds.

In some cases, these infections also increase nose sensitivity, which may trigger louder snoring.

Diagnosing and treating a condition causing your dog’s snoring is essential for their health and quality of life.

Consult your veterinarian for more information about possible treatment options that will eliminate this symptom and other respiratory issues caused by the infection.


Hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, can be responsible for snoring in dogs.

Dogs typically snore when their soft palate – the piece of muscle hanging at the back of a dog’s throat – is enlarged or abnormally thick.

Hypothyroidism can widen tissues like the soft palate, making this common in dogs.

Dog owners must watch for signs of hypothyroidism, such as weight gain, dry skin, and hair loss.

Diagnosis can be confirmed through blood tests; if left untreated, it can result in numerous complications, including heart issues and infertility.

A timely diagnosis will allow pet owners to start treatment immediately and reduce the risk of any future complications.


Being overweight in dogs is a critical reason behind canine snoring.

Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome increases snoring when the respiratory system cannot deliver enough oxygen.

The added weight compresses their airways and hinders airflow, resulting in vibrations that lead to loud snores.

In addition, certain breeds have airway anatomy that can increase the likelihood of snoring, combined with any additional weight they may carry.

Suppose you notice your pup snoring more than usual.

If they’re overweight, ask a vet how to get them back to a healthy weight.

Is It Normal For Dogs To Snore?

Many overlook their furry companion’s snoring, which can signify something more serious.

Snoring in dogs can be caused by several issues, such as allergies or collapsed trachea.

Additional symptoms like noisy breathing and frequent gagging when eating could also indicate an underlying health issue.

If you hear your canine companion snoring regularly, it might be worth visiting the vet for a checkup.

Don’t hesitate to discuss concerns about your pet’s health at your next appointment.

By keeping an eye (or an ear!

) out for unusual snoring, you can help keep your pup happy and healthy for years to come!

When Should I Be Concerned About My Dog Snoring?

Snoring is a common symptom of underlying dog conditions, such as allergies, breathing problems, or sinus infections.

If your pup is snoring at night, it’s important to monitor other changes in behavior.

If the dog snores suddenly or has trouble breathing, see a vet.

There are other reasons a dog might snore, such as their physical makeup. If that’s the case, don’t worry.

However, if you’re unsure, it’s always best to consult a professional veterinarian to ensure your pup stays healthy and happy.

Before You Go…

Now you know why dogs snore.

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

Or watch this video:

Dimitra Kokologianni, DVM
Dimitra holds a Masters’s degree in public health and a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. She is a versatile professional with over 7 years of experience. Her passion for animal welfare and preventive medicine makes her an excellent resource for our readers.