How come it’s cute when you hear your dog snoring? And not when it’s your significant other? It’s a comforting, relaxing part of the background noise when it’s your dog. If you even notice it, it probably makes you smile a little inside, knowing your dog is comfortable and content.
Dogs make noise. If you wanted a silent household, chances are you shouldn’t have gotten a dog. There are lots of words that are pretty exclusively used to describe dogs’ sounds: barking, yapping, howling, growling, panting. As you read each of those, you probably heard them in your mind. Probably your own dog’s version.
One of the most poignant laments after losing a beloved dog is how quiet the house is. It’s not the big noises that you miss. It’s the little ones. Like the settling sigh, the click of footsteps, and the snoring of deep sleep.
Why do dogs snore?
Dogs snore for pretty much the same reasons people do. Something’s causing a vibration in the mouth or nose and snoring is the result. Most of the causes aren’t anything to worry about. They include:
- Structure: short-faced dogs (brachycephalic) may have an elongated soft palate.
- Overweight: Can cause a narrowing of the trachea.
- Allergies: Congestion can cause snoring.
- Tooth Infections: Can result in swelling of the surrounding tissue.
- Obstruction: Breathing in a foreign object.
- Upper Respiratory Infection: Colds produce congestion.
You’d think, with four short-nosed dogs in the house, that we always have a symphony of snoring. We don’t. None of our dogs snore regularly – not even Hope’s French Bulldog, Torque. His loud breathing sounds usually happen during training – he’s so excited and happy to be playing training games.
The only time Tango, Fran’s 14-year-old Brussels Griffon, snores is when he has a cold, which is more often than we’d like. Especially since the snoring is accompanied by panting, snot bubbles, and general misery. When Tango has a cold, nobody’s happy.
Our dog with the most nocturnal noises is actually Booker. But it’s usually not snoring. He seems to be the most vivid dreamer, and he’ll sometimes even howl in sleep. It’s a mournful, pitiful sound and we try to wake him gently when it happens.
When to worry about dog snoring
If your dog always snores some of the time, it’s probably not anything to be concerned about. Sudden changes are more worrisome. If your dog is always snoring, even when awake, it’s worth asking your vet. If you notice some nasal discharge, or sneezing, that’s another question for your vet.
It is possible for dogs to suffer from sleep apnea, just like people. That’s a pause in breathing while asleep. Snoring often goes along with apnea, but it’s just one indicator. If you notice your dog open-mouth breathing, holding a toy to stay that way, or sleeping sitting up, tell your vet. Using something as a pillow, to keep the head elevated, can also be an indication of breathing issues.
Or it could just mean your dog likes to use a pillow. Torque even has his own, full-size pillow. And there’s nothing cuter (to Hope) than seeing him use it. Especially with his paw up by his face.
Enjoyed this post? Click here to sign up for the weekly newsletter and never miss another!