Is Dog Snoring Normal?

Jane Davis

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When your dog starts snoring, it’s not uncommon to wonder if this behavior is normal during sleep or indicative of a health issue.

Like humans, dogs can snore for various reasons. Some breeds with shorter snouts, like Bulldogs or Pugs, are predisposed to snoring due to their anatomy, which naturally restricts air passage.

Age can also play a role, with some older dogs developing a tendency to snore as they age.

However, the occurrence of snoring in your dog may sometimes be a signal of underlying health concerns.

Issues such as allergies, fungal illnesses like aspergillosis, or obstructions in the nasal passages can cause snoring.

If your dog’s snoring is accompanied by other symptoms like sneezing, nasal discharge, or changes in behavior, it may be time to consult your vet.

Understanding the reasons behind your dog’s snoring is integral to ensuring their overall health and well-being. While occasional, light snoring can be normal, especially in certain breeds or sleeping positions, consistent and loud snoring warrants attention.

To maintain their comfort and health, monitor their sleep patterns and seek veterinary advice if you notice any unusual signs.

Understanding Dog Snoring

Dog snoring can be a common phenomenon, but it’s important to distinguish between typical and potentially problematic snoring by understanding its causes and identifying breed-specific propensities.

Causes of Snoring in Dogs

The reasons for your dog’s snoring may vary. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Obesity: Excess weight can lead to fat deposits around the throat, restricting airflow.
  • Allergies: Allergic reactions can cause swelling in the airways.
  • Respiratory Infections: Inflammation from infections can narrow the air passage.
  • Nasal Obstructions: Foreign bodies or tumors in nasal passages may lead to snoring.
  • Sleep Position: The way your dog sleeps can impact its breathing.
  • Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid gland can lead to snoring due to a slowed metabolism and associated obesity.

Breeds Prone to Snoring

Certain dog breeds are predisposed to snoring because of their physical characteristics—especially short-nosed (brachycephalic) breeds. Notable examples include:

  • Pugs: Their short muzzles and elongated soft palates often obstruct airways.
  • Bulldogs: Similar to Pugs, Bulldogs have compact airways due to their facial structure.
  • Shih Tzus: Their flattened facial features can make normal breathing more difficult.
  • Boxers: Prone to various respiratory issues because of their short noses.

When To Be Concerned

While snoring in dogs is not uncommon, certain symptoms can signal underlying health issues that require attention.

Signs of Respiratory Issues

If your dog exhibits persistent sneezing, nasal discharge, or facial puffiness, these could be symptoms of respiratory issues like aspergillosis, an infection caused by a fungus that thrives in dirt and decaying vegetation.

These signs, especially when paired with snoring, suggest that your dog might face more serious health challenges than just noisy sleep.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea in Dogs

Although less common, dogs can suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.

Pay attention to signs of interruptions in breathing during sleep or daytime drowsiness despite adequate rest.

Certain breeds, particularly those with shorter faces, such as bulldogs, pugs, and Boston Terriers, are more prone to this condition.

If you observe these symptoms, it’s crucial to consult your veterinarian.

Healthy Sleep Patterns for Dogs

When monitoring your dog’s sleep, it’s vital to understand what constitutes a healthy sleep pattern.

Adult dogs require about 12 to 14 hours of sleep per day, while puppies and older dogs may need upwards of 18 to 20 hours.

  • Consistency: Strive for consistent sleep and wake times to regulate your dog’s internal clock.
  • Comfort: Ensure a comfortable sleeping area away from excessive noise and disruptions.
  • Security: Your dog should feel secure in its sleeping spot, a crate or a bed in a quiet corner.

Unlike humans, dogs often sleep in a series of naps throughout the day, rather than one long sleep period. This is normal and reflects their natural instincts.

Recognizing Healthy Sleep Behaviors:

  • Relaxed Posture: Your dog should appear relaxed and at ease during sleep.
  • Regular Breathing: Breath should be even and not labored unless dreaming.
  • Quiet Sleep: Occasional sounds or movements are normal, but constant noise may suggest discomfort.

Preventive Measures and Remedies

Addressing your dog’s snoring involves both lifestyle adjustments and potential veterinary interventions to ensure a quiet and restful sleep.

Lifestyle Changes for Your Dog

To help mitigate your dog’s snoring, consider these key lifestyle modifications:

  • Weight Management: Ensure your dog maintains a healthy weight through diet and exercise. Excess weight can lead to extra tissue around the neck and throat, constricting airways and leading to snoring.
  • Sleeping Position: Encourage your dog to sleep on their side as it may prevent the tongue from falling back and blocking the throat.
  • Comfortable Bedding: Provide a well-padded bed supporting your dog’s head and neck.
  • Air Quality: Keep your home free from smoke, dust, and allergens that can irritate your dog’s airways.

Veterinary Interventions

For persistent snoring, your vet may recommend the following:

  • Thorough Examination: A comprehensive check-up can reveal issues such as hypothyroidism or allergic reactions that could be causing the snoring.
  • Medications: Appropriate medicines may be prescribed to treat underlying conditions or allergies.
  • Surgery: In some cases, particularly for brachycephalic breeds, surgical correction for obstructive airway syndromes may be necessary.


In assessing whether your dog’s snoring is a cause for concern, consider the following key points:

  • Commonality: Snoring is uncommon in dogs and can be a benign trait, particularly in certain breeds.
  • Breathing Patterns: Dogs often snore due to relaxed throat muscles during sleep. This can cause partial airflow obstruction, especially if they sleep on their backs.

However, you should also monitor for other signs that could indicate underlying health issues:

  • Obesity: An overweight dog may have additional throat tissue, leading to snoring. Ensuring a healthy diet and regular exercise can mitigate this.
  • Allergies or Infections: Respiratory infections or allergies could also be responsible for your dog’s snoring. Watch for nasal discharge or increased frequency of snoring.
  • Hypothyroidism: If accompanied by other symptoms, such as weight gain or lethargy, snoring could be an early sign of hypothyroidism and warrants a vet visit.
  • Brachycephalic Breeds: Short-nosed breeds are predisposed to snoring due to Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS). However, you should evaluate persistent and severe symptoms.


Jane Davis

Hi, my name is Jane Davis, and I love dogs. I own a labrador retriever named Max. When I was growing up, we always had dogs at our house. They provide us with such unconditional love and companionship, and I can't imagine my life without one by my side.

This website does not provide pet medical advice. For professional advice regarding your pet's health, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your local area.