Why Do Dogs Snore?

If your dog sleeps in your bed with you at night, you’ve most likely discovered him snoring on (more than one) occasion. While snoring is not something that is outside of the “normal” realm, it could be a signal that there may be some type of underlying health problem. If your dog begins to snore out of the blue, or if you are not certain of the cause of his snoring, it would be wise to contact your veterinarian for an examination.

So, Why Do Dogs Snore?

Snoring can occur due to air restriction, and this happens in both humans and dogs. Regarding snoring with humans, this is often caused by sleep apnea, but that is not a common diagnosis found in dogs.

The act of snoring does not qualify as an illness; snoring is a symptom. It can be brought on due to anything from your dog’s personal anatomy to some extra weight gain, so it is vital to have him seen by the veterinarian if there is anything unusual about his snoring patterns. Following are common culprits that cause snoring in dogs.

Sleeping Position

If Fido prefers to sleep on his back, chances are he will develop a snore. Somewhere between 5-10% of dogs sleep belly-up. This is a sleeping position that can cause snoring in dogs AND humans. When your dog lies on his back in order to sleep, the base of his tongue can slump back into his throat, creating a troublesome airway blockage.


The way some breeds are built can lead to snoring, making particular breeds more inclined to snore. As any amount of airflow being restricted can lead to snoring in dogs, Brachycephalic breeds (those with smushed noses) like Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Pugs are more susceptible to snoring thanks to their shortened air passage. The anatomy of their upper respiratory system is unusually short, and this can also cause obstructions of the airways.

Excess Weight

Carrying too much weight is a frequent cause for snoring in humans, and it is no different when it comes to dogs. Excess weight means extra tissue, and this can create problems around the nose and throat area, narrowing the airway, and causing restricted air passage. Hence, snoring.


Dogs who suffer from allergies might be more likely to snore because of congestion and restricted airways. If you have ever dealt with allergies, you understand how extreme congestion can become, and how challenging it is to breathe through your nose. Allergens can create mucus buildup, thus restricting the airways and causing snoring.

Secondhand Smoke

Again, as with humans, respiratory problems and snoring can be brought on by secondhand smoke. The secondhand smoke irritates the lungs and air passageways, it can cause harm to your dog’s respiratory system, and lead to asthma, bronchitis, and of course, snoring.

Other Causes

Infections, growths, or dental issues can all create a snoring dog. This is why it is so crucial to have your veterinarian perform a thorough examination if you detect any abnormal snoring, so your vet can pinpoint the exact cause. Your veterinarian’s expertise can help to treat or dismiss any underlying medical problems.


I'm a professional dog trainer who is sharing my journey as I transition to positive reinforcement based dog training methods.

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