Does Your Dog Snore?
If you’re a dog lover and a dog owner, then you likely have a very close-knit relationship with your canine companion. Dogs truly are man’s best friend, and they have earned this title for many good reasons. They are loyal, loving, make awesome companions, and seem to be only genuinely interested in making us (humans, their caretakers) happy.
But—if you have ever been woken up in the middle of the night to hear your dog making weird sounds in his/her sleep, then you’ve probably wondered if you should be worried.
Can dogs snore? And if so, is it something that you should be concerned about?
Here’s what you need to know.
The Basics about Dogs and Snoring
First of all, let’s get the basic stuff out of the way. Yes, dogs snore… and some of them do it very loudly and regularly. If you have ever let your loving, fur-covered companion under your covers or in your bed with you, then you might already know this—but we can definitely confirm it.
It is also true that some dog breeds are more susceptible to having snoring problems than others. English Bulldogs, Pugs, Shih Tzus, and other similar dog breeds are usually more predisposed to snoring problems because of the way that their heads, skulls, and snouts are shaped. These dogs have shorter breathing passages and shorter snouts, and the soft palette (which is where most snoring problems originate) in the back of the throat may be shaped and situated in such a way that makes the animal much more likely to snore than not.
This doesn’t mean that every dog of one of these breeds is going to have a snoring problem, but it does increase the probability of the animal eventually suffering from one.
Is Snoring Dangerous for Dogs?
We all know that snoring is dangerous for humans, for a number of reasons. Snoring keeps us awake, hurts our quality of sleep, and causes sleep deprivation. This is especially true when we suffer from sleep apnea, which is a condition in which the individual actually stops breathing for seconds at a time, either due to an event in the brain (a less common event called central sleep apnea) or due to a collapsing of the soft tissues in the airway (obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type).
Dogs can also suffer from sleep apnea. But as it turns out, this diagnosis is rather rare for our fur-covered canine companions. More than likely, the snoring will be a result of some other kind of factor. It could be how the animal is sleeping, the position of its tongue, or even some other medical problem (like an abscessed tooth that has made its way into the sinus cavity).
One common cause for snoring in dogs is hypothyroidism. This is a simple enough problem to diagnose and fix, though it will require the dog to be on medication—probably for the rest of its lifespan.
And, of course, another very common cause of snoring in dogs is obesity.
So, the common rule of thumb is this… if your dog suddenly develops a snoring problem, then you should probably take him/her to the vet to get it checked out, because it could be an indicator of some underlying medical condition that needs treatment.
If, on the other hand, your dog has always snored, but is otherwise happy and playful most of the time, then the problem is likely not a serious one, and you can rest more easily. You may mention it at your next normal vet check-up… but aside from that, you probably have little to worry about aside from the noise.
And for that, we might recommend a set of quality earplugs!