What’s the best part of having a pet dog at home? Of course, you enjoy playing with your four-legged companion and looking after them. But the joy of watching over their cute face as they fall asleep is unparalleled. That is unless that start snoring in their sleep.
Should You Worry About Your Dog’s Snoring?
If you’re a dog parent, you’ve likely observed your dog snore when sleeping on more than one occasion. If this is atypical of your canine friend, it’s only natural that for you to get alarmed. Also, loud snoring could interfere with your dog’s sleep and adversely affect their quality of life.
However, before you start losing your sleep over this, there’s something you should know. It’s completely normal for dogs to occasionally snore in their sleep. As long as it isn’t causing your dog to wake up in the middle of the night and gasp for air, there’s no reason to be alarmed.
In most cases, it’s going to be a temporary phase triggered by seasonal allergies or infections. It could also be the result of sudden weight gain or a change in their medication. In such cases, simple lifestyle and dietary modifications could alleviate snoring and congested breathing.
Moreover, short-muzzled breeds, such as Shih Tzus, Pugs, Boston terriers, etc. have smaller nostrils and airways. This makes them more susceptible to snoring. There isn’t much you can do to reduce your dog’s snoring in such cases.
But if the snoring persists and disrupts your dog’s breathing, it could indicate an underlying disorder or obstruction. That’s why it is important for you to know the possible reasons that could cause your dog to snore or sound congested when sleeping.
While some of these issues can be dealt with at home, others will need medical intervention. Here are a few reasons why your dog might be snoring in their sleep:
1. Lack of Dental Care
Yes. Poor dental hygiene could be the reason your dog sounds congested when sleeping. From broken teeth and tongue abscesses to oral tumors and dental infections - there are several factors that could interfere with your dog’s breathing.
The good news is that taking care of your dog’s teeth and gums isn’t rocket science. You can easily get a canine-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste from online stores, such as PetCareRx.com. Make sure you clean their mouth after every meal and regularly brush their teeth.
It’s also a good idea to take your dog for routine dental exams. This will help rule out any underlying medical conditions, including tumors and infections. If left untreated, these conditions could have severe and even fatal consequences.
All those treats and snacks you’re spoiling your dog with might contribute to weight gain. If left unchecked, this could cause your dog to become obese. Just like humans, obese dogs tend to snore because of the extra fat that accumulates in their throat.
If you notice that the onset of snoring has started around the same time your dog started gaining a few pounds, it’s time to watch their diet. Make sure you consult the veterinarian or an experienced canine nutritionist to create a proper diet chart.
Also, don’t forget to engage your dog in physical activities, such as running and playing fetch.
3. Nasal Obstruction
Foreign objects lodged in your dog’s nasal cavity can cause them to snore. These include grass, wood chips, dust particles, toy parts, etc. They block the airways and force your dog to work harder to breathe. This, in turn, makes them sound congested when sleeping.
Also, these objects could lead to secondary infections and even cause pain. If you notice that your dog has suddenly developed the habit of snoring and has difficulty breathing while awake, it could indicate a nasal obstruction.
In such cases, it’s always a good idea to immediately rush to your vet. They’ll likely use an X-ray to scan your dog’s nasal cavity and identify the source of obstruction. Thereafter, they’ll recommend a treatment plan.
If your dog’s snoring is accompanied by other symptoms, such as sneezing and nasal discharge, it indicates that your dog has a cold or rhinitis. It causes inflammation of the mucus membrane in your dog’s airway and leads to congestion.
Apart from administering medicines to cure a cold, you could also try various home remedies. Include plenty of fluids and hot food, such as soups, in your dog’s diet. Also, cover them with a blanket to keep them warm.
In addition to these common causes, your dog might be snoring due to an underlying medical condition, such as fungal infections and polyps. Make sure you have a fair idea of what’s causing your dog to snore before contacting your vet.
When Should You See Your Vet?
Are you wondering whether it is the right time to consult the vet regarding your dog’s snoring? Here are a few warning signs you should keep an eye out for:
- Your dog has a sudden onset of snoring/heavy breathing and sounds congested while sleeping.
- Your dog has difficulty swallowing food.
- Your dog wakes up from their sleep gasping for oxygen.
- Your dog starts panting after any minor physical activity.
- Your dog exhibits any other changes in their behavior, such as reduced appetite, low energy levels, etc.
What remedies have you used to relieve your dog’s snoring? Share your tips in the comments section below.