Why Do Dogs Snore? Is It Normal for Dogs to Snore?

Does your dog snore? There are numerous reasons why dogs snore. Let's talk about whether or not it's okay that your dog snores.

Does your dog snore? There are numerous reasons why dogs snore. Let’s talk about whether or not it’s okay that your dog snores.

It’s one thing having a partner who keeps you up at night, but having a dog who snores loudly can be even worse.

Whether you find the sound of your dog’s snoring adorable or irritating, you may have wondered what is causing it. And most important – whether you need to be concerned.

What Exactly Is Snoring?

When it comes to understanding why dogs snore it’s important to first take a look at what causes snoring to begin with.

Snoring in dogs is caused by the same things that cause snoring in every other mammal. It is the noise caused when the normal movement of air is disrupted in the airways.

As the air makes its way through the nose and mouth it faces resistance which causes the tissues to vibrate. This is what creates that distinctive snoring sound.

Why Do Dogs Snore?

While there are numerous reasons why dogs snore, it all comes down to breathing. Here are some of the most common reasons why your dog snores.


Why Do Dogs Snore? Brachycephalic

The most common reason why dogs snore is their breed. Dogs with short noses are classified as brachycephalic. Common brachycephalic breeds include Pugs, Boxers, Bulldogs, Spaniels, Shih Tzus, Chow Chows, Pekingese, and Bull Mastiffs. In general, all flat-faced dogs.

Snoring is common among these breeds because their short snouts mean air has less room to travel through their airways. When they breathe, the restricted nostrils will produce a snoring sound.

Therefore, unless your brachycephalic dog is showing other signs of illness or discomfort, his snoring is probably normal. For the most part, this won’t affect their daily lives too negatively.

So, if you’re a sensitive sleeper but considering adopting a new best friend, it might be important to know what dog breeds snore the most.

Sleeping Position

Why Do Dogs Snore? Sleeping Position

Just like humans, dogs sleep in a variety of positions. Some dogs snore simply because they are sleeping in an odd position.

Most of the dogs are side sleepers, however, if your dog is one of those who love to lie sprawled on their backs, they may also regale you with frequent snoring sessions.

Sleeping position can make a huge difference in the airflow into your dog’s throat. Back sleepers commonly have their throat partially blocked by their tongue, which can cause loud snoring. In addition to, the shape and position of the neck can also contribute. 

An easy fix for this is physically moving your dog, laying him down on his side instead of his back. You could also try buying a small pillow for your dog to prop his head on when he sleeps.


Why Do Dogs Snore? Obesity

Probably the most common reason for snoring in dogs is a weight problem. It may be linked to many health problems, but obesity most definitely has strong links to snoring in dogs.

You may think you’re doing your dog good by feeding him treats, but it could be the root cause of his noisy breathing. Extra weight leads to extra tissue, and any extra tissue around the nose and throat can narrow their airway, leading to restricted air flow and snoring.

As a result, this might take your dog extra effort to breathe and may thus cause loud breathing or snoring.

Be sure to have your dog weighed. If your snoring dog is overweight, you need to be on the lookout for this condition. Losing weight can also prevent a range of other health problems, and is usually worth doing.


Why Do Dogs Snore? Allergies

Just like people, some dogs suffer from allergies. Dogs that have allergies may be more prone to snoring due to airway restriction and congestion.

In most of the cases of dog allergies, it’s the skin which is affected. Occasionally though, it can affect the respiratory system.

Your pooch can easily have an allergy around the house. Some examples include dust, pollen, and even human dander. These allergens can trigger mucus formation, which can lead to snoring.

Secondhand Smoke

Why Do Dogs Snore? Seconhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke is any smoke released into the air that gets inhaled by non-smokers. With more than 7,000 chemicals, secondhand smoke can be just as toxic for our furry friends as people. 

Dogs who breathe in secondhand smoke are more susceptible to snoring as well as certain types of cancers, including lung cancer and nose cancer. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology reported that dogs in households that contained smokers had a 60 percent higher risk of lung cancer.

If you’re a heavy smoker or smoke in the home or around your dog, you could be a factor in their snoring issues. When dogs breathe in smoke from tobacco products, it can damage their respiratory system and lead to issues such as asthma, bronchitis, and snoring.

It’s not advised to be a smoker with a dog, but if you are, then smoke outside where your dog will be less exposed.

Sleep Apnea

Why Do Dogs Snore? Sleep Apnea

Loud, recurring snoring is the most common symptom of sleep apnea in people and dogs. However, snoring does not always equal sleep apnea.

It’s a sleeping disorder when a dog occasionally stops breathing for a little while, then they awake startled to gasp for air. It is a serious condition that happens when a dog isn’t getting enough oxygen while they sleep.

Common causes of sleep apnea in dogs include allergies, being overweight, and obstructions in the dog’s airway and nasal passages.

This disorder can pose a serious health risk, so it’s best to consult with your veterinarian if your dog shows signs of sleep apnea.

What can you do for a dog that has sleep apnea? Weight loss and exercise are the most promising home remedies. You can also try to reduce the amount of allergens in your home to help your dog breathe a little easier.


Snoring itself isn’t an illness, it’s a symptom. In many cases, it’s perfectly normal and harmless. On the other hand it can be a symptom of an underlying health issue.

If your dog has suddenly started snoring, or if you’re not sure why your dog is snoring it’s a good idea to have them checked out by your veterinarian.