How to Stop a Dog from Snoring
The occasional snoring from your dog is most likely the result of a cold or allergy attack. If the snoring persists for more than a few days, it could be a more serious health problem. There are many treatments you can use to reduce or eliminate snoring, but make sure you address the underlying problem as well.
Stopping the Snoring
Adjust the dog's position.Move your sleeping dog so it is lying on its belly with its head and paws straight. If your dog insists on sleeping on its side, put a pillow under its head so its neck is straight. This may increase air flow.
- A round bed may encourage a curled position, which should also help.
Clean the bedding.Wash the bedding once or twice a week to clear away dust and other allergens. Vacuum carpet and curtains regularly.
Add moisture to the air.Dry air can irritate the nose and throat and increase the amount or severity of snoring.If you live in an arid climate, run a humidifier in the room where your dog sleeps. Alternatively, increase the humidity by hanging damp laundry to dry, or leaving open containers of water in the room, with plenty of surface area.
Minimize allergens.Keep your dog and your dog's bedding away from sources of smoke and dust. If the dog frequently sneezes or has a stuffy nose, try walking it on routes away from heavy traffic. Track pollen count in your area online or in the newspaper, and avoid morning walks on days when the pollen count is high.
- Pollen count is usually highest from 5am to 10am, and at its lowest in the early afternoon.
Be cautious about other treatments.Veterinary, scientist, and government organizations discourage the use of homeopathic treatments instead of vet-recommended treatments.More concentrated, herbal treatments should not be used on your dog without a vet's advice, especially if the treatment is designed for humans. Dogs can react badly to substances that are harmless to humans.
Treating the Cause
Exercise overweight dogs.Fat buildup around the throat area can constrict airflow and cause snoring. This is one of the most common causes of snoring, especially if it increased as the dog aged, or if the dog stops breathing for a few seconds, then gasps.Make sure your dog gets enough exercise for its age and breed:
- Young or young adult dogs of active breeds (such as retrievers or Jack Russell terriers) need at least 30–60 minutes of active exercise every day.
- Even "indoor" breeds and toy breeds need regular exercise beyond a short walk. Play an indoor game long enough to tire them out.
- Even old dogs should be walked daily, but not to the point of limping or exhaustion.
- Playing at the dog park is usually better for the dog than sustained jogging or running. For best results, look up recommendations for your dog's breed.
Take short-nosed dogs to a vet.Dog breeds with short noses often have breathing problems that can cause snoring. Even if your dog has been this way its whole life, this can still be a serious health problem.If your dog has any of these breeds in its ancestry, take it to a vet.
- Common short-nosed dog breeds include bulldogs, Boston terriers, pugs, boxers, chihuahuas, Pekingese, Shar Pei, and shih tzus. If you're not sure about your dog's breed, search for the breed name and "brachycephalic syndrome."
- The vet may recommend surgery to fix more serious problems, such as gagging or choking.In one study, 74% of dogs who underwent surgery still snored, but more serious symptoms typically improved.
Watch for signs of infection.If your dog recently started snoring, it may have a cold, or allergies to spring pollen. This is especially true if the dog is sneezing, or dribbling liquid from its nose. Visit a vet if the symptoms don't go away within a few days, or if the nasal discharge becomes bloody or full of mucus.
Check the dog's teeth.An untreated tooth infection can lead to an abscess that limits air flow.Check the dog's mouth for loose teeth, inflamed gums, blood, or lumps on gums or under the tongue.Take the dog to a vet if you notice any of these problems.
- Even if you don't see these problems, keep the dog's teeth clean with a doggie toothbrush and chew toys.
Visit a veterinarian.If you still aren't sure what's causing the snoring, visit the vet. Fungal infections, tumors, or other health problems take a professional to detect. The snoring may not be a sign of anything serious, but you don't want to take that risk.
To stop a dog from snoring, try adjusting the dog's position so that it's lying on its belly with its head and paws straight. You can also put a pillow under its head to straighten its neck and increase air flow. Allergens may be causing the snoring, so be sure to wash the dog's bedding 1-2 times per week and vacuum your carpets regularly. It also helps to keep your dog and its bedding away from sources of smoke and dust! If the snoring continues or gets worse, take your dog to the vet for a checkup.
- Snoring can be caused by medications, including antihistamines, pain relievers, muscle relaxers, and sedatives.If your dog is taking these medications long-term, talk to a veterinarian about alternatives.
- While this will probably not help the snoring, short-nosed dogs at risk for breathing problems should use a humane chest harness instead of a collar. You may need to train your dog not to pull on the harness while walking.
Video: Why Snoring Could Cause Health Concerns
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