Why Do Dogs Snore? What You Need to Know

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Is your home shaking as you struggle to hear anything over the sound of your sleeping dog? A snoring dog is a common problem for many pet owners, But why do dogs snore?

Why does my dog snore so much? Why does my dog only snore when she sleeps on her back? You may have thought about these questions while your furry friend sleeps soundly, and you’re wide awake, fingers in ears.

Luckily, we have the answers!

dog sleeping on his side

Read this blog post to learn more about why your furry friend might be making those funny noises at night and how you can help them sleep better.

Why Do Dogs Snore?

The reason that dogs snore is that their airways collapse while they are sleeping. Why does this happen? Well, it has to do with the structure of your pup’s head and neck, and in turn the shape and size of their airways. The throat and nasal passages of many breeds are much longer than that of humans. This is because they were bred for specific tasks, such as hunting.

There are many dog breeds that are considered to be ‘brachycephalic’ or ‘short-nosed’. This means that dogs have shorter, wider noses than their longer-nosed cousins which leads to an increased risk of breathing problems. The shape and size of a dog’s nose can cause them to snore, especially if they are obese or older in age.

why do dogs snore - sleeping pug in front of glass door

Snoring can also simply be down to your pup falling asleep on their back. Sleeping in this position places pressure on the throat and restricts airflow. This can cause the tongue to get in the way and result in them snoring.

What Causes Dogs to Snore?

The cause of a dog snoring can vary depending on a number of things.

why do dogs snore - close up of a dogs nose

Some of the most common reasons include:

Dental Disease

Dogs who have a dental disease often times will breathe through an open mouth while they sleep which makes them more likely to snore than those with healthy teeth.

Obesity And Dog Snoring

Being overweight can lead to or cause health problems such as sleep apnea which will increase the chance that a dog snores.

Sleep Apnea And Dog Snoring

This is a condition in which breathing stops or becomes very shallow while sleeping and can be a serious health risk if left untreated. Sleep apnea can cause a dog’s blood oxygen levels to drop which will lead to fatigue, lack of energy, and general drowsiness during the day.

Old Age And Dog Snoring

If your furry friend is older in age, they may have health issues or chronic conditions with their respiratory system which can cause problems when breathing at night and lead to snoring

Allergies And Dog Snoring

These are common in dogs and can cause them to snore due to inflammation or swelling in their airways.

Surgery And Dog Snoring

Dogs who have had surgery on the throat and soft palate may snore due to scar tissue which causes their throat to collapse while breathing

Inactivity And Dog Snoring

– Dogs who are sedentary during the day might be more likely to snore than their more active counterparts

Brachycephalic Breeds and Dog Snoring

Dog breeds such as Pugs, Bulldogs, and Boxers are more likely to snore because of the shape and size of their airways.

Is It Normal for Dogs to Snore?

You may be wondering, is snoring normal for dogs?

It is normal for dogs to snore when sleeping. As mentioned above, if your dog is overweight, a little older, or a certain breed it can make them more prone to snoring.

why do dogs snore - a french bulldog lying on his back asleep on a bed with white sheets

However, if it is a new behavior, your pup has other symptoms such as coughing and choking, struggles to breathe while they sleep or it becomes worse over time then it may indicate that you should speak with their veterinarian about what could be going on.

Should I Worry If My Dog Snores?

Is dog snoring something to worry about? Should you be concerned about your dog’s snoring?

Snoring itself isn’t necessarily a cause for concern and it may be that there is no problem with their health at all – just some congestion due to a cold, for example.

dog asleep on a white cushion

If your dog snores but doesn’t have other symptoms such as trouble breathing, then it is likely okay but if they snore and have other symptoms such as coughing, choking, or struggling to breathe while sleeping, you should take your furry friend in for a check-up.

How Do I Get My Dog to Stop Snoring?

Some ways you can help stop your pup’s snoring sessions include:


Getting your dog to lose weight if they are overweight which can help with a number of health problems including snoring.

Dental Hygiene

Having their teeth cleaned and treated by the veterinarian so that they don’t have dental disease, will reduce both bad breath and chances that your pup might experience sleep apnea or other respiratory issues related to oral health.


Use an air humidifier to add moisture to the air which can help with congestion and other symptoms, as well as keep your dog’s nose from drying out.

Sleeping Position

Changing your pups sleeping position so that they sleep on their side instead of their back can help with snoring and other respiratory issues

Get Rid Of Allergens

If your dog has allergies that could be causing their snoring, try to find what is causing the allergies and remove it from your home environment. Even if you can’t get rid of the allergen, you could try to minimize its effects by cleaning often and adding air filters such as HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters.

Sleeping Environment

If your dog is a brachycephalic breed, you can try to make their sleeping environment more upright by propping up the head of their crate or using a doggy bed, this can help with airway collapse and snoring

If your dog snores and also has a collapsed trachea, it might be difficult to stop their snoring but you can add more support for your pup by using towels or rolled-up blankets where their neck meets the back of their crate so that they have more support to keep airways open, this can help with snoring, coughing and other respiratory issues.

Health Check

If your dog is older, get them checked over by your vet so that they can determine if there are any other health concerns going on such as heart problems, arthritis, or other issues that could be causing your dog to snore.

Do All Dogs Snore?

While some dogs may not seem to snore at all, others sound like they are sawing logs in their sleep. The reasons some dogs snore and some may not be related to their physical build and anatomy.

why do dogs snore - dog curled up on a couch asleep

Some dogs may snore simply because they have deviated septums or other abnormalities that cause the airway to be obstructed during sleep, causing them to make sounds as breathing resumes.

Dog Breeds That Snore

Snoring is more common in certain breeds of dogs than others. Here’s a list of the most common breeds that snore:

  • Pug
  • Bulldog
  • Pekingese
  • Boxer
  • Chow Chow
  • French Bulldog

But snoring can happen to any dog. Some dogs are just more prone to experiencing the physical conditions that lead to snoring, like those with obstructed breathing passages or excess facial hair around their muzzles.

pug asleep on a table with a pen

While some breeds are more commonly known for snoring than others, there is no breed that is immune to the condition. Snoring may be a sign of serious health problems such as allergies or nasal infections and should always be checked out by your veterinarian.


We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you better understand snoring in dogs.

Why Does My Dog Snore With his Eyes Open?

Dogs snore with their eyes open, sometimes. Why does this happen?

When a dog snores with his eyes open, it’s usually because they are dreaming of something that seems frightening or exciting to them – just like when we dream!

It is not unusual for dogs to have nightmares while sleeping and will often assume the same facial expression as they do when awake. This can result in their eyes opening and appearing to be awake, even though they’re sound asleep.

Why Is My Dog Snoring All of a Sudden?

Sudden snoring in dogs can mean different things. When dogs start snoring for no apparent reason, it may be because they have developed nasal congestion due to allergies or infections.

It can also indicate that something else is wrong with their nose, throat, or airways that is causing them to snore.

Why do dogs snore - dog asleep on the sofa with a rubber ball

It’s important to have your dog checked out by a veterinarian if he starts snoring for no reason because it could be something serious that needs urgent attention.

Snoring can also indicate an issue with the soft palate inside their mouth rather than in the nose or throat which means it may be caused by something like an injury or foreign object stuck in the roof of their mouth.

The vet can do a physical exam to check for anything that might be causing your dog’s snoring and make sure there are no underlying issues with his nose, throat, or airways.

If necessary, they will refer you to another specialist who can do a more detailed examination to determine the cause of your dog’s snoring and help you find a solution.

Why Does My Dog Snore and Sounds Congested?

Snoring may be caused because the airway is obstructed during sleep, which can happen for different reasons.

dog lying on the floor asleep

For example, dogs that snore due to an enlarged tongue or soft palate are more likely to sound congested when sleeping than those with nasal issues since their mouth is closed and they’re not breathing in as much through their nose.

Do Dogs Snore When They Get Older?

Older dogs snore more than younger dogs for several reasons.

As your dog ages, his airway becomes narrower and he is less likely to breathe through the mouth which means the soft palate at the back of their throat will fall down even further into their throat when they are sleeping. This makes it harder for them to breathe properly because there’s a smaller opening for air to pass through which can result in snoring.

Older dog lying on the floor

Dogs also tend to get a bit more sleep overall as they age so there is more time when their body goes into the deep, relaxed breathing pattern that leads to snoring.


In conclusion, dogs snore for different reasons depending on the individual dog. Snoring may be due to nasal congestion, something stuck in their mouth or throat obstructing airflow, enlarged tongue and soft palate issues, age-related narrowing of the airway, or because they are sleeping deeply with relaxed breathing patterns which can cause snoring.

why do dogs snore - dog sleeping in a bed in front of a window

It can sometimes simply be down to their breed and genetics.

While some breeds are more prone to snoring than others, there is no breed that never snores.

If you are concerned about your dog’s snoring, make an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss the best way forward.

Don’t forget to bookmark us for later, we’ve got a wide range of material on all sorts of dog-related subjects. We update and post regularly so don’t be a stranger.

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All information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace your veterinarian's advice.
Jen Smart

Jen is the founder of, a leading resource for managing and treating anxiety in dogs. With over a decade of experience in working with rescue dogs, Jen holds diplomas in Understanding Canine Anxiety, Canine Holistic Health & Therapy, CBD Oil for Animals, and Zoopharmacognosy. Her expert insights help dog owners navigate the challenges of anxiety with compassionate, innovative solutions. Follow Jen’s guidance at Anxious Canine for a calmer, happier dog.

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