Do All Dogs Snore?
I was busy writing and heard a faint sound coming from the right side of my office. It sounded like a whisper or someone breathing lightly. I glanced to my right and noticed my little seven-pound Schnauzer, Dusty, sleeping in her bed with her head propped up on the side of the bed. She was resting very peacefully and, well, lightly snoring. This brought a smile to my face because this was a first for her. It got me thinking, does everyone’s dog snore?
According to VetInfo.com, dog snoring is caused by an obstruction in the nasal passage or nostrils that leads to airway constriction. The site lists some of the causes for dogs to snore:
- Overweight dogs can have excess tissue in the throat. This presents obstructions that block the airway.
- Allergens including weed and tree pollen, as well as dust and smoke, trigger allergies in nasal passages. Mucus then blocks the nostrils and leads to heavy breathing.
- Some breeds are more prone to snoring than others. Pekingese, Pugs, and Boston Terriers are some. They snore as their windpipe flattens.
- Tobacco smoke is a major irritant to dogs and other pets. If your dog snores because of tobacco smoke, the snoring will stop if you don't smoke in the house.
- During a respiratory infection, your dog could snore in his sleep until the ailment goes away and his nostrils are clear.
I remember the first night we brought home Buzz and Woody, our late Schnauzers, from the rescue facility where we adopted them. By the time we drove across the state to the rescue facility and back home it was around midnight. We were all exhausted and ready for a restful night's sleep. Once we settled in for the evening, we all went to the master bedroom and prepared for bed. Fortunately, Buzz and Woody were already crate trained and knew exactly what to do. They chose their respective crates, which ended up being their "bedrooms" from that night forward. Woody chose the one closest to our bed, in order to keep an eye on all matters. Buzz chose the one next to Woody.
We crawled into bed and within minutes we were fast asleep. Within five minutes my wife Kim nudged me and whispered, “Roll over. You’re snoring." I was too tired to deny that it wasn’t me because I had been guilty of snoring in the past. So, I rolled onto my side and faced the crates where Buzz and Woody were sleeping. Before I could doze off again, the snoring started again. I rolled back over, looked at Kim to show her that it wasn’t me after all.
“Oh my goodness," Kim said. "It’s one of the dogs!”
I listened closer and realized it was Buzz. I whispered to him, “Buzz. Roll over. You're snoring.” With a deep sigh, he repositioned himself and went back to sleep. This would become a recurring theme for Buzz, and it would always make us chuckle that a dog could snore. He would never lay on the bed with us for very long when we chose to take a nap. Instead, he preferred his crate or a remote dog bed so he could snore in peace.
Here are some tips on how to help your snoring dog:
- If the snoring is caused by allergens, clean his bedding daily. Time outdoor walks for when the pollen levels -- and auto traffic -- are low. Run the vacuum cleaner on a regular basis, and eradicate duts in rugs and curtains.
- Keep your dog on a regular exercise regimen so he'll maintain proper weight.
- For breeds prone to snoring, a minor surgical procedure can correct the issue. (This procedure is usually performed on younger dogs.)
- Attempt to alter your dog's sleeping posture or his bed or bedding.
- An elevated head might reduce snoring, so giving your dog a pillow might help.
- Don't smoke around your dog. Maintain a smoke-free household.
Because Buzz had no physical issues, we chose to let him enjoy his snoring time. Plus, it routinely gave me someone to blame for my own snoring!