Why do dogs snore?

by Sundays

little dog sleeping on bed

Here’s the why behind your dog’s nightly snore serenades along with tips on when to worry and when it's perfectly normal.

Who knew that dogs could snore, and so loudly, too? And why do dogs snore? Is it for the same reasons that people snore?

Here’s the why behind your dog’s nightly snore serenades along with tips on when to worry and insight on which breeds tend to snore the most.

Reasons dogs snore

If your dog just started snoring and never did before, you should definitely get it checked out. That goes for anytime your pup has a sudden change in behavior or daily patterns. 

If your dog always tends to snore, or has snored on and off for forever, it could simply be their sleeping position or breed that’s behind it. Then again, it could be caused by a health issue. Here are the most common reasons behind dog snoring.

Strange sleeping position

Snoring is the sound that happens when your dog breathes but their airway is partly blocked for one reason or another. So the air vibrates the soft tissues of the throat as it’s inhaled and exhaled. If your dog sleeps on their back, their tongue and throat tissues can cover and block the flow of air.

Having a short muzzle

Flat-faced (brachycephalic) dogs, like Pugs, Boxers, and French Bulldogs, have the odds stacked against them when it comes to snoring. They have several issues that come from having such short muzzles, including brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS). These dogs often pant at night or snore. 

If you have one of these breeds and your dog snores, it’s still a good idea to have your vet take a look to make sure the situation is not severe enough to require surgery. Snoring can be a symptom of BOAS, and in some cases, surgery can lead to improved sleep, more energy for exercise and play, and eating without regurgitating.

Dog Allergies

People with allergies tend to breathe through their mouths because their noses are always stuffed up. The same can be true for dogs with allergies. When an allergen enters the nose, the nasal tissue swells up and closes off the airway. This makes it hard to breathe through the nose and causes snoring.

Being overweight

Many people are surprised when their vet tells them their dog is overweight. The vet may even pull out the body condition chart to show you how a dog’s supposed to look from above and how much of their ribcage you should be able to feel and so on. If your dog has gained weight, they may start snoring from the strain of extra fat around the neck. 

Something in the nose

It’s possible that the snoring could be caused by an object that’s stuck in your dog’s nose. This can also cause reverse sneezing, snorting, and a runny nose. But it could also be a mass in the nasal cavity that is making it harder for your dog to breathe. In this case you might also notice noisy breathing in general when your dog is awake.


You wouldn’t think an infection could be related to snoring in dogs, but it can be. Some common bacterial infections that can cause your pup to snore include upper respiratory infections, like kennel cough, pneumonia, or an infected tooth. All of these can cause nasal congestion, which can then cause snoring.

When in doubt, check it out

While these are the most common reasons why dogs snore, it’s not an exhaustive list. If the nightly and naptime snoring is a new thing for your pup, or if it seems to be a lot louder or happening more often than before, definitely check in with your vet to be on the safe side.

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