If you’re lucky enough to own a dog, or more than one dog, you’ll know that they’re a constant source of joy. Ok, ok, maybe not constant; they can be a source of frustration and stress, too!
Not only do we worry about the mess they make, or their behaviour with the neighbours, or their love of chewing all our shoes (the newer the better), we also care about their health and well-being! For instance, we worry about them bumping into things or wandering into a busy main road, as well as worry about their ever-expanding bellies, and even about their sleep! We want to keep them happy and healthy every day!
Dogs And Sleep
The thing is, dogs need a lot more snoozy time than you might think. 50% of their lives are spent asleep, compared to the 33% of their two-legged owners. And another 30% of their time is spent lying around, leaving only 20% left being active. Dogs are pretty sleepy creatures. And, just like humans, it’s important that they get as much of it as they need, to boost their health and their overall happiness.
Dogs And Snoring
If your dog emits all manner of noises and movements while asleep, it might be a source of entertainment. It’s funny to watch ol’ Bessie kicking and growling while chasing an imaginary cat around the garden! But if your dog snores, it could in fact be a symptom of a bigger problem. Such as the following:
Just like humans, allergies for dogs can be a real pain. They can cause them to feel irritable and uncomfortable when they’re awake, plus they can get in the way of a better sleep. The allergies that can lead to your dog snoring include dust and pollen and might get worse during the summer months. So if your dog appears to have trouble breathing, or is wheezing and snoring while sleeping, it might be time to give them some medication or to change the air filters in your home.
Again, the size of your dog’s belly shouldn’t just be a source of amusement. Note that canine obesity can be very dangerous, especially when your dog is sleeping. All that excess tissue around the throat can constrict the airways, which at first causes snoring but could end in suffocation. A heavily overweight dog is even at risk of their trachea collapsing during sleep. Yikes! So keep your dog in the fittest condition as possible – for their sleep, for their safety and for their health in general.
Your dog’s sleepy grunts and snorts might be their way of expressing pain. For instance, if a bad tooth becomes an abscess or if a growth appears in the mouth, it could block their airways and lead to the snoring (plus a great deal of discomfort for poor doggie). These conditions can quite easily become infected so it’s one of the first things you should check if your dog suddenly starts snoring.
Much as we like to think that our dogs speak to us, unfortunately they haven’t quite got to the stage of physically telling us what’s wrong; for example, if they have something stuck in their throat or in their nasal passages. This debris, whether it’s a scrap torn off those shoes or a piece of mulch, can lead to irritation and swelling. Again, if your dog suddenly starts snoring out of the blue, it’s worth considering that some kind of physical obstruction could be to blame. Time for a visit to the vet!
What To Do?
Sometimes, the snoring is no cause for concern at all. It might be down to your dog’s breed; for instance, flat-faced breeds like pugs are more prone to snoring as they have shorter airways and thus might find it harder to move the air in and out. Or it might be down to a passing cold, in which case just make sure to give your pooch some extra TLC! Or it might simply be because your dog prefers sleeping on their back rather than their side; a preference that, like in humans, can lead to some pretty loud snores!
If the snoring persists and if it sounds like your dog is struggling to breathe, it’s worth getting it checked out. It could be one of the reasons listed above, or it could be for some other reason entirely; in any case you shouldn’t put your dog’s comfort at risk. So nip that snoring in the bud, let your dog have a sounder sleep and yourself a quieter night as a result!
Author: Sarah from The Sleep Advisor