Does your dog snore like a freight train all night long?
When Fido snores, we all lose sleep. And we all know how well we function on too little sleep, don’t we? Answer: Not very well. We get more frustrated and less patient, and put ourselves at risk of injury or illness because we’re more clumsy and less immune to viruses we come in contact with.
But you know who else loses sleep? Fido. Yep, even the dog loses sleep when the dog snores. We might think that Fido is the only one who’s not losing sleep, but dogs who snore don’t enter that deep stage restorative REM sleep as often, and if they do, it’s usually for less time overall than for dogs who don’t snore. Kind of like people.
So, what causes snoring in dogs?
Dogs snore for many reasons. Everything from physical structure (flatter-faced dogs tend to be the worst snorers), to weight gain or obesity, to nasal congestion due to the environment (allergens, smoke etc.), to being on medication that tranquilizes the body, relaxing the muscles to the point where they can actually press on the airway blocking proper breath intake.
How do we make it stop?
Barring any cause for additional concern (wheezing, coughing, gurgling, difficulty swallowing, or throats that spasm), and besides the cardinal rule of keeping a watchful eye on your dog’s weight fluctuation, there are a few surprising, but simple ways to curb Fido’s snoring. Here’s our list:
- Switching to a round bed: Many dogs snore when they’re on the backs. Round doggy beds encourage a dog to curl around themselves, leaving airways upright and open, thus reducing the likelihood they’ll be ‘pulling it from the toes’.
- Walking earlier or later: If you can, planning Fido’s walks for when pollen and pollution counts (particularly in the heat of the summer) are lower can help curb snoring. Dogs bring pollen, pollution, and other allergens in on their coats and in their paws. And they don’t shower every day or two like we do. So they lay in their ‘coated’ coats and on their ‘coated’ beds while they sleep. Consider wiping them – and their paws – down with a wet or dry towel after a walk. They’ll probably appreciate a soothing gesture like this anyway.
- Cooling down before bed: Just like us, dogs get uncomfortable when they’re hot. So, if you come in from a walk right before bed, give Fido a chance to cool down before he calls it a night. Give him a quick wipe down, make sure he has a (small) drink of fresh water, and cool the room down for sleeping just like you would for yourself or a child in the house. Dogs expel most of their heat through the mouth, so if the tongue is still swollen from the heat and hanging out of their mouths by the time you’re trying to sleep, you might be in for a longer night.
Looking for more ways to keep your dog cool and relaxed in the summer? Check out this post.
Do you have a dog (or dogs) that snore(s)? Could they give the Grand Trunk a run for its money? How do you get through it? Share your snore-stories – and solutions! – below.