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December 10, 2008
By Susan M. Callahan, Health Editor and Featured
Dogs snore for many different reasons. Contrary to
popular belief, dogs do not snore merely to annoy their
owners. In fact, the causes of snoring in dogs are
fundamentally the same reasons humans snore: obesity
and obstruction to the airways.
Obesity is the most common cause of snoring in dogs.
According to the Food and Drug Administration's Center
for Veterinary Medicine, an estimated 20 to 39% of the
62 million dogs in America are overweight. Of this
number, 5% --that's 3.1 million dogs--are obese.
"Veterinarians are well aware that overweight pets are
at a higher risk of developing various health problems,
from cardiovascular conditions to diabetes to joint
problems.", stated Stephen Sundlof, D.V.M., Ph.D.,
director of FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.
Veterinarians generally define a dog that weighs 20
percent more than its ideal weight as obese.
Obesity of dogs is an important factor in causing snoring
because the added weight helps to collapse the soft palate
of the dog's mouth at night, leading to snoring.
The anatomy of the face of many dogs also complicates
their breathing, especially at night. Short-snouted or pug-
faced dogs (Shih tzu, Pekinese, boxers, Sharpei's for
example) snore more because they have shorter and
narrower nostrils and air passages in which to breath. If
they are even minimally congested, the entire passage
can be obstructed, and snoring results.
Age seems to increase the risk of dog snoring. Puppies
almost never snore. Vets often report owners who have
never had a snoring problem brining their dogs in for
snoring treatment after the dog turns 7 or 8, in other
words, as they move into middle-age.
Here are some things you can do to help to stop your dog
Sleep In a Round Bed. As with humans, many snoring
dogs sleep on their backs with their paws up in the air.
Placing your dog in a round beg that fits him or her snugly
may force them to curl up and make it less likely that
they will be able to turn over on their back. I advocate
the tennis ball trick for dogs too. But with a twist. Glue a
tennis ball into the middle of a sash or belt or harness. Tie
the sash gently around your dog's middle with the ball
sitting on the top of his or her back. If during the night
they try to roll over on their back, the tennis ball will
nudge them awake.
Allergies. Like humans, dogs can be allergic to a range of
foods and materials. Try to diagnose any allergies and of
course eliminate the irritant. Undiagnosed allergies can
cause congestion at night, which leads to snoring.
Raise Your Head. Adding height will open the throat
more, reducing snoring. Use an extra pillow or a thicker
Daily Exercise Walks. All dogs have to be walked to
move their bowels. But the perfunctory once around the
block is not enough exercise to lose weight. Aim for at
least an hour's walk. It will help to trim your pt and you
Fight Obesity-Change Their Diet. Many dog owners
mistakenly believe that overfeeding their dog is a sign of
love. It is just the opposite. One of the worst things you
can do to your dog is to fed him like a human. Dogs have
short intestines. They are built to eat meat, not potato
chips. Not fruit.
Not candy. Not beer.
Don’t Smoke Around Your Dog. Smoking closes air
passages, increasing snoring.
Steam. Anything that reduces congestion will help to
reduce snoring. Humidifiers help by reducing
inflammation of your dog's nasal passages.
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"My Husband Died of Stroke--a personal story"
The Problem of Shallow Sleep
Can't Sleep-Here's Help
FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine
Is Your Dog or Cat Obese?
Lose 10lbs -A Simple Plan for The Rest of Us
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Other Links and Resources:
Links Page-Snoring Directories,Treatment Resources,Tutorial Videos