Treating Dog Snoring Through Diet

Excess weight and obesity are two of the top causes of dog snoring. The Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine estimates that of the 62 million dogs living in America today, 3.1 million (5%) are considered obese. Obstruction of the airways is another leading cause of dog snoring. Obstruction of the airways can be caused by many things, from food allergies to dry air. One of the best ways to treat weight-related dog snoring is through diet and exercise.

Dog Snoring, Weight Gain and Diet

Obesity or extra weight can cause the soft palate of the dog's mouth to collapse. This typically occurs at night when the dog is at rest. The only way to eliminate or minimize weight related snoring is through diet and exercise. It would be tough to reduce your dog's weight or maintain a healthy weight through diet alone. A visit to your vet is highly recommend before starting any diet and exercise plan, but in general you should:

  • Adopt a low fat diet
  • Add fiber to the diet (canned pumpkin, supplements, fiber rich natural dog food)
  • Eliminate or minimize dog treats
  • Increase water intake (always make sure your dog has fresh water)
  • Exercise daily (at least an hour every day)

Diet and Food Allergies' Effects on Breathing

Certain foods in your dog's diet could cause an allergic reaction. This means that certain foods can cause respiratory problems, mucus build-up, irritatation of airways and even throat swelling. Eliminating or reducing the consumption of certain foods in your dog's diet could alleviate snoring. Some of the top allergy-triggering foods for dogs include:

  • Dairy
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Corn
  • Eggs
  • Oils and fats
  • Sugar
  • Table scraps

It is important to keep in mind that oil, fat, sugar and table scraps are major contributors to weight gain and obesity in dogs.

Other Ways to Minimize or Stop Dog Snoring

While excess weight and obesity are the leading causes of snoring, there are other contributing factors. Smoke and dry air can also aggravate your dog's nasal passages and respiratory system, which can lead to snoring during sleep. So, in addition to eliminating food allergens, you should also remove other allergens such as smoke. Smoke can cause your dog's air passages to close. This increases snoring. Dry air in the home affects the membranes of the nose, throat and bronchial tubes. It can cause congestion, it can make the throat feel dry and it can cause or aggravate respiratory ailments. One of the best ways to reduce these symptoms is by using a humidifier. By maintaining adequate levels of humidity in the home during the colder months, you will reduce inflammation in your dog's nasal passages, making him less likely to snore at night.

Dog Snoring and Sleep

The position your dog sleeps in can contribute to snoring. If your dog sleeps on his back with his head level, he might snore. Purchase a round bed for your dog. That way he will be forced to sleep in a curled up position-especially if the bed is snug. Adding height to your dog's pillow to prop his head up at night will help to open his throat. This won't eliminate snoring completely, but it will significantly reduce it. You can add extra pillows to add height, or purchase a thicker dog pillow.

Although unlikely, if you have tried everything and your dog continues to snore, please visit your vet to determine if his snoring is caused by an underlying, serious medical condition.