Dog snoring is one of those things that is sometimes harmless and sometimes a sign that something is wrong. You can usually tell whether it is harmful by what is normal for your dog. If they've always snored, it's probably fine. If they suddenly start doing it, you should discover why, just in case. This post will discuss everything you need to know about dog snoring and how CBD oil can help.
What is Dog Snoring?
This sounds like a silly question, but you may not be 100% sure whether your dog is snoring or you can just hear them breathing and understanding how snoring works may help you better understand whether it's a sign of a problem or not.
Snoring comes from vibration in the soft tissues of the throat and mouth. It is the result of abnormal airflow, not just louder breathing. You can often hear the vibration.
What Causes Dog Snoring?
Snoring happens whenever there is insufficient room for airflow. This can be because they're lying on their back and their tongue is in the way, the way their snout is shaped because of their breed, allergies, or because of a health problem.
Snoring can be a sign that the dog has:
- an allergy
- a cold
- a foreign object in their throat
- an abscessed tooth
- sleep apnea
- a benign or cancerous growth
You may be able to easily ascertain which of the many causes of dog snoring is the culprit with your pet.
With an allergy, you may notice a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, heavy breathing, panting, digestive upset, or lack of appetite, depending on the allergy. You might be able to quickly determine that they were exposed to something unusual or a particularly large amount of something such as seasonal allergies, a new food, a cat, etc.
If your dog has swallowed something that isn't large enough to choke them but could obstruct their airway enough to cause snoring, this will likely be accompanied by coughing and you may be aware that the dog was playing with something that they may have swallowed or that part of one of their toys has vanished.
A dog with hypothyroidism will likely also have symptoms like thinning hair, missing hair, a dull coat, scaly skin, lethargy, weight gain, or cold intolerance.
Obesity will be a likely cause if the dog is significantly overweight. Your dog should have a defined waist, the obviousness of this waistline will depend on the breed, but all dogs should have one. If your dog is too thick or downright round, no matter how cute it is, it may be detrimental to their health, and your sanity if snoring develops.
If your dog has sleep apnea, they will not have a restful sleep. You may see them frequently waking up and they will not have the normal energy they should have because they're constantly running on a sleep deficit.
Some medications can cause a dog to start snoring because it relaxes their throat muscles. You would likely know this was the cause because it would start only after the dog was taking the medication. If this is causing you a problem or you are worried it may impact your dog's health, you should speak to your vet to see if a change can be made.
Some breeds of dog are more likely to snore, Black Russian Terriers, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Clumber Spaniels, English Bulldogs, Pugs, and Shih Tzus. They were bred to have a short snout, but genetics didn't catch up on the inside. Short dogs in general are more likely to snore. None of these are guaranteed to snore, but it will take much less to make them do it than a typical dog.
Is Dog Snoring Normal?
To some extent. Some dogs do this most of their lives, particularly the breeds mentioned above, and it means nothing harmful.
If your dog has just developed snoring, it's disturbingly loud, or there are other signs that something is wrong with the dog, you should take them to the vet.
Diagnosing Dog Snoring
Your vet will want to ask you a lot of questions, such as:
- when did the snoring start?
- have there been any changes that may cause allergies, an obstruction, etc.?
- what does the snoring sound like?
- do they have other symptoms?
For the question about the way the snoring sounds, you can always record it so you can let the vet hear it rather than trying to describe it.
They will probably look at the dog's nose and throat for any visible signs. They may also do blood tests and check their blood pressure to rule out certain conditions.
How to Stop Dog Snoring
Sleeping position matters
Like people, dogs are more likely to snore when they're on their back. If you adjust them during sleep, they may very well stop snoring. You can also encourage them to sleep in other positions by giving them a sleeping space that encourages them to curl up, whether it's a special dog bed or a couch with pillows all over it, whatever works.
Limit their exposure to allergens
If you can determine what they are allergic to, you can reduce their exposure to it. People often use the elimination method to discover the source of an allergy.
Ways to limit potential allergens:
- vacuum and dust on a more frequent basis
- change your air filter
- keep windows closed where wind can blow pollen into the home
- pollen should be less damaging at different times of the day, time their walks accordingly, if possible
- keep them away from cats
- change their food, if you suspect a food allergy
Protect them from cigarette smoke
Smoking around your dog can cause or exacerbate snoring. Try to stop smoking, period, or smoke outside, away from the dog.
Like us, dogs breathe better in moister air. You might try getting a humidifier or putting your humidifier to more use and see if that doesn't ease your dog's snoring.
Trim doggy fat
If your dog is overweight or obese, this may be causing the snoring and tackling their weight may get rid of the problem.
Change their diet to include a higher-quality dog food or limit their intake of treats and food scraps, if these are relevant. The dog probably needs more exercise, so give them more playtime and take them on more walks.
How CBD Oil can Help with Dog Snoring
CBD oil, or cannabidiol, has been gaining praise for addressing a dizzying array of health issues.
Scientists have discovered that humans and dogs are powered by cannabinoids. It sounds funny, but it's true. We have an endocannabinoid system, a bunch of receptors attached to many of our vital organs, that create and rely on their own cannabinoids. An external cannabinoid like cannabidiol helps the body do what it already does better, like giving your body an increase in serotonin or melatonin.
CBD oil may help with dog snoring by:
- fostering a healthy sleep routine for dog and humans (of both dog and human take it)
- regulating REM patterns for sleep apnea suffers
- relaxing muscles, if relaxing them helps with the cause of the snoring
- subtly increasing energy to help gain more exercise
- encouraging a healthy appetite
- managing inflammation
Using CBD Oil
You can choose from several CBD oil products to suit your dog's tastes and needs.
CBD oil for dogs comes in:
- oil tinctures
- extract concentrates
Concentrates are just cannabidiol in kind of a thick consistency. It will come out in little beads that you can measure to get a very controlled dose. They have no flavoring, so if your dog doesn't like the taste of hemp, you'll have to mask it in a powerful-tasting food. These are the most cost-effective method of delivering cannabidiol.
Oil tinctures combine cannabidiol with a carrier oil, and often a flavoring, to create an easy and tasty CBD oil offering. It comes with either a dropper or sprayer, depending on the manufacturer. You can apply it directly to the dog's mouth or their food. Tinctures provide excellent control over the dose. You just measure the drops or sprays.
Capsules are easy if your dog likes taking pills. Taste isn't a concern, and you don't have to do anything complicated. It can be limiting when it comes to dose though, because all you can do is give them another capsule, which is a double dose.
Topicals are great for external or localized issues. For instance, if your dog is overweight because they stopped exercising from arthritis in their hind legs, you could apply a CBD oil lotion or cream to their legs to ease their pain and inflammation in an attempt to get them moving again.
Treats are the most enjoyable way to give your dog CBD oil. They're just like any treat! What dog doesn't like treats? They even come in crunchy and chewy options to suit their individual taste buds. Like capsules, you are limited in your dose options.
Dosing CBD Oil
Capsules and treats come in small, medium, and large dog doses. You just pick which one you need.
Tinctures and concentrates will contain a certain, designated amount of cannabidiol in a drop, spray, or bead and you measure out how many you need to achieve the dose you want.
You'll have to research CBD oil doses for the ailment you want to address. If you want to help them sleep more soundly or lose weight, the dose could vary a great deal. See what manufacturers, scientists, vets, and pet owners recommend for your dog's needs.
Do be aware that very small, large, young, old, or sick dogs require different doses. You may need to consult a vet to determine the right dose for them.
Whatever the combination of ailment and dog, you want to start with the lowest recommended dose and work up to the one that works. Some ailments actually respond better to a lower dose, and it's easier to work up than it is to work down.
Risks Associated with CBD Oil
There aren't many risks associated with taking CBD oil. That's why it's growing in popularity as a natural alternative treatment option. But there are some things you should know to best care for when giving your pet CBD oil.
There has been no known instance of a dog, or any living being, overdosing on CBD oil. If they get too much, they can become sedated, lose their appetite, or get diarrhea.
You don't want your dog to get any of those, but you should easily be able to avoid it and rectify it should it start happening, and they're much less scary than the side effects of most medications.
CBD oil impacts the way the liver absorbs medications, meaning the same dose doesn't work as it would in a liver that isn't also processing CBD oil. This isn't that bad, except that your vet needs to know about the CBD oil.
If your dog is already on a medication, contact the vet before giving them CBD oil.
If your dog is already taking CBD oil and you take them to the vet, tell the vet before they administer anything to the dog or prescribe any medications for them. It may impact the doses they give.
CBD oil products have not been approved by the FDA. Scientific testing is giving some very positive and exciting feedback on CBD oil, but it hasn't been enough yet for FDA approval. It also hasn't been used that widely yet.
So, while traditional medications may be scary for their side effects and risks, vets also understand them a lot better, how effective they are and how to calculate the risks involved. CBD oil is more experimental.
Since dog snoring is usually more of an irritation issue than a life-threatening issue, you'd probably appreciate a gentle and natural treatment option and don't have to worry about whether it is a guaranteed, aggressive treatment.
That being said, don't diagnose your dog's snoring with it. If your dog just developed snoring and you don't know why, still get them to the vet to determine there isn't an underlying cause. Then you may use CBD oil to help with the snoring, or maybe the underlying condition, depending on what it is. Feel free to speak to your vet about the options.
They should be knowledgeable and willing to discuss CBD oil as a potential primary or secondary alternative with you. If not, you can look for a holistic vet.
Purchasing CBD Oil
You should become knowledgeable about certain things before venturing forth into the wide world of CBD oil products and know a few things before buying CBD Oil.
Full-spectrum versus CBD isolate
CBD isolate is what the name implies, cannabidiol isolated from the hemp plant, as opposed to full-spectrum which is cannabidiol along with other cannabinoids, terpenes, and nutrients from the hemp plant.
Many people believe full-spectrum offers more health benefits, so it is the sort of go-to CBD oil option, but some people say CBD isolate actually works better for them. It's also good to take a look at some of the differences between CBD Isolate vs Full Spectrum.
There is no evidence at this time to prove if one person is right or not, or why, it's just what people report. The good news is that if you try one option and it doesn't work for your dog, you can try the other before giving up on CBD oil completely.
Some CBD oil manufacturers are not safe. They may offer poor-quality cannabidiol, less cannabidiol than they advertised, or no cannabidiol at all! This is why reputable CBD oil manufacturers provide you with access to third-party lab test results for each of their products. You can see how much of everything is in the product and what isn't in it. Make sure you check the manufacturer's website for the results and that you read them.
Check the manufacturer's website to see if they tell you where they acquired their hemp. They might grow and extract it themselves or they might buy the hemp or oil from someone else. The main point is to find out where it was grown so you can ensure it came from a country with safe growing regulations.
Available extraction methods are not equal. You should check the website to ensure they use the CO2 extraction method because it is the safest and purest option.
Most of the time, it's the safest option to choose a product of any kind that contains fewer ingredients. The less items on the list, the less likely it is that one of them is unnecessary, unsafe, or allergenic. Many CBD oil manufacturers will offer all-natural products, but you can also get all-organic.
You might start your CBD oil journey with Innovet, because we meet or exceed all of these criteria.
Innovations from Innovet
Innovet seeks to help all dogs with hard-to-treat ailments, which means defining and tackling things that get in the way of treating an ailment.
If your dog is not helped by traditional treatments or current CBD oil products, please contact us so we can try to find a solution for your pet.
Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM was raised in north Louisiana. She graduated from LA Tech in 2011 with a degree in animal science. She then moved to Grenada West Indies for veterinary school. She completed her clinical year at Louisiana State University and graduated in 2015 from St. George’s University. Since veterinary school she has been working at a small animal and exotic veterinary clinic in east Texas, where she has experience treating all species that walk in the hospital. In her free time, she likes to travel with her husband Greg, bake yummy desserts and spend time with her 4-legged fur kids, a dog Ruby, a cat Oliver James “OJ”, a rabbit BamBam and a tortoise MonkeyMan.
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The Innovet Team
Please do not ask for emergency or specific medical questions about your pets in the comments. Innovet Pet Products is unable to provide you with specific medical advice or counseling. A detailed physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinarian are required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet requires emergency attention or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic health conditions, please contact or visit your local/preferred veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.
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