What Does it Mean When a Dog Snorts? The Reasons to Watch Out For

There are so many cute and adorable things that a dog does that causes laughter. May it be snoring, smiling, or even sneezes, they look so cute and it makes you want to get a camera to keep that memory safe! However, what does it mean when a dog snorts? Are these small mannerisms leading to something serious, or are their noises just something to brush aside?

There are different meanings to your dog’s noises, particularly when it comes to snorting. So if you’re worried and want to learn more about it, read on! I’ll be showing you why your dog snorts and what else to know about it.

what does it mean when a dog snorts
Border Collie sniffing on a brown field.

What Does It Mean When a Dog Snorts?

If it was the first time you heard your dog snort, it may have come to you as a surprise. It’s not every day that you would hear a dog snort, and not a lot of people actually know what it sounded like!

Dog snorts actually sound like a combination of a pig snort and sneeze, or even sound like a mix of a hiccup, cough, or gat. There’s no one word to describe it, but it sure is unique. With that being said, why does it happen? Well, there are actually several reasons why:

Reverse Sneezing

Reverse sneezing sounds like snoring, which is known as spastic inhalation. No, it’s not a sneeze but sounds like a drawn-out snort which can last in episodes for minutes at a time. It’s caused by spasms from the soft palettes when the airway would narrow and make it difficult for the dog to breathe.

The causes would include:

  • Your dog inhaled allergens like dust mites or pollen
  • Strong scents from perfumes, scented candles, or smoke
  • Foreign bodies have entered their throat or nose
  • Viral infection
  • Anxiety or overexcitement

Fortunately, it stops on its own without any serious effects in the long run.

Airway Obstruction or Allergies

Just like many of us who may snore at night, a dog may also have mechanical obstructions on their upper airways. To help remove the obstruction or remedy it, they would snort more, which may help clear out the respiratory tract of the debris or fluid they inhaled or have.

Basically, this means that their noses are irritated and they snort as an attempt to get out whatever is irritating them. It may come from allergens around the home that trigger an allergic reaction, or because they got the common cold, causing significant sinuses.

Obesity or Excess Weight

For dogs who are overweight or obese, they are more likely to snort because of their difficulty in breathing. This is because their excess weight has given them extra to carry, causing them to feel like there’s something that hinders their airflow.

It’s similar to us humans who would pant or snort if carrying excess weight. We would also feel like we are catching our breaths after doing short activities. Because of this, it causes snoring and snorting, and a diet with exercise to lose weight can help remedy that.

Your Dog’s Particular Breed

Some dog breeds are more prone to snorting because of the way their noses and airways are shaped. Smaller breeds and those who are brachycephalic (having a pushed-n face), would snort more than the other larger breeds from time to time.

Dog breeds that would snort more are the bulldog, pug, Pekingese, or Shih Tzus.

They also have a higher risk of respiratory illnesses because of their smaller openings around the airways, as well as narrow tracheas and soft palates.

Is It Safe If a Dog Snorts?

When a dog snorts every now and then, there’s really not much to worry about. It may be due to his breed and the way he breathes. However, if it comes up again and he continues to snort to the point it’s uncomfortable for him and shows signs of irritation, then it may be time to have him checked to ensure that there’s no allergies or other serious conditions going on.

There are a couple of solutions to the snorting as well, as snorting can be a normal occurrence in some dogs. Just remain calm while helping him with the obstruction or going through the snorting by covering his/her nose briefly, or by massaging their throat.

If you want to know what a dog snort sounds like, here is a video showing you reverse sneezing and snorting:

Wrapping It Up

Dogs can make such funny noises wherever they go or in whatever they do, may it be snorting or little yelps. With that being said, some noises like snorting need to be looked upon, especially if your dog shoes other symptoms of irritation and allergies. That way, they can live healthier without any worries whatsoever.

Hopefully, this article answered your question, “what does it mean when a dog snorts?” Now that you know the reasons behind it, learn more about your dog’s noises and other behaviors today.

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