Videos of snoring dogs may seem cute on YouTube, but when a dog snores, that’s a warning sign of a serious health issue.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that all dogs that snore – that’s 100-percent - experience the canine equivalent of sleep apnea. And just like humans, breathing in fits-and-starts can lead to dangerous conditions, like sleep deprivation, obesity, heart disease, behavior issues and even strokes. The experts say that canine sleep apnea is most common in short-snouted, flat-faced dogs like boxers, pugs, and English Bulldogs because their compact skulls and small respiratory systems restrict airflow. But any dog that snores is at risk.
And there’s another problem: The same airway restrictions that cause snoring also prevent dogs from cooling down in hot weather. After all, dogs can’t sweat; they cool down by panting through their open mouths. But the less air they’re able to move, the harder it is for them to cool off, and the more likely they are to suffer from potentially fatal heatstroke.
Another problem with dogs that can’t move air efficiently is that less oxygen gets to their blood. That makes them lethargic, and more likely to put on weight. Bottom line: If your dog snores, talk to your vet. In some cases, a doggie diet that can bring their weight under control will solve the problem. But they might also need surgery. Either way, seeking medical help could prevent every dog owner’s worst nightmare, the premature death of your best friend.