Why Do Pit Bulls Snore and Can You Prevent It?

HONK Mimimi!

Is this a common sound in your house? The sound of your precious pit bull letting out a snore so resonant that you’re worried the glass panes might just rattle right out of their frames?

Most dogs snore, but it can sometimes be distracting, or even concerning, to hear strange noises from your sleeping dog.

You may find yourself asking questions such as - Why do pit bulls snore? Should I be worried about it? Is there something I can do to prevent it?

Controllable Snoring vs. Non-controllable Snoring

a pitbull wearing pajamas

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While the actual science behind it is up for debate, it seems to be a fact that pit bulls snore and it is actually very common among the various bully breeds.

This is due to the pit bull’s physiology. They tend to have brachycephalic skulls (Short, broad snouts with narrow airways). They also have relaxed soft pallets, which is the primary mechanism that is responsible for snoring. These physiological issues can cause minor breathing issues such as snoring.

However, this doesn't mean that all Pit bulls snore all the time. If your pit bull has suddenly begun to snore or their snoring has suddenly gotten noticeably worse, then there may be another reason for the rumbling.

If your pit bulls snore while awake or while sitting up, then this is just heavy breathing. It could indicate that your pit bull has some kind of respiratory issue that needs attending to. 

Obesity or Excessive Weight

Obesity and excessive weight gain is one of the most common reasons a dog snores. Extra fat and weight around the ribs can compress them, make it more difficult for your pit bull’s diaphragm to extend properly. In addition, the soft tissue in the throat can make snoring more audible.

Normally, you can tell a dog is overweight by examining them, or by watching their behaviour. Your dog does not need to be grossly obese for this to happen. Even a small jump in weight can set off some snoring.


Sometimes a dog’s snoring can be due to something being stuck in its nasal passages. This will happen occasionally, normally because your pit bull has been sniffing around or swimming.

Generally, these problems will resolve on their own. However, taking your pit bull to the vet for a professional analysis may be a good idea especially since it can impact their breathing.

a sleeping pitbull


Sometimes humans start snoring when they have a head cold or a blocked nose. The same thing might be making your pit bull snore.

Infections tend to cause a buildup of mucus, which may make breathing difficult and hang around in your pit bull’s sinuses and throat. This excessive mucus will also rattle around, making it difficult for your dog to expel air.

If your pit bull has other signs of infection [1], along with snoring, it might be a good idea to take them to the vet.

Certain fungi, such as black mold, or the type that grows on grass and hay, may also grow in your dog’s nasal passages and throat - causing inflammation, coughing, and sneezing.

Allergies and Irritants

Infection is not the only other mucus producer. A pit bull's snoring may also be due to environmental factors and common allergies, such as dust, pollen, spores, etc. It could even be due to the use of harsh chemicals in the house.

All of these things can irritate a dog’s nose and throat, causing inflammation and mucus buildup.

Another dangerous cause of pit bull snoring may be second-hand smoke. Pit bulls, like all dogs, are just as susceptible to the dangers of smoke-related illnesses as people.

Dental Problems

Dental problems can also be a reason pit bulls snore. Gum disease, tartar buildup, or infection from abscesses can cause swelling and inflammation in the nose and throat of your pit bull.

It's a good idea to check your dog’s mouth occasionally to ensure a dental issue hasn't gotten out of control.

Sleeping Positions

Have you ever slept in the same room as a snorer? Have you noticed that when they sleep on their sides instead of their back that it helps with the snoring?

The same thing may help with your pit bull’s snoring habit. 

Occasionally, certain sleeping positions can affect your pit bull’s breathing ability. For example, sleeping on their backs can cause their tongues to fold down and restrict their breathing. Sleeping with their chin down flat can also compress their throats and make breathing difficult.

This is one of the easiest and most difficult causes to remedy. Easy, because it's quite simple to nudge your pit bull over or to wake them up and encourage them to sleep in a different position.  But it can also be difficult since you may have to sleep in the same room or nearby your pit bull to monitor them.

a pitbull puppy sleeping


Certain medications, such as pain relievers and muscle relaxants, can also cause your pit bull’s throat to relax. This can also cause some snoring.

If in doubt, it's best to inform your vet about this side effect and maybe request a different medicine. Unfortunately, not much can be done if your pit bull requires the medication.

Sleep Apnea

While unusual, some dogs can get sleep apnea [2] like humans do. 

This condition causes your dog to temporarily stop breathing in their sleep. They will often jolt awake - or suddenly inhale deeply when they begin to lose oxygen. Certain factors like obesity and allergies can make some dogs more susceptible. 

How Do I Make It Stop?

Sometimes pit bulls just snore. But based on the info above, there are a few tips and tricks you can try.

Keep your Dog at a Healthy Weight.

While the exact figures are up for debate, there does seem to be a strong connection between extra weight on your pooch and excessive snoring.

Therefore, ensuring your dog is on a controlled diet and getting the exercise they need may help with their snoring. Pit bulls are an active breed and like to exercise anyway. An adult pit bull may need to be walked multiple times a day to get in the necessary exercise. Exercise can also help build strong cardio-pulmonary muscles, which can also help with breathing difficulties.

Keep Allergies and Irritants Out of Your Dog’s Way

Small things, such as washing your pit bull’s bedding and toys regularly, can help keep them away from snore-causing allergies. Making sure to only smoke outside, and refraining from using harsh strong-smelling chemicals and odorants can also help. If you have an indoor fireplace - ensure that it is well-ventilated.

Some people recommend not walking dogs in areas with high vehicle traffic, especially if you live in a dry or dusty area. Walking them when the pollen count is low in your area may also help.

Ensuring the air inside your home is clean and moist can benefit both you and your dog. Therefore, investing in a simple air purifier or humidifier can keep these allergens out of your pet’s personal space.

a black pitbull wearing a jacket


Adjust Sleeping Positions

Occasionally, a snoring pit bull may be encouraged to stop snoring with a gentle nudge and roll onto their side or belly. Some pit bulls benefit from sleeping with a small pillow - as elevating the head can help with airflow. A circular bed may also encourage your dog to sleep in a more natural curled-up position.

Check Regularly for Health Issues

As mentioned earlier, infections are some of the biggest causes of inflammation and therefore snoring in dogs. A dog does not necessarily have to be feverish or noticeably ill to have an underlying infection.

Regular examinations, which owners can do at their own home [3], can ensure that your dog is infection free. Your pit bull should have an average temperature, a shiny coat, pink and healthy gums, a smooth nose, and clear, bright eyes.


Be careful about so-called ‘home remedies’ or medications for snoring pets!

Normally, a dog will snore due to health problems or due to their physiology. Any medicine that is not prescribed by a vet will not tackle the issue that is the base problem of your pit bull’s snoring habit.

At worst, some of these medications can be poisonous or hazardous to animals. Even herbal remedies that are safe for human consumption could cause problems, especially if the dosage is wrong. Never use human medication on your pit bull without consulting a vet!


a pitbull puppy sleeping

Due to their physiology, sometimes even healthy pit bulls can snore. However, if your pit bull has suddenly begun to snore or has gotten worse, there may be an underlying issue.

This can include sleeping position, allergies, infections, weight gain, dental issues, and certain medications. Anything that can affect the airflow or shape of your dog’s throat.

These issues can be remedied by keeping your dog away from inflammatories, such as allergens and irritants, keeping them at a healthy weight, and checking them regularly for any kind of dental health issue or infection. Occasionally, mechanically adjusting their sleeping position, or adjusting them with the help of pillows and bed shapes, can also help.

Never give human or unregulated medications to a dog without consulting a professional veterinarian!

At the end of the day, sometimes literally, there isn't too much we can do about some dog snores. As an owner, just make sure that your pit bull is happy, healthy, and comfortable. 

Sometimes we may just need to accept our dog’s quirks...or at least make sure they sleep in another room.

a pitbull wearing a onesie pajama

Even if you're not getting much sleep, you can sleep well knowing that your pit bull is snoozing warm and well dressed in Sparkpaws Doggy pajamas. They are stretchy, fleece-lined (Great for all short-coated pit bulls), and can help your pit bull feel more snug at night. It could even help keep their chests protected from chill and infection.

You may have heard of the cat’s pajamas - but these are the Dog’s Pajamas!

Article Resources:

[1] https://www.embracepetinsurance.com

[2] https://www.resmed.com

[3] https://www.thewildest.com/dog-health