Chihuahuas are notorious cuddle bunnies at night, so it probably didn’t take you long to discover those adorable little snores.
Maybe they were cute at first, but you had to stop and wonder if it was normal or healthy for your Chihuahua to snore at night.
Snoring, by definition, is when an airway obstruction is causing noisy sleep. At the very least, it can be disruptive, and at worst, it can mean your dog is struggling to get enough oxygen when she’s down for the night.
Even so, many dogs snore through their entire life without any resulting issues. It’s something you’ll want to keep an eye on, and consult with your vet about, but at its baseline, nothing you need to panic about.
Why Does My Chihuahua Snore?
Unlike a brachycephalic, or flat-nosed breed like the Pug or French Bulldog, Chihuahuas aren’t typically expected to snore.
However, some Chihuahuas are actually close enough to being flat-nosed to experience some respiratory symptoms.
This is particularly true if your Chihuahua is an apple-head, or close to AKC standard, with a very round head, a short snout, and bulging, wide-set eyes.
If this is the case, your Chihuahua may have an elongated soft palate that hangs into the back of their throat. This may naturally make it a little harder for your Chihuahua to breathe, especially at night, in extreme heat, and during exercise.
You’ll want to see your vet to confirm and help manage any breathing issues.
Does Your Chihuahua Have A Collapsed Trachea?
Another common reason for nighttime snoring is a collapsed trachea.
A collapsed trachea means your Chihuahua has a flattened airway that may get worse with infection, or physical trauma like pulling at a leash attached to a collar/
Depending on the severity of your Chihuahua’s collapsed trachea, you may notice snorting and huffing during the day, on walks, and at night.
Collapsed trachea is also associated with a honking cough.
If your vet diagnoses your Chi with a collapsed trachea, they may need to perform surgery, but normally it can be managed by minimizing exposure to triggers, like limiting walks out in the heat.
For snoring, you may need to keep your Chihuahua’s sleeping area free of dust and other allergens. It may help to use pillows, and discouraging your Chihuahua from sleeping on their back.
Is Your Snoring Chihuahua Overweight?
Though you cannot control every factor that causes snoring, the easiest factor to control is your dog’s weight.
Be careful about cutting back on your Chihuahua’s food, however. Commercial foods are carefully balanced with complete nutrients, so reducing portions could lead to a vitamin deficiency.
It’s better to switch to a low calorie food, and switch to healthier treats. More exercise, if it doesn’t cause breathing issues, is also more desirable than making big cuts to your dog’s food intake.
What To Ask Your Vet
Mild, occasional snoring may not warrant an immediate vet visit, but if you’re concerned, your vet will be able to listen to your dog’s heart and lungs, and may also use x-rays to look for signs of heart failure or fluid buildup that could be making it harder for your dog to breathe.
Ask your veterinarian if your dog is at a healthy weight. Also, bring notes about what your Chihuahua eats, how much, and if the snoring seems to be triggered by anything. If it’s seasonal, it’s likely exacerbated by an allergy.