Why Does My Dog Sound Congested When He Sleeps?

Most dog owners love their dogs and want them to be active and in good health condition. So they take adequate care of their dog, giving them good food, bathing them, and ensuring that they get good sleep. 

Some dog owners often wonder why their dog might sound congested while sleeping. They do not like it, and they want to find a solution to it. This article shares insight into why dogs sound congested when they sleep and also procures solution to it.

Find out more as you read along. 

There are various reasons why dogs may sound congested when they are asleep. However, the most prevalent reason is that the dog is probably sleeping in the wrong position. When dogs sleep in a particularly weird position, it causes congestion. 

Other reasons for congestion include nasal obstruction, medication, obesity, dental issues, illness, and allergies. 

Let’s say you are about to sleep, then suddenly, you hear your dog breathing heavily. The breathing is not only heavy, but it also sounds congested. You will then wonder if it is a minor problem or something to worry about. 

Humans can get congested; dogs can too. After all, they are living beings. The reasons for congestion in humans is the same as that of dogs. 

When you notice that your dog gets congested while sleeping, there is no cause for alarm in most cases because it is temporary. For example, if the congestion was caused by nasal obstruction, it will stop once the nose gets cleared. So you do not have to worry about it. 

However, if the congestion refuses to stop after a long while and is gradually becoming a permanent issue or your dog now has difficulty breathing, then you have a lot to worry about. 

If this happens, you must call your vet for an appointment as soon as possible to forestall danger to your dog. The vet will then diagnose the dog and know what is wrong so that they can start treatment. 

Below are reasons why your dog can sound congested while asleep

Reasons Why Your Dog Sounds Congested During Sleep 

Note that dogs differ from one another, so not every reason listed below applies to every dog. A reason may apply to dog A, but not dog B. For instance, if your dog sounds congested but is still healthy, then such congestion is not caused by obesity. 

We advise that you read through these reasons carefully and ponder if each reason matches your dog. 

If Your Dog is Dealing with Allergies  

Dogs like humans also experience periodic allergies, and they can also be allergic to a particular food. Your dog may sound clogged when sleeping because of these allergies. 

This happens because food or pollen from the environment can cause your dog’s nose to swell. The degree of allergies suffered differs from one dog to another. It is not yet clear why this happens, but one thing is sure: that allergies can lead to congestion. 

If Your Dog Choses A Weird Sleeping Position

Many dog owners find it hard to believe that the sleeping position of their dog sometimes causes congestion. One would argue that a sleeping position is harmless, but in reality, some positions cause congestion. 

For example, if you notice that your dog only sounds congested when it sleeps within a particular position (e.g., lying on his back) but sounds fine when at other times, then you do not have to worry too much.

This is because it is obvious that the congestion was caused by the sleeping position, which can be easily corrected. On the other hand, if your dog experiences congestion while sleeping in its normal position, then you should watch out for other causes. 

Your Dog is Battling with Cold

Sometimes, congestion is caused by a common cold. It can make your dog have difficulty in breathing. Just like when humans catch a cold or have a runny nose, this also happens to dogs. 

Your dog might tend to make some funny noise when he is sleeping. Cold comes with other symptoms such as fever, stuffy nose, and sneezing. 

You do not have to worry too much about cold because they will clear up within a short period. So try to make your dog feel comfortable until the cold subsides. 

One of the steps you can take to help your dog overcome congestion from the cold is to change its position. Changing the position sometimes helps to drain the surplus mucus in the nasal cavity. 

If Your Dog Has Dental Issues

Generally, dental issues come with associated problems for your dog. Congestion while sleeping is one of such problems. A number of these can cause congestion associated with dental issues. 

It could be an infection in the dog’s mouth, a sore throat, or a boil under your dog’s tongue. This is possible because your dog’s mouth is connected to the airway, so any pain will have an impact on your dog’s breathing. 

 When your dog faces dental problems, you have to give them adequate care to ensure that they do not sound congested when sleeping at night. Take your dog for a dental examination, especially if your dog has bad breath, which could cause congestion. 

Prescription Medications

Most drugs prescribed for dogs usually have side effects. For instance, if you give your dog a tranquilizer to help its anxiety, it may cause your dog to sound congested when he sleeps. 

This happens because the sleeping medication causes your dog to sleep even deeper such that it may even start to snore. Ensure that you consider the side effects before you administer medications to your dog. 

If Your Dog Has Added Additional Weight 

Dog owners often remember to take weight into cognizance. Breathing difficulty is connected to extra weight, similar to humans. Excess weight generates more tissue that blocks your dog’s airway. It also puts pressure on the trachea. 

You must work alongside your veterinary doctor to help your dog live and keep a healthy weight diet via exercise and diet to reduce the medical risks that come with additional weight.

You must be careful with the treats you give your dog because although they may not seem harmful, they are filled with calories. 

If Your Dog Was Born Like That

Some dogs sound congested when sleeping because they were naturally born that way. Dogs such as Boston terriers naturally have little noses, which causes breathing problems for them. 

Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done to remedy this situation. What you can do is to make sure that the dog is comfortable and allow them to sleep for long as hours as they may require because they tend to be awake all through the night. 

Medical Problems 

Congestion during sleep may be a symptom of an acute medical issue. For instance, your dog might have a tumor that makes it hard to breathe as it should. 

Also, there could be excess tissue lining your dog’s throat. You must consult your vet to find out how to treat these medical problems. 

There is an Obstruction in Your Dog’s Nose

When your dog is playing and running in the compound, something can quickly get stuck in its nose. It may be simple debris or dirt. If the object is small, it might not be noticeable in your dog’s nose. 

What to Do If Your Dog Sound Congested When They Are Asleep

It is natural for dog owners to look for remedies when they feel that something is wrong with their dog. Just like we stated earlier, congested breathing is temporary, and in most cases, it fixes itself in no time. 

However, below is a few tips for dog owners who want to help their dogs suffering from congested breathing.

Medication for Allergies 

If you notice congested breathing in your dog early, especially in the summer months, then you should consider starting allergy medication for your dog. 

Many human medications can also be administered to dogs. All you need to do is to modify the dosage to suit your dog’s weight. Consult your vet before you introduce a new medication to your dog. 

Give your Dog a Different Medication

You should consider changing your dog’s medication if you feel it is the cause of the congested breathing. 

Take Your Dog to Your Vet

In case you aren’t certain why your dog sounds congested or if it is too problematic, consult your vet. Your vet is best placed to know whether it is caused by a tumor or it can simply be resolved by prescribing medication for cold or simply removing the foreign object in your dog’s nose. 

Go for A Dental Checkup

Dental issues are known to cause a range of medical issues, so you must ensure that your dog has good dental hygiene. This includes heading to the dentist regularly. 

When you notice a problem, you have to visit the vet, who will check for an abscess on your dog’s mouth or tongue, as well as other issues that could arise and cause congestion. 


Some situations require you to do nothing when your dog sounds congested because it could be a simple issue like a weird sleeping position or the common cold. 

Wrap Up 

Congestion can be a sign of a serious medical issue. But in most cases, it is not usually something to worry about.

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