Have you ever had a sleepless night listening to your snoring Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, or have you wondered why your beloved pet snores so much? Many Cavalier owners have discussed this topic, but has your Cavalier got some problem?
Snoring is mainly due to the short muzzle, a common characteristic of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Although this is the main reason for excessive snoring, many other factors can exacerbate the situation.
Due to the historic breeding of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, they tend to have a short head length and a compressed upper jaw, this creates the short muzzle look.
Dog breeds with small noses (known as brachycephalic dogs), which include Cavaliers, have less bone structure in the nose compared to standard dogs with long noses. However, the soft tissue is still the same length which causes skin folds in the throat.
These folds can cause problems, as the soft palate is relaxed during sleep and often vibrates, which causes the loud snoring noise you’ve probably experienced.
There is a misconception that Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (most brachycephalic dogs) suffer from sleep apnea. Although they don’t suffer from sleep apnea, the sleep deprivation they experience can be similar to that of their human companions.
The loose skin at the back of their throat can cause a slight blockage whilst sleeping, which stops them from breathing. The forced intake of breath that the body creates causes them to snore. As a result, your Cavalier can suffer from a sleep-deprived state which causes her/him to sleep more throughout the day.
Your Cavalier can be allergic to things, just like a human can, and as a result, can cause your precious pooch to snore. Here is a short list of just a few items a Cavalier can be allergic to:
- Mold Spores
- Dust Mites
- Cigarette Smoke
- Cleaning Products
Grass allergies can be quite common and are noticed more so after walking on freshly cut clippings, to try to prevent this, gently wipe your dog’s paws down with a damp cloth to remove any grass particles from their fur.
If you suspect that your dog is suffering from an allergy then visit your local veterinarian as soon as possible.
Just have a look at how your Cavalier is sleeping. Sleeping on the back causes the folds of skin in the throat to fall backward resulting in a blocked airway, and then you guessed it, the snoring kicks in and starts to rattle the floorboards.
Try to roll your Cavvy onto his or her side to alleviate some of that pressure on the throat, however, make sure it’s a gentle roll, we don’t want to startle them during their peaceful slumber.
Another reason for snoring can be excessive weight, Cavaliers love their food, and with those adoring sad eyes and cute puppy looks, they can melt the heart of any Cavvy owner. Many can give in to them begging for food, I’m guilty of passing the odd extra treat, too, when she paws at my leg and looks at me as if she hasn’t eaten for a week.
Unfortunately, these extra treats all add up and can soon pile on the pounds. As a direct result of obesity, a build-up of fat around the throat can also cause snoring, similar to sleep apnea.
It’s essential to stick to a strict diet; of course, the odd treat is fine, but when it becomes more than the odd treat, it can become a problem. If you have any concerns about what to feed your beloved Cavvy, or actually how much to feed her or him, then speak to your local veterinarian; they will be happy to help you with any questions you have.
Prevention is Better than Cure
We’ve all heard that saying, right? Well, it is 100% correct.
Cavaliers are predisposed to snoring; it’s in their genetic makeup, but trying to alleviate this problem is probably for the best in the long run. Don’t look into their beautiful, soft, doe-eyed face and give in to the temptation of giving them an extra treat; both your Cavvy and your wallet will thank the future you as you will have a healthier Cavvy and will take fewer trips to the vets.
Love or hate it exercise is essential for everyone, even your greedy Cavvy.
Not only is it good for the heart, but it’s also vital to keep their weight down. This, too, has a knock-on effect of reducing that annoying snoring. If your Cavalier doesn’t particularly enjoy walking, you can mix it up by taking a ball with you or a favorite toy. If you make it fun for your doggie, they will look forward to it the next time they go.
Unfortunately, Lady (My Cavvy) required an operation on her leg some time ago, which makes it difficult to walk long distances (I may create another blog about this, as it affects all dogs, not just Cavalier King Charles Spaniels). However, she needed exercise but was very reluctant to go.
Enter the doggie stroller, we bought this from Amazon, and it is an amazing piece of kit. Lady went on her daily walk as usual, but soon her leg started to ache. Usually, she would want to go home at this point, but with the doggie stroller, you just pop her in and continue the walk until she feels ready for another walk.
What I Have Discovered
In a nutshell, Cavaliers are prone to snoring due to their breeding; however, this can be vastly reduced with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Even if your pup is not fond of walking, you can make it enjoyable by including a toy or even by using a stroller to break up the monotony.
These are my discoveries, but I’m keen to hear from others. Send me your stories on the ‘Contact’ page. Who knows, your idea may help someone in need.