Have you ever wondered why Beagles make that sweet but strange snorting sound? If this question has you curious about this popular breed, you’re not alone.
Maybe you’ve been hanging out with a Beagle and suddenly they start to make an odd sound, almost like they’re having trouble breathing, or are choking on something you can’t see. It’s kind of cool, but also a bit concerning. Is everything okay with your four-legged friend?
Why does my Beagle keep snorting?
Beagles may snort for a few different reasons. Because of their physical makeup, different environmental factors, and some treatable health reasons, the snorting noise a Beagle makes can be quite loud but is rarely cause for concern.
When a dog seems to be in distress, it’s hard for us humans, because they can’t tell us what is wrong. But snorting is something Beagles are prone to, and there are several things to keep in mind before you panic and worry that he’s in pain.
I love dogs, and Beagles are one of my favorite breeds. They’re funny, smart, inquisitive, and make for great companions. Take advantage of the research I’ve already done and rest assured that your Beagle’s snorting is probably nothing more than just another unique quality of these delightful dogs.
Why Do Beagles Snort?
The first time you hear that sound from your Beagle…does it make you giggle or stress you out? Like the bulldog or pug, Beagles are more apt to be snorters.
Instead of being alarmed, let’s learn a bit more about the reasoning behind your dog’s funny or freaky sounds.
Elongated Soft Palate
Beagles have what’s called an elongated soft palate in the back of their throats. Though this may sound intimidating, all it means is that Beagles are made with an extra-long flap of skin in the back of their throats.
When your Beagle breathes, this flap moves around a little, and sometimes can get stuck, covering its airway and causing your pooch to feel like it can’t breathe.
Your Beagle’s body is designed to have certain systems in place that work involuntary, like ours. When that flap covers the airway for too long, the Beagle’s body will let out a snort, which is its way of pushing air past that flap and unblocking his breathing.
Usually, it takes only a few seconds for your pup’s body to do the work needed to get that flap out of the way and his airway cleared so he can go back to normal breathing again.
Dry Air or Allergens
If you live in an area of the country where extreme dry air is an issue, your Beagle buddy’s snorting might become a bigger issue, too. When the air is too dry, it causes the soft palate in the back of your Beagle’s throat to stick more easily, as there isn’t much lubricant to help it slide back and forth.
This can cause more irritation and make your Beagle snort more often, as he tries to dislodge the flap himself.
Similarly, allergens in the air could be the reason for all that snorting. Just like humans, Beagles can develop allergies to different air pollutants, so if you find your throat feeling scratchy, your eyes watering, or your voice more hoarse, it stands to reason your dog may be experiencing these same annoyances as well.
Snorting may be his way of trying to clear some of the mucus out of his system.
Weight and Age
Though certain factors that cause Beagles to snort are inherent to the breed or are unavoidable environmental factors, there are some that can actually be rectified or at least reduced. Though you can’t slow down your dog’s aging process (sadly), you can help control his extra weight, which may be adding to some of his snorting issues.
Again, like us humans, Beagles change as they age. As your fur baby gets up there in years, his muscles will weaken and certain body parts won’t work like they used to. That flap in the back of his throat may weaken with time, and not perform as well.
You may find that your Beagle’s snorting has increased, especially when he’s sleeping, as all his muscles are more relaxed during that time.
Excess weight can also contribute to increased snorting in your furry friend. As a Beagle puts on weight, those extra pounds can thicken his breathing passage and cause more restrictions in airflow. On top of that, the more weight your pup gains, the less he’s going to want to move and groove, so the cycle just continues.
Less movement means more pounds. And less movement means more possible health complications.
What Can I Do to Help My Beagle With Snorting?
Remember, a Beagle’s snorting isn’t usually cause for concern. Because of the way their bodies are created, this breed is more prone to snorting than some.
But, if your dog’s snorting is causing you (or him!) panic or anxiety, or if you think it’s cause for medical intervention, there are some things you can do to help alleviate the snorting or at least diminish it.
Invest in a Dehumidifier
If you find that your home tends to stay on the dry side, or if you live in a particularly arid climate, buying a dehumidifier to add some moisture to your air may help your Beagle’s snorting and provide him some relief.
Humidifiers come in lots of sizes and range in price. Large models can provide moisture throughout the house; smaller, more portable units can be used in specific rooms, maybe where your pet sleeps.
Invest in a Different Leash
Traditional collar and leash combinations can be hard on a Beagle who suffers from constant snorting. When you pull on your pup’s leash, you are inadvertently constricting his airway. Switching from a normal leash to a harness will make your Beagle significantly more comfortable, and remove any extra pressure from that soft palate in the back of his throat.
As we all know by now, moving our bodies is good for us. Same for our beloved four-legged besties!
Adequate exercise is good for your Beagle’s overall health. Not only will daily activity keep his muscles strong, his agility high, and his weight down, but it will also help his brain stay sharp. Beagles don’t have as much activity needs as some breeds, but they will benefit from regular exercise. And, if your Beagle’s a snorter, keeping his weight down and his muscles strong may help the situation.
Seek Professional Advice
If your Beagle’s snorting has significantly increased over time, or you’ve tried some of the above ideas and you are still concerned, it may be time to seek professional advice.
Talking to your veterinarian about your Beagle’s snorting will allow you to rule out that there is anything medically wrong with your dog that may be causing his snorting.
Your vet may also have some additional suggestions as to what course of action you should take to deal with your Beagle’s snorting. At the very least, he or she will reassure you that there is nothing medically wrong with your buddy and that his snorting is just another charming part of life with a Beagle!