Sleep Apnea

Can pets have obstructive sleep apnea?


Does your cat snore loudly? Does your dog gasp for breath or making choking sounds in his sleep? 

Yes, it could be obstructive sleep apnea, but the treatment is different to the way we treat sleep apnea in humans. Your vet will diagnose and recommend treatment that can help your fur baby enjoy the healthy sleep they deserve.

Sleep apnea in dogs

If your pet snores or has daytime fatigue it could be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea.

As with humans, your dog's sleep apnea symptoms would most likely develop over time; either on its own or as a result of another medical issue or prescription medicine it's taking.1

You'll probably notice the snoring first, but also note if he's gasping or choking while asleep, or more tired or irritable than normal during the day.2

Your four-legged friend may be at greater risk for symptoms of sleep apnea if they have allergies, obesity or short noses that can making breathing difficult (e.g. Boston Terriers, Mastiffs, Rottweilers).2

Is your dog showing symptoms of sleep apnea?

Dogs experience sleep apnea symptoms in the same way we do. They temporarily stop breathing, causing their bodies to jolt them awake to take a breath. And as with humans, this constant night time arousal results in sleep deprivation.

Treatment for dogs with sleep apnea

When it comes to pets with symptoms of sleep apnea, it's not as simple as upgrading to a sleep-specific pillow to better solve their problem. Instead, vets will often suggest a diet for overweight dogs, prescription drugs or possibly surgery if their obstructions are caused by malformed nostrils or airways.3 CPAP is not a treatment option for canines right now.

Get a good understanding of sleep apnea before speaking to your vet, then you can be sure of the best outcome for your pet.

Sleep apnea in cats

Cats can also have obstructive sleep apnea, particularly cats that are overweight, as well as Persian cats, due to their shortened muzzles and the breathing problems that can result from them.4

Is your cat showing symptoms of sleep apnea?

Just like with a human, or a dog, a cat's snore will be the most noticeable symptom of sleep apnea. If sleep apnea is affecting your cat, a surgical treatment option might be considered if the vet thinks it's necessary.4

What if my pet sleeps poorly?

We do know that animals can have sleep apnea – and other sleep disorders like narcolepsy, insomnia and periodic limb movement disorder 3,4 – and that it has an equally harmful effect on their sleep. That's why you should talk to your vet if your pet shows symptoms of sleep apnea.

Your fur babies deserve healthy, restful sleep so they can live each day to the fullest.

Treating sleep apnea

Are your pet's sleep apnea symptoms a mirror of your own? If you also snore or have sleep apnea, download our sleep apnea handbook - for humans. This e-book outlines several treatment methods and advice to help you restore your own sleep and awaken your best.


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