Rattle and grunt in the dog: help

Rattle and grunt are usually not exactly the sounds that dog owners are used to from their four-legged friends. That's why many get a fright at first. In most cases, the unusual sounds are harmless, but they may actually be a symptom of an illness. Some breeds grunt and wheeze anatomically - Shutterstock / Lyubov Timofeyeva

The reasons why your four-legged friend occasionally sounds more like a pig than a dog can be varied. Read below when the causes of this are completely harmless and when you should consider a visit to the vet.

Safe causes of wheezing and grunting

Dogs are able to make a series of vocalizations. This includes wheezing and grunting. But what exactly do these sounds mean?

If your dog grunts or wheezes while eating or sleeping, it is a sign of satisfaction, relaxation and joy. Some four-legged friends also grunt when they are petted. Grunts that arise from such a feeling of well-being while breathing through the nose are usually nothing to worry about.

Dog grunts strongly when excited

Another, completely harmless reason for grunting and rattling noises is excitement while sniffing. Some four-legged friends who sniff vigorously and inhale a lot of air through the nose at high frequencies occasionally grunt or wheeze. This is because the excitement causes the airways to swell. In this case too there is no need to worry.

Are the second teeth on the way?

Also possible and harmless: Your dog grunts or wheezes because it gets its second teeth. If dogs lose their milk teeth, the new teeth grow back, which can lead to swelling of the gums, causing the dogs to gasp or grunt when breathing.

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Breed-typical backgrounds for grunts and wheezes

Some dog breeds, including pugs, boxers, bulldogs or Maltese, have shorter snouts than others. In technical jargon one speaks of brachycephalic dog breeds, which grunt and wheeze more often than other breeds due to anatomical peculiarities. Here you should only become aware if your dog suddenly makes a lot of breathing noises and obviously does not feel comfortable.

When to see a vet for grunts and wheezes

Grunts and wheezes are not always a sign of happiness or of race. In some cases, the sounds can also indicate discomfort or health problems.

For example, grunts can also result from allergies in dogs or allergic reactions that are associated with swollen mucous membranes or a narrowing of the windpipe. Make sure that your four-legged friend makes the unusual noises, for example, only in certain seasons, and then go to the vet for an allergy test if necessary.

Has the dog caught a cold or has he swallowed a foreign body?

Wheezing and grunting can also be caused by an infectious disease such as a cold. Especially if the breathing sounds sound slimy, the respiratory tract is probably affected.

In addition, a foreign body - food, toys, or bones - can make abnormal noises in the airways. If suspected, you should immediately go to the veterinarian, who can look for possible foreign bodies and remove them.

If there are serious illnesses behind it

But there are also serious diseases that are associated with symptoms such as wheezing or grunting: for example, the dangerous tracheal collapse or the so-called back sneezing.

Therefore, do not take the unusual soundscape lightly - especially if it is very unusual for your dog and lasts for a long time. Then there is only one thing left: go to the vet!