I am Dana, a Veterinary Doctor who studied Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida. For years, I have got common questions from friends and family about their pets. So, I decided to open up this website and answer all those frequently asked questions. Alongside, here I share my expert knowledge about pet care, pet health and the animal environment. Click Here to read more about me. Thanks for visiting aplaceforanimals.com

Is Your Puppy Breathing Fast While Sleeping? When Should You Be Worried?

puppy breathing fast while sleeping

Is there anything cuter than a puppy snoozing? No, we don’t think so! It’s always a delight to see your little furry devil lounging peacefully after a long day of chaos. They look so content and happy. But wait! Are you noticing your puppy breathing fast while sleeping?

Don’t panic! Stay calm. While fast breathing can worry any pet owner, it’s not always due to diseases. Some hyperactive puppies breathe rapidly when sleeping, while others may do it if they’re dreaming.

But there are circumstances when it can occur due to certain medical conditions. It’s never wrong to be aware, especially regarding your pup’s well-being.

Let’s go through the article to know why it happens and when it should worry you.

What is a Healthy Dog Heart Rate?

Generally, the average or healthy breathing rate in a sleeping/resting dog is 15 to 30 breaths per minute. However, it can also be higher when dogs are active, hot, or stressed, and it’s normal.

Some dog breeds also have lower thresholds of breathing rate, so it’s better to check with your vet to know the proper breathing rate of the dog breed. It can help to distinguish between normal and abnormal heart rates.

How Do I Calculate My Dog’s Respiratory Rate?

To figure out early signs of diseases, you must know how to determine your dog’s breathing rate. Don’t be baffled! It’s nothing complicated. You have to fix a timer of 30 seconds and count your dog’s breaths (fall and rise of the chest once is counted as one breath).

Now that you have counted the breaths, you need to multiply them by 2. Simple! You don’t need to be Einstein to calculate it.

“Breathing Rate Calculation: Number of Breaths in 30 Seconds X 2

= Breaths Per Minute (Respiratory Rate).”

If you cannot keep track of your dog’s breathing rate manually, then many smartphone apps like “Count my Breaths” or “My Pet’s Heart2Heart” can easily help you.

Now, calculate the breaths, and it’s normal if you get less than 30 per minute when your dog is resting. Otherwise, your dog may be experiencing problems breathing.

Tip: You can also count the number of breaths by keeping a 60 seconds timer. Then you won’t need to multiply it.

Do Puppies Breathe Fast?

Yes, puppies do breathe fast. They are usually full of energy and always running, jumping, or playing tug with you. It causes their heart rate to stay on a higher threshold.

Is Puppy Breathing 200 Breaths Per Minute Normal?

As we just mentioned, puppies are hyperactive. A fun fact is their breathing can get high as much as 300-400 breaths per minute. It’s tough to believe.

So, don’t stress yourself if you count your puppy’s breathing rate to be 200 breathes/minute right after a play session.

Puppy Panting in Sleep: What Should I Do?

Seeing your adorable puppy panting in sleep can be worrisome. But just like human babies, puppies can have increased heart rate while sleeping. At that moment, they can even breathe 100 breaths/minute. It can occur for many reasons, and the best thing you can do is look out for anything unusual.

4 Reasons Why Your Puppy Breathing 100 Breaths Per Minute While Sleeping

Reason 1: Stress and Anxiety

Puppies can have extreme anxiety and stay stressed due to it. As they’re still coping with the new environment, they can get scared even of the slightest noises. Moreover, many pet owners start to crate train their puppies early, but sometimes they don’t realize it may be too early.

As puppies aren’t in their mother’s warmth anymore, staying completely alone in a crate can be terrifying. It can instill stress and later convert to anxiety.

Solution: Start slow with the crate training, and don’t leave your puppy in the crate for a long time. Gain their trust and make them comfortable first.

Reason 2: Feeling Hot

If the weather is too hot, you’ll notice heavy breathing in your puppy while sleeping. Not only that, but intense play sessions can also result in panting. It’s normal for your dog to pant to cool themselves down.

Dogs don’t sweat through their skin like humans. So, they stick out their tongues to pant so that cool air can pass. Technically panting helps them remain cool.

Solution: Lower the room’s temperature and keep cool water available for your pup during the hot days.

Reason 3: Dreaming

Have you seen your pup twitching and softly growling in their sleep? If you have, you must have been terrified. But there’s nothing to worry about. Your pup is just dreaming.

Dogs can have vivid dreams and experience a whole different world in it. They could be chasing a furry squirrel, eating their favorite treat, or playing with their other doggy friends. Hence, it results in paw movements, twitching, growling, and even panting.

Solution: Let them enjoy their intense dreams. It’s better not to wake them up to avoid startling them. Treasure these cute moments instead!

Why is my dog panting at night?

The last reason below is why you’ll see your beloved dog panting at night, and it’s harmless.

Reason 4: Growth Process

Your small pups will grow into adults in just a few blinks. Yes, that’s how fast their growth process takes place!

They need a ton of nutritional food, exercise, and sleep to grow healthy. So, you might notice your pup breathing fast at times at nighttime. It is natural as the growth process continues throughout the night.

Solution: The panting in sleep is normal and temporary. Nothing to worry about! Just keep an eye on your pup if there’s any accompanying coughing.

Why is My Puppy Breathing so Fast for a Long Time?

Suppose your puppy is breathing heavily for an extended period. It can happen due to severe underlying medical conditions. The most crucial step is immediately taking your pup to the veterinary clinic for a checkup.

The change in pattern and rate of breathing in cats and dogs is known as Tachypnea. It’s a medical condition that leads to inflammation of respiratory organs. Rapid breathing is a cause of concern, but it doesn’t always lead to Tachypnea.

So, let’s go through some causes for your dog breathing fast.

  1. Food Poisoning

Many foods that are delicious to us can be toxic to dogs. Sometimes we feed our dogs food without knowing if it’s poisonous for them. But this is rare because most dog and cat owners are conscious of what their pet eats.

Another scenario is when our dog steals food from us. They don’t know what it might do to them, so food poisoning occurs without the owner even realizing it.

Chives, garlic, and onion poisoning are some common food poisonings in dogs. When consumed at a large amount results in heavy breathing. It also accompanies vomiting, diarrhea, excessive salivation, etc.

“What if I cook the onions for my dog?” It doesn’t make any difference if the food is cooked or not. Onions, garlic, chives, etc., are a no-go for dogs.

So, avoid feeding food to your pets with these ingredients. Moreover, if you notice your dog consuming such toxic food, take them to the vet ASAP. 

  1. Tracheal Collapse

When a dog’s windpipe collapses or has too much pressure, it leads to heavy breathing. It happens because the airway gets blocked, making it difficult for air to pass to your dog’s lungs. Other symptoms of this condition are dry cough, heart pain, wheezing, vomiting, etc.

Older or senior dogs typically have tracheal Collapse, but it’s uncommon in puppies. But some dog breeds like chihuahuas and toy poodles are susceptible to it. If you notice any symptoms of it in your dog, contact your vet.

  1. Congestive Heart Failure

The increased breathing rate is one of the dogs’ earliest signs of congestive heart failure. Congestive heart failure is when the heart cannot pump blood to the body leading to fluid accumulation in the lungs or abdomen.

Learning to determine the sleeping respiratory rate will finally come in handy for you. Monitor your dog’s breathing to provide early treatment for the disease. Moreover, routine vet checkups can detect other heart diseases like murmur.

Aside from elevated breathing, look for other signs of congestive heart failure like weakness, pain, weight loss, labored breathing, occasional fainting, and a swollen abdomen.

Although pups with the medical condition will need medication throughout their life, the quicker you notice the symptoms, the better for your dog.

  1. Hyperthermia

It’s normal for a dog to pant when it’s hot, but if the breathing rate is abnormally high, your dog is having a heat stroke. Signs of hyperthermia include increased body temperature of 103℉ or higher, excessive drooling, fainting, and seizures.

Dogs with flat faces like Pugs, Boxers, Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus, etc., are prone to hyperthermia.

 Try to find ways to care for your pet in the heat and make sure your pup drinks enough water.

  1. Metabolic Acidosis

An increase in acidity in a dog’s blood causes metabolic acidosis. In this condition, the pH level of a dog’s blood is usually less than 7.35. Kidney disease and diabetes are the main driving factor for the disease.

Dogs breathe at faster rates in this condition to exhale carbon dioxide and balance the pH level in the body. The treatment required for excessive acidity mainly depends on treating the underlying causes first. If your dog has diabetes or kidney disease, it may be more susceptible to metabolic acidosis.

  1. Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome

Yes, you guessed it right! Brachycephalic dog breeds such as pugs, bulldogs, etc., are prone to this syndrome. This medical condition occurs not only in a dog’s airways but also in its stenotic nares, laryngeal saccules, and other anatomical parts.

Dogs with brachycephalic airway syndrome (BOAS) have difficulty breathing, so their respiratory rate is much faster than others. 

  1. Laryngeal Paralysis

The flaps of a dog’s cartilage that covers and protects the trachea when eating doesn’t retract anymore and remains in the same position causing a honking-like sound while breathing. This condition is known as laryngeal paralysis. It causes dogs to breathe faster for comfort. Labrador Retriever dog breeds are prone to it.

  1. Anemia

Anemia occurs when white blood cells fail to differentiate between red blood cells and foreign threats and attack it, resulting in excessive blood loss or when bone marrow isn’t producing blood. Due to a decrease in red blood cells, enough oxygen can’t pass through the body. So, your dog breathes faster to keep their body functioning.

Anemia can even lead to death if not properly cared for. So look for symptoms like pale gums, fast heart rate, low energy level, long periods of sleep, etc. 

  1. Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease occurs primarily in middle-aged or older dogs. In this condition, the adrenal glands of the dogs produce excess cortisol leading to the accumulation of fatty substances deposited on the rib age and in the abdomen. It causes pressure on the respiratory system, and dogs start to breathe faster.

The pain doesn’t end there. It also causes weakness in the respiratory muscles and liver enlargement, leaving no space for the diaphragm to expand. Cushing’s disease can be dangerous for your dog’s health so look for other symptoms such as pot-bellied appearance, chronic skin conditions, etc.

  1. Excess Fluid in the Lungs

A small amount of fluid is always present in your dog’s lungs. That’s not a problem. The problem starts when this fluid begins depositing in a large amount in the lungs. It can cause rapid respiration, blue-colored gums, low body temperature, etc. So, if you notice any of the symptoms, deposition of excess fluid in the lung can be a reason for your dog breathing fast while resting.

Why is My Dog Breathing from Stomach? Is it Normal?

You are worried about your beloved pet because they’ve been breathing from their stomach. You are concerned about why it’s happening and what you can do to help.

To answer your question, it can happen due to dyspnea which isn’t normal. If a dog seems to be breathing from their stomach, it’s a sign of dyspnea which hampers respiration.

Why does dyspnea happen?

There are many reasons why dyspnea occurs in a dog. Let’s have a look at some.

  1. Congestive heart failure
  2. Abdominal disorders
  3. Infection
  4. Blockage of airway
  5. Heat stroke
  6. Acute trauma

Dyspnea symptoms to look out for

Knowing the warning signs can help your dog get treatment earlier, lowering the risk of anything serious. Dyspnea can happen to dogs of any age, so you must identify the symptoms.

  1. Your dog is panting excessively.
  2. You can hear a sound when your dog is breathing.
  3. Your dog is holding their head low.
  4. Your dog’s breathing rate has increased rapidly.
  5. Your dog’s nostrils are flaring up.
  6. Your dog seems stressed or anxious.
  7. Your dog’s gums are turning blue.

What to do if my dog has dyspnea?

If your dog has dyspnea, your vet will be able to help cure your dog. Aside from that, you can do some things to make your dog feel more comfortable.

  • If your dog is stressed, try minimizing it by playing light games or cuddling with them.
  • Make sure you’re giving your dog the assigned medication properly.
  • Always keep clean and cool water available.
  • Take your dog to the vet for regular checkups.
  • Keep track of your dog’s appetite, activity level, breathing rate, etc.

Take Care of Your Pup

You love your puppy and don’t want anything to happen to them. But sometimes, underlying medical conditions are seen in dogs. Usually, pet owners aren’t able to identify the symptoms leading to a significant loss of a beloved friend.

To give your puppy a healthy life, keep track of their breathing rate. Detect different symptoms of diseases and take action when needed. But remember, puppies can have elevated breathing rates after exercise, play sessions, or sleeping. So, don’t just look out for heavy breathing.

Give your pup all the love and care they deserve. And remember, a healthy puppy is a happy puppy!

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