Dogs, especially puppies, are a great way to bring some life to a home, but they need great care. A puppy breathing fast while sleeping is one of the biggest and most alarming complaints that many dog handlers and pet owners report. Several reasons are behind it, and veterinarians can conclude many different outcomes based on their observations and tests.
If the owner doesn’t address the issue adequately, the pet could face some severe consequences. Therefore, when a puppy starts showing rapid breathing signs, one should get as much help as possible.
How to Calculate a Puppy’s Breathing Rate
Calculating a puppy’s breathing rate involves simple counting. You only have to observe the movement of the puppy’s chest in and out. By counting the number of times your puppy’s belly moves in and out, you can obtain a reasonably accurate measure of your pet’s respiratory rate.
But considering the playful nature of puppies, you need to count its breathing rate when it is completely relaxed. The dog should not be panting, and the most visible feature of its relaxation is sitting with its mouth closed and tongue out.
Typical Value of a Puppy’s Breathing Rate
According to the Animal Emergency Center, a corrected value puts it around 10-30 breaths per minute for dogs. As puppies have a higher breathing rate than fully grown dogs, a range of 15-40 breaths per minute is considered normal.
A slight increase may not produce significant concern for a puppy. Usually, dog owners bring their pets to the vet when their breathing rate climbs up to 100 breaths per minute. It could mean a veterinary emergency, but in most cases, it is considered to be highly manageable.
Natural Reasons Behind a Puppy’s Rapid Breathing Rate
Humans have a natural mechanism to resist different types of stress that the environment burdens them with. While many are successful in adapting and making themselves comfortable during changing weather conditions and infections from harmful organisms, there are times when the human body cannot fight longer and gives up. In those times, a person may show signs of abnormality in his physical and mental health.
In the same manner, dogs also have specific mechanisms to help them with their everyday life. Dogs are also prone to different types of environmental hazards, and they also have natural tools in their body to help them cope with such stress.
Because puppies are still going through significant developmental changes, they are more at risk of developing infections and being overwhelmed by the weather’s extremes.
Some primary reasons why a puppy’s breathing rate might increase very quickly are:
1. Extreme Temperatures
Weather is one of the significant factors in regulating the ever-growing varieties of animals and other organisms in an area. Different seasons bring about the migration of different birds to a new place, while some animals seek shelter to pass the days away. Changing temperatures have played the most significant role in causing noticeable changes in a specified area regarding wildlife and vegetation.
But extreme temperatures can also cause a problem. Many animals, including humans, cannot withstand frigid temperatures. While they may have discovered many ways to fight back the freezing winds, they’re still susceptible to these natural phenomena. Summers can also impose a big problem for many species as the growing threat of global warming has caused every species on this planet to adapt to a more recent wave of heat.
Dogs usually start breathing faster in hotter temperatures. With the temperature rise, a dog’s body temperature also increases due to increased processes inside the body. But unlike humans, dogs have a furry coat that does not assist in profuse sweating mechanisms. It would only soak more heat and cause the dog more trouble. Therefore, nature gave dogs the panting tool to drive out the heat inside their bodies.
Panting is a natural phenomenon for a dog. It does not indicate any dangerous signs of an illness, nor does it mean that the dog could be progressing towards one. It usually means that the dog has tolerated the sun for a long time, and now it needs to cool down its body heat.
2. Excessive Activity
Another natural phenomenon that increases puppy breathing to 100 breaths per minute is a lot of physical activity. Dogs and puppies are playful and energetic creatures, so they can do a lot of physical activity before tiring themselves. Even after they have relaxed for a while, the chances are that they will start running around again.
In such a case, the concepts of excessive activity and a raised body temperature come into consideration. Therefore, a hyperactive dog or a puppy panting is not an observation to worry about, as it indicates the tremendous growth of the pet.
3. Emotional Expressions
Dogs are one of the most lovable and loyal creatures that one can tame. The level of affection that dogs can show their owners is something rarely found in other domestic animals. Therefore, an owner’s actions and expressions can significantly impact their pet’s behaviour and mood.
One of the earliest complaints of a puppy panting while sleeping or a generally high breathing rate is when they arrive at a new home. Experiencing anxiety in a new place is a common issue for humans and their pets. So it seems logical that a puppy may exert emotional stress in a new location in the form of fast breathing.
Apart from stress from new owners or a new place, puppies can also express their emotions vividly. All sorts of actions and emotions can trigger a dog’s different moods. Dogs have the best expressions of excitement and show it in different ways. In many situations, they can grin and breathe faster, showing joy and enthusiasm. So if you grab your dog’s leash and it sees you, it might start panting and grinning from excitement.
Like their masters, dogs can also have vivid dreams. Puppies have a higher tendency to sleep longer because most of their growth takes place during that phase. Consequently, their dreams can also initiate rapid breathing. It is a regular practice of dogs to breathe faster in them, whether pleasant or unpleasant.
Another common sign that may trouble dog owners is when their dogs start kicking, barking, or whimpering in their sleep. All these are typical actions that indicate that their dog responds to the stimuli it is witnessing in its dreams, and there is nothing to worry about in these matters.
Medical Reasons for a Puppy’s Fast Breathing Rate
While there are many daily activities and usual causes that can trigger a puppy’s breathing rate, some diseases and infections can also cause such deviations in a dog’s breathing. Several disorders are related directly or indirectly to the dog’s respiration, including fever, dehydration, anemia, pneumonia, heartworm disease, and circulation issues. Dogs may also produce this symptom from the side effect of a medicine or a toxin they ingested, so there are various sources to this problem.
But faster breathing isn’t the only thing that highlights these problems. Dogs will have other symptoms as well, which can help to identify the hidden concern. The most notable signs are loss of appetite, laziness, irritability, fits of cough, and pale gums. If your dog shows such symptoms, there is a possibility that your dog is suffering from a disease. Often these problems go unnoticed because either the owner doesn’t pay much attention to these small details, or the dog hides its problems from its owner to save him from trouble.
Another detail to remember in dogs is their breed. A brachycephalic dog is a term that encompasses some dog breeds that are more susceptible to heat. Brachycephalic dogs include dog breeds with shorter, broader skulls and a” punch-face.” These puppies have longer soft palates and narrower nares, meaning they can absorb more heat than they can expire out. A few examples of such dogs are Boston terriers, pugs, and English bulldogs. If you own such a dog or know someone who has, it would help check their activities in the sun and take better care of them.
Solutions for Puppy’s Rapid Breathing Rate
Most of the solutions that correct a puppy’s breathing rate are behavioural and do not require much effort. As the issue most commonly in normal circumstances, supportive management is enough to overcome these issues.
- In the case of too much activity, the best solution is to provide lots of water to the puppy. Dehydration is a serious issue and can cause many various problems. If the owner doesn’t correct the dog’s dehydration, it can become sluggish and severe cases can be fatal. Providing it with a chill room and making it sit for a while can also correct the issue.
- There isn’t much one can do for a dog when going through an episode of anxiety. Stress-relieving activities with rewards such as treats are the best option to distract the puppy from worrying thoughts. Eventually, the puppy will start to adapt to its new environment and people through prizes and consolation.
- Dogs play a lot outdoors, but warmer temperatures can cause problems. So one should bring their dog into an air-conditioned room to keep them cool. The dog’s body temperature will cool down significantly, but the panting may persist for a long while. Hotter temperatures impose a bigger problem for dogs as they can progress to a heat stroke, which can cause death. Dogs require great care during travelling and should never be left alone in a locked vehicle.
- A puppy panting while sleeping is generally a natural concept in which one can do nothing. Dogs can experience nightmares as well, so there’s nothing that an owner can do for their dog while sleeping except wait for it to wake up in the morning. The breathing rate becomes normal as soon as the dog wakes up and goes about its routine.
- Of course, when nothing produces a positive effect on the dog’s respiratory rate, a vet is the best possible option. An expert opinion, diagnosis, and treatment can bring the puppy’s health back to normal. Many dog owners trust veterinarians for such purposes as they do not have sufficient knowledge about the matter in the beginning.
Puppies can have a rapid breathing rate in different circumstances. There are common and concerning reasons for this mechanism. Apart from diseases and infections, puppies can also show their emotions via fast breathing. A puppy breathing fast while sleeping is a more genuine issue than while actively playing. If the puppy has other signs of illness and rapid breathing, it could be a severe disease. One can quickly check their puppy’s breathing rate and consult a veterinarian if things do not look good.
Q. Why does my puppy breath fast while sleeping?
- Puppies can also experience dreams like humans. So they can have good and bad dreams, depending upon their mood. In most cases, a puppy breathing fast is experiencing a vivid imagination, from which he should recover when he wakes up. There can be other problems if the breathing rate doesn’t return to normal after sleep.
Q. Why is my puppy breathing so fast?
- Fast breathing can indicate both good and bad signs in terms of the puppy’s health. Puppies have a strong tendency to show their emotions intensely. Therefore, when it feels happy, excited, or anxious, its heartbeats can increase rapidly. Different types of activities can trigger the puppy’s emotions, subsequently affecting their breathing rate.
Q. Do puppies’ hearts beat fast while sleeping?
- Like humans, dogs’ breathing slows down in the deeper sleep phases, so the heart rate drops to a lower value. But if the breathing suddenly increases, the heart rate would also increase as the heart will have more oxygen to deliver in a shorter amount of time than usual.
Q. Why is my dog taking short quick breaths?
- There can be some severe diseases affecting the dog’s breathing rate. A rapid breathing rate can indicate an infection or even a life-threatening problem of the dog’s heart. In such conditions, dogs also develop a cough or appetite loss followed by such short quick breaths.