Dogs breathe in different ways. They pant, they open their mouth and dangle out their tongue when it’s hot, and they also breathe through their nose just like us. It’s understandable when the dog breathes fast when they’re running or playing. But why would they breathe fast while sleeping?
The most obvious answer as to why dogs breathe fast while sleeping is they’re having an exciting dream. You might even notice their limbs moving as if they’re running in their dream. This is normal and shouldn’t be a cause of worry or concern. It will pass once the dream is over.
So if it’s a dream that makes the dog breathe fast then you need not take any further action. But what if it’s something else? Even when the dog isn’t active, they might be breathing fast. Is that a sign of a health issue? Read on to find answers to all your question regarding dog breathing rates.
Is It Normal for Dogs to Breathe Fast While Sleeping?
Dogs dream just like humans. If you Google sleeping dogs or search on Youtube you’ll find thousands of clips of dogs acting funny in their sleep. They could be moving their limbs as if they’re running, or they could writhe in their sleep too. Depending on the dream, the dog will react to it in a physical way.
This reaction might involve breathing fast. It’s the tension and stress of chasing something in their dream that makes them breathe fast. They’re just excited chasing that imaginary squirrel. It’s no cause of concern and after a few seconds, their breathing will come back to normal as they dream of something else. So this is normal and you have nothing to worry about.
How Fast Should a Dog Breathe When Sleeping?
In normal circumstances, your dog should breathe in a normal way. Just like when it’s lying down or not doing anything physically demanding. They shouldn’t pant or show signs of stress or labored breathing during their sleep. That’s how healthy dogs sleep anyway.
If you observe your dog in its sleep and you notice that its breathing is faster than normal, hang around for a few minutes and see if that fast breathing returns to normal. The dog’s chest will rise and fall rapidly and it might open its mouth to breathe faster. This will pass soon as we mentioned once the dream is over.
Why is My Dog Breathing Fast While Resting?
Whether the dog is sleeping or just lying down, their breathing pattern might change and vary depending on their health conditions. If they have a heart condition for example this could affect their breathing as the dog labors to breathe.
It could also something as harmless as food indigestion. If the dog has eaten something that doesn’t agree with them they might start to breathe fast even when they’re not doing anything. Check for other signs that the dog is not well. If it persists, you might need to take the dog to the vet for a general checkup.
Dog Breathing Fast While Sleeping after Surgery
If your dog has had surgery recently and is convalescing, this might affect their breathing. This also varies depending on the type of surgery. But in most cases, breathing fast is a sign the dog’s body is going through the turmoil of healing after the surgery.
Fast breathing on its own should not be a concern even here. But if it’s accompanied by other complications that signify that the dog is suffering or something is not well, you should talk to the vet immediately. This could avert further developments and speed up the recovery of the dog.
Older Dog Breathing Fast While Sleeping
As they get older, the dog’s body ages as well. This is just nature. An aging body is not as healthy or fit as a young strapping dog. And this can reflect on the vital organs of the dog as well. Its heart slows down and labors to pump blood to the rest of its body.
These aging vital organs reflect on the dog’s breathing as well. Its air passageways become clogged and the dog struggles to get enough oxygen into its system. This means it will have to breathe faster to increase its intake of oxygen. If the vet has checked the dog and given it the all-clear, then its fast breathing shouldn’t worry you.
Small Dog Breathing Fast While Sleeping
But what if it’s a small or young puppy? They are fast asleep and suddenly they start to pant and heave. Are they struggling to breathe? Is there something wrong with them? Again you should observe the dog for a few minutes to see how long this lasts.
If it lasts more than a minute or two, then you might have a health problem. You should take the puppy to the vet. If it only lasts for a short while, then it’s just a bad dream or even a happy dream that got the dog all excited. Let the puppy sleep in peace and enjoy its dream.
Diabetic Dog Breathing Fast While Sleeping
This could be a sign of trouble. If you have a diabetic dog and you notice that their breathing is unusually fast during their sleep, it could be related to their illness. Diabetes can ravage the dog’s body and impact its important functions.
Keep an eye on the dog and record how often this happens. If it’s rare to moderate and only lasts for a short period, then it might be just a dream. If it happens often and lasts for more than a couple of minutes, it could be a side effect of the diabetes medicine the dog is taking. Consult with the vet and ask for their opinion.
Do Dogs Breathe Faster When Dreaming?
That’s the main cause of fast breathing while sleeping. Dreams are part of every animal’s sleep pattern. They can be happy or sad, exciting, or just uneventful. In each case, the dog’s body will react to the dream as if it was real.
If your dog is lying on its side sound asleep and it dreams of running after something, its legs will move in unison. The faster they run in their dream the faster their limbs will move. This has the same effect on their lungs as running for real. This is why they will start to breathe faster even though it’s just a dream.
Dog Breathing Fast Before Sleep
Not necessarily. If the dog is still awake and it’s lying down not following something exciting on TV or not being preoccupied with the conniving cat, its breathing should be normal. If you notice that it’s breathing fast even though it’s not asleep yet, then it’s not a dream that’s causing it.
Keep track of how often this happens and how fast their breathing gets. If it’s a recurring matter, then you need to take the dog to the vet to look into it. It could be an early sign of a health problem such as a heart condition.
Do Dogs Breathe Fast When in Pain?
Yes, they do. Dogs can’t howl or express their pain in an oral way. The only way they can respond to pain is to breathe fast. It’s a sign that the dog is going through stress and struggling with the pain. For the dog, pain is an alien concept that they cannot identify or deal with. So they get stressed out.
In many cases, this fast breathing would be your first clue that something is wrong with your dog. You should take a closer look at the dog and see what is causing them pain or discomfort. Take immediate action to resolve the situation and relieve the pain to bring their breathing back to normal.
Does My Dog Have Breathing Problems?
Sometimes breathing fast can be a symptom of respiratory disease or a health condition of some kind. You might notice that the dog is not as active as it used to be. It doesn’t run for long distances and starts to breathe fast with minimal effort.
These are all abnormal symptoms and could mean that the dog has a health condition. Maybe it is as simple as clogged air passageways or maybe it’s something more serious. A vet should be able to tell you what’s wrong with the dog and recommend the best course of action.
What Should I Do If My Dog Has Breathing Problems?
The first thing you should is to get it checked immediately. Dogs cannot speak or express their discomfort plainly, so you have to take notice of something as mundane as breathing problems. If it persists, then this means you have to act immediately and take them to the vet for a medical checkup.
Also, avoid exposing the dog to anything that could irritate their lungs or make their breathing more difficult. Vaping and smoking are now allowed around a dog that is having difficulty breathing. You should improve air circulation in the place and help the dog assume a more comfortable position so that they can breathe better.