Why Is My Puppy Breathing So Fast?

why is my puppy breathing so fast

You can pet any animal in the world, but dogs are the ones that get close to our hearts very quickly! The affection you feel towards your dog is a beautiful feeling none can describe. As soon as you own a puppy, it becomes a family member in no time. Being a responsible puppy owner, you have to stay very careful about your puppy’s health and make sure that it grows into a healthy dog.

Petting a puppy involved many essential duties, like getting it vaccinated as per schedule, taking your puppy for neutering/spaying when the time comes. In addition, you have to stay observant of what your puppy eats and drinks. Moreover, you have to provide the best house training to your puppy, which certainly demands your proper attention.

If your puppy has recently started breathing very fast or heavily while resting, please do not panic! By the time you finish reading this article, you will understand why your puppy/dog is breathing fast.

Normal breathing rate of puppies

You must know the standard breathing rate of puppies so you can observe correctly when your puppy is breathing at a faster rate than usual. Besides, you must check the breaths per minute of your puppy while it is resting and not hyperactive. For example, if you count the breaths per minute in an active puppy, you would always have a breathing rate faster than usual; however, it would be expected.

It would be best to count the breaths per minute of your puppy while it is on rest; the count must be around 10 to 30 breaths per minute, ideally. However, some puppies might have 15 to 40 breaths per minute, which is also standard. However, if your relaxed and steady puppy is breathing unusually faster than mentioned earlier, it is worrisome, and you have to stay vigilant.

The number of breaths puppies usually take in a minute, vary from puppy to puppy. Therefore, you have to repeatedly count the number of breaths your puppy takes every minute so that you have an average value. Once you have the average value, you can easily claim when your puppy breathes faster than the average count.

Moreover, you must remember that it would be better not to count the breathing rate of your puppy/dog while it has returned from a walk and is panting. When your puppy/dog pants, its breathing rate skyrockets around 300 to 400 breaths per minute, a value considered normal while your puppy is panting.

Why is my dog breathing so hard?

Your puppy/dog might breathe faster in different circumstances due to multiple reasons. Vets consider some of the reasons completely normal, while others are problematic. Let’s have a light on the probable causes why your puppy is breathing faster;

1. Increased body temperature

It is incredible to take your puppy outside to socialize and play with other puppies from the town. However, there are sweltering days in peak summers that affect your furry friend(puppy) differently. Humans might feel irritated when they stink due to sweating in hot summers, but it is indeed a blessing that your puppy does not possess!

Since your puppy cannot regulate its body temperature through sweating, you will see your puppy panting after a walk in scorching heat. When you count your puppy’s breaths per minute in such a case, you will always get a higher number than the average. As mentioned earlier, puppies and dogs breathe extremely fast while panting, and you must consider it ‘normal.’

2. Psychological issues

Dogs fight with psychological problems like stress and anxiety, just like humans do! The sad part is, humans, can communicate; however, dogs can only express their sorrow through various signs. If you have noticed that your puppy has started breathing heavily or faster than usual, try to look at the chain of recent events in your puppy’s life.

Moreover, you must observe if your puppy breathes faster than usual only under any specific situation, like when you carry it inside a dog’s crate from one place to another while traveling. For example, some puppies/dogs develop anxiety whenever placed inside a box. Consequently, you will see such dogs breathing extremely heavily inside the crate. However, as soon as they come out of the box, they start to breathe slowly.

Your dog might suffer from separation anxiety and develop fast breathing issues as a consequence. If you leave your puppy/dog alone for long periods at home, without leaving behind a turned-on radio or TV, then your dog might feel lonely and start breathing fast.

Another scenario in which you might notice that your puppy has started breathing heavily is when you have recently moved to a new house. Vets consider that moving houses might be a significant life event in a dog’s life, and it takes a little too long for your dog to adjust to a new place. Therefore, if you notice your puppy who has started to breathe faster than usual, it is probably due to anxiety due to moving to a new place.

3. Vivid dreams while sleeping

If you observe your puppy breathing too fast or heavily while sleeping, please do not panic! It is a pretty typical scenario. Puppies breathe faster than adult dogs. Besides, when your puppy is asleep and enjoying the sound and deep sleep, it might see vivid dreams, be it horrifying or pleasant. Any vivid dream may cause your puppy to breathe unusually faster.

However, it is not worrisome if your puppy/dog breathes fast while sleeping only. But, if it breathes heavily very often, then you might need to visit a vet.

4. Medical issues

Most of the time, when your puppy starts breathing fast, you might not need to take your pup to the vet, as mentioned above. However, some medical conditions are alarming and call upon the sudden need to take your puppy to the vet.


Tachypnea refers to a medical condition when your puppy starts breathing fast suddenly, which later develops into panting. There are no known causes of tachypnea (rapid breathing), but you must take your pet to the vet since the condition tends to stay longer than usual and might disturb your puppy.

Labored breathing – dyspnea

Tachypnea and dyspnea are medical conditions that might occur alternatively. For example, your puppy may have an episode of difficult breathing right after panting. You would see your exhausted puppy changing its body position in a manner where it can consume maximum air to breathe.

Seeing your puppy putting effort into breathing is an alarming situation. Therefore you must take it to the vet right away.

Dogs with small heads than usual

Puppies and dogs that have smaller heads compared to other puppies of their age tend to develop breathing problems very often. Vets refer to such dogs as ‘brachycephalic,’ i.e., dogs with smaller heads to their bodies. Moreover, the reason why these dogs develop breathing issues is not singular but multiple.

Brachycephalic dogs do not have small heads only but longer soft palates that narrow the nostrils, resulting in obstructed airways.

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In conclusion

Understandably, whenever something unusual happens with your puppy, you get worried! However, it would be best not to panic in unwanted situations and try to calm your puppy. For example, if you believe that your puppy has started breathing faster unusually, you need not worry! Mostly, you do not need to call the vet. However, for a few medical conditions mentioned earlier, you may need to visit a vet.

In this article, we have tried our best to summarize the reasons why your puppy/dog is breathing fast or heavily suddenly. Hopefully, it will prove helpful!


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