Sometimes you may notice that your dog breathes fast while sleeping, and you will wonder, “Why does my dog breathe fast when sleeping?” In this article, BestLifeTips will help you answer this question and what to do in this situation.
Why does my dog breathe fast when sleeping?
Before getting to know “Why does my dog breathe fast when sleeping?”, you should know what a healthy breathing rate for your dog is.
A typical healthy dog will take between 15 to 35 breaths per minute while at rest. So, if your dog gets above 40 breaths per minute while sleeping is considered abnormal and certainly worth investigating.
Here are some most common reasons for “Why does my dog breathe fast when sleeping?”:
Your dog is dreaming
Just like human, dogs dream too. It’s normal for them to start breathing faster when they’ve entered the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase of sleep. This might also be accompanied by twitching of the muscles or eyelids, and even soft little whimpers or barks.
During REM sleep, your dog’s neurological system will shut down most motor functions while lighting up certain parts of the brain. That allows them to dream without actually moving around.
Your dog is a puppy
Age is a big factor in why your dog breathes fast while sleeping. Puppies are likely to spend more time in REM than adult dogs. This probably because they are processing so many new experiences.
So, for puppies, it’s completely normal to notice quick breathing while they sleep.
If you have a dog in the brachycephalic breed group, such as Boxers, Shih Tzu, Bulldogs, and others, it’s normal to notice fitful breathing while sleeping. These dogs tend to pant, wheeze and snore in their sleep.
It is important to be able to tell the difference between normal brachy breed breathing and Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome. If their breathing troubles seem to keep them from being able to sleep, talk to your vet.
Large dogs and small dogs may have different breathing patterns. In general, small dogs breathe faster than big ones, and they have a shorter and more intense REM cycle.
Aside from above reasons, there are other factors that lead to dog breathing fast when sleeping. Keep reading to find out!
When should I worry?
Normally, it’s totally fine for your dogs to breathe fast while sleeping. However, there are other reasons to answer to “Why does my dog breathe fast when sleeping?” that you should notice.
Since dogs don’t sweat in the traditional sense, they’re forced to rely on cooling mechanisms like panting to cool their bodies down. If your dog has spent an excessive amount of time in the heat, they might be at risk for heatstroke.
Anemia occurs when your dog’s immune system attacks its red blood cells. These cells circulate oxygen in the bloodstream, so when they’re running low, a dog can breathe more rapidly to compensate.
Onion or garlic poisoning
Onions and garlic are terrible for a dog’s tummy and can lead to rapid rates of breathing. Remember that this will often be combined with diarrhea, vomiting, and excess salivation.
If your dog’s heart is slowing down, rapid breathing might be a sign that they’re attempting to circulate more oxygen in the bloodstream than their heart is currently capable of keeping up with.
Checkup with your vet regularly to monitor this.
Fluid in the lungs
While most mammals have a minuscule amount of fluid in their lungs, an excess amount can cause pain and make it hard to breathe.
Check the dog’s gums to see if they are blue. It may be a sign that they’re having trouble breathing. Low body temperature can also be an indicator.
How to tell if my dog is breathing too fast?
To know whether your dog is breathing too fast, be on the lookout for:
- Rapid breathing (>40 breaths/minute), especially while resting or sleeping.
- Abnormal noises (grunts, squeaks, or harsh sounds) while breathing.
- Panting for seemingly no reason (no recent exercise, environment is cool, not laying in a sunbeam).
- Rapid breathing through a slightly open mouth without the tongue sticking out.
- Increased respiratory effort (pushing with the abdomen to get air in or out).
- Shallow rapid breathing or abnormally slow and deep breathing.
- Bluish tinge to gums or tongue.
- Breathing hard or fast while standing up and being unwilling to rest or lie down for long.
- Acting like he or she can’t catch his or her breath or looking distressed.
If your dog has any of these signs, this may mean that he is experiencing breathing issues. Bring him to your veterinarian immediately for evaluation and treatment.
Respiratory distress can be fatal, so don’t delay in getting help for your dog.
What to do to if dog breathes fast when sleeping?
Don’t panic if your dogs are breathing rapidly or breathing fast while sleeping. This is a pretty common part of their life. Only an indicator of something more serious if accompanied by secondary symptoms that should be concerning.
If you notice your dog breathing fast while sleeping, the first thing to do is to check its respiratory rate. After you’ve determined your dog’s breaths per minute, if their fast breathing still hasn’t subsided, look for other signs that there may be a deeper issue, such as pale gums, heavy breathing with their whole abdomen, wheezing, or drooling.
If you notice other symptoms coinciding with the fast breathing in your dogs, once you’ve ruled out dreaming, make an appointment with your vet.
No matter what the issue is, it’s best to have your dog checked as soon as possible.
Understanding your dog’s habits is a key part of keeping them happy and healthy and catching early any health issues that may occur.
Therefore, keep your eye on your precious fellow and stay alert to make sure you understand what’s happening with his or her body.
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This is all about “Why does my dog breathe fast when sleeping?” that you may concern. BestLifeTips hope that through this article, you can now understand the normal and abnormal breath of your dog to have a suitable solution.