Should You Worry About a Puppy Breathing Fast While Sleeping? When a puppy sleeps, it’s normal to see them breathing fast. This rapid breathing, also known as panting, is a common sign of relaxation in puppies.
It’s also a way for them to regulate their body temperature, as puppies have difficulty cooling off after playing. Panting is normal and, in most cases, nothing to worry about. However, in some cases, excessive, rapid breathing can indicate that something is wrong.
If your puppy is breathing faster than usual while sleeping, it could indicate an underlying medical condition requiring attention. Knowing the signs and consulting with your veterinarian can help determine the cause of your pup’s rapid breathing.
Is Your Puppy Really Breathing Fast?
Before discussing further reasons why a puppy might breathe heavily and rapidly during sleep, we should define what to consider “being fast.”
Usually, a small dog’s respiratory rate is between 15 and 40 breaths per minute; meanwhile, it can increase from 10 to 30 breaths per minute for an adult one.
You can set a timer when the puppy sleeps and count every time the puppy’s chest rises and falls. Then, take notes when your puppy is breathing faster than 40 breaths per minute!
A Puppy Breathing Fast While Sleeping: Five Normal Instances
You might catch a puppy breathing fast while sleeping for various reasons. Some are their natural reactions that will not cause an alarm.
1. Your puppies are just growing
Puppies need more oxygen to develop their bodies properly.
Oxygen facilitates providing red blood cells to cells and tissues. This way, puppies’ bodies can remove waste and toxins. It also helps neutralize lactic and other acids to burn fat and grow muscles.
When your puppy is resting, it is high time for more oxygen to get in and recover the body. Quick breathing allows for taking a higher supply of oxygen. Then, your puppy often opens its airway by stretching out the head and neck while spreading its elbows apart.
2. Your puppies are too active earlier
Dogs are usually active. Puppies are no exception.
When they have just played too hard, for instance, chasing you around the house, wrestling a new toy, or jumping on other pets, your puppies need a short rest to cool down.
As such, they breathe more frequently to take in more oxygen to replenish the exhausted cells. Once enough – after 10 or 15 minutes, your puppies start slowing down their respiratory rate.
3. Your puppies are under hot weather
You have already noticed it. – Dogs hang out their tough in summer. Since dogs feature fewer sweat glands than other mammals, they try to regulate their body temperature by panting.
Puppies keep this habit even while sleeping. Thus, it is just a typical symptom during hot months.
4. Your puppies are dreaming
Like humans, dogs can dream while they are sleeping.
While we cannot read what they are dreaming about, it is extrapolated that the dream can either be exciting, flat-out, or scary, which causes your puppies to breathe faster. This is like how we react in kind.
Other signs of puppy dreaming include murmuring, barking, twitching, quivering, sleepwalking, or even running while its eyes are still closing. For example, your puppy might dream about running and playing with you in the park or bark toward a squirrel climbing a tree in their dream.
5. Your puppies are sleeping soundly
Have you ever breathed heavily and even snored when you were too deep in your sleep? So have the puppies!
Their sound can go through four stages, of which the last stage involves rapid eye movement (REM.) Along with it, the puppies experience increased heart rates and irregular breathing. A REM period usually lasts for two or three minutes.
A Puppy Breathing Fast While Sleeping: Abnormal Medical Symptoms
1. Your puppies are a little stressed
Supposing you adopt a puppy from breeders means the little guy is separating from their parents, causing them to be under bubbling stress.
In the early stage of being brought to the new house, the puppy cannot rest in peace. It manifests itself in fast breathing in the end. Thankfully, that is not a very concerning medical standpoint.
Give your puppy time to adjust to the sudden change and be gentle to them rather than directly provide them with training or socialization.
2. Your puppies are painful
Watch out because your children are in pain when they start breathing fast – not only while sleeping but also if they are awake.
Those littles are small and vulnerable. Thus, they can be accidentally kicked, dropped, or stepped on when being around others.
It would help if you gently searched for any limp or swelling that might be the reason for the pain. Apply effective pain medication, if any.
3. Your puppies have heart disease
Some puppies suffer from congenital heart defects at birth.
For example, one of the holes in their heart might close and prevent blood from being diverted to lúng and other body parts. Or, your little ones might have weak heart valves or abnormally narrow vessels.
As a result of heart disease, puppies often do not have good heartbeats to take in oxygen well. Thus, they breathe faster to gain more oxygen.
If your dogs have an abnormal respiratory rate for a long period and become tired shortly, you should visit the nearby veterinarian for a complete checkup.
4. Your puppies have lung disease
Overall, the immune system of puppies is more vulnerable to airway infections, influenza, pneumonia, kennel cough, and so on.
Such diseases can impede oxygen and carbon dioxide from being taken in and out, which causes your puppies to suffer hard coughing, lethargy, reduced appetite, and nasal discharge. Subsequently, they must breathe more rapidly to compensate for the reduced oxygen.
5. Your puppies are anemia
Parasites like fleas or hookworms are the leading cause of anemia in pets.
They take out the red blood from your puppies, making the remaining red blood cells work harder to circulate oxygen throughout the body. In other words, both the lungs and heart must speed up to enhance the cells. This leads to a faster respiratory rate.
Please remember that anemia is no longer about breathing fast. Leaving your puppies ‘ anemia untreated causes pale gums and constant cold for your little children.
6. Your puppies are severely dehydrated
Although your puppies can cool down in the summer or after playing hard by hanging out their tongue and breathing faster, it does not mean you can ignore this symptom. Too dehydrated dogs can vomit and have diarrhea. They will be in much pain and even die.
Instead, you should give them some water, knowing puppies need three times more water than adults.
7. Your puppies suffer from diaphragmatic hernia
Like heart disease, the diaphragmatic hernia is also born in your puppies.
This occurs if the diaphragm between the lúng and abdomens is not developing correctly. Consequently, abdominal organs (small intestine or liver) might slip through it and compress the lungs, making your puppies breathe harder.
Without identifying the issue soon, you can put your pets in a life-threatening.
How to Treat A Puppy Breathing Fast While Sleeping?
1. Create a Comfortable Sleeping Environment
A puppy’s sleeping environment plays a crucial role in regulating their breathing patterns. To ensure your furry friend sleeps soundly:
- Choose the Right Bed: Opt for a comfortable, well-padded bed that provides support without being too soft. Avoid overly plush beds that can obstruct airflow.
- Proper Room Temperature: Maintain a comfortable room temperature between 68-72°F (20-22°C). Puppies are sensitive to extreme temperatures, which can lead to irregular breathing.
- Minimal Disturbances: Create a quiet and calm sleeping area. Limit noise and disturbances during your puppy’s sleep hours, helping them sleep more peacefully.
2. Monitor Your Puppy’s Sleep
While puppies often have varying breathing patterns, it’s essential to keep a watchful eye:
- Regular Check-Ins: Make it a habit to check on your puppy periodically while they sleep. This will help you become familiar with their normal sleeping behavior.
- Use a Baby Monitor: For added peace of mind, consider using a baby monitor with audio and video capabilities. This way, you can observe your puppy without disturbing them.
3. Stay Calm and Comfort Your Puppy
If you notice your puppy breathing rapidly during sleep, stay calm and follow these steps:
- Gentle Awakening: Gently wake your puppy by speaking softly and offering gentle pets. Avoid sudden movements or loud noises.
- Comfort and Reassurance: Your puppy may have a dream or a mild nightmare, causing faster breathing. Reassure them with soothing words and strokes until they settle down.
4. Check for Obstructions
Puppies are curious and may inadvertently create situations that hinder their breathing:
- Bedding and Toys: Inspect your puppy’s sleeping area for any loose bedding, pillows, or toys that might obstruct their airway. Remove any potential hazards to ensure unobstructed breathing.
- Positioning: Check your puppy’s sleeping position. Sometimes, they may bury their faces in bedding, affecting their breathing. Gently reposition them if necessary.
5. Maintain Proper Hydration
Dehydration can contribute to rapid breathing, so ensure your puppy stays adequately hydrated:
- Fresh Water: Always provide clean, fresh water for your puppy. Hydration is essential for overall health, including maintaining normal breathing.
- Monitor Water Intake: Keep an eye on how much water your puppy drinks, especially during warm weather or after physical activity. Make adjustments as needed.
6. Consult a Veterinarian
If your puppy’s rapid breathing persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s time to seek professional advice:
- Vet Evaluation: Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions. Respiratory infections, heart problems, or allergies could be contributing factors.
- X-rays and Tests: Your vet may recommend X-rays or other diagnostic tests to get a clearer picture of your puppy’s respiratory health.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
1. Can anxiety or stress cause rapid breathing in puppies?
Yes, anxiety or stress can lead to rapid breathing in puppies. Providing a secure and comfortable environment can help alleviate these issues.
2. Are there specific breeds more prone to rapid breathing?
Brachycephalic breeds (those with flat faces) like Bulldogs and Pugs may experience faster breathing due to their unique anatomy.
3. What should I do if my puppy’s breathing is consistently rapid?
If your puppy’s breathing remains fast and is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, consult a veterinarian promptly.
4. Is it normal for puppies to dream during sleep?
Yes, puppies often dream during sleep, which can lead to temporary changes in their breathing rate and muscle twitches.
5. Can I use a humidifier to help with my puppy’s breathing?
Using a humidifier in your puppy’s sleeping area can help maintain optimal humidity levels, which may benefit their respiratory health.