Why do dogs breathe fast at night?
Fast breathing in dogs happens because of excessive dreaming, sudden excitement, or fear. Sometimes, rapid fast breathing is a sign of heatstroke and underlying illnesses that can discomfort a dog’s health.
Seeing a dog breathing fast and heavy can put any dog owner in a state of panic. While heavy breathing once or twice is normal in dogs, doing it more excessively can be alarming and concerning. Sometimes, dogs do excessive panting as well while they sleep at night.
Rapid fast breathing, if ignored, can also become a life-threatening condition for dogs. Hence, it’s vital to understand the risks associated with a dog’s breathing problems.
In this article, you’ll learn about the reasons behind fast breathing in dogs and what you can do to make their breathing normal and comfortable.
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- What Is Normal Breathing In Dogs?
- Fast Breathing In Dogs While They Sleep
- Why Do Dogs Breathe Fast While They Rest?
- 5 Major Causes Of Fast Breathing In Dogs
- How To Prevent Fast And Heavy Breathing In Dogs?
- Should You Wake Your Dog In The Middle Of Their Sleep?
- When Should You Contact Your Veterinarian?
- Final Words
What Is Normal Breathing In Dogs?
Before reading more on fast breathing in dogs, let’s first understand what does a normal breathing looks like in dogs. A dog’s breathing rate depends on its lifestyle, appetite, temperature, and daily activities. A dog whose daily activities include running, jogging, swimming, and agility may show a higher breath rate compared to the dog whose majorly time goes into sleep.
Usually, small puppies have a normal breathing rate of 20 to 40 breaths per minute. On the other hand, adult dogs have a normal breathing rate of 10 to 30 breaths per minute. Senior dogs show a normal breathing rate of 15-30 breaths per minute.
Fast Breathing In Dogs While They Sleep
A dog with heavy and fast breath can make any dog owner feel worrisome about their situation. One of the major reasons behind dogs’ high breathing is that they’re avid dreamers. During their REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycle while they dream, their eye movements get fast with increased brain activity. They require more energy during this period and start breathing more quickly to acquire more oxygen.
Another reason for fast breathing in dogs is medical conditions like respiratory issues, heart problems, kennel cough, etc. Their breathing rate can go as high as 100 to 300 breaths per minute during their fast breathing condition.
Also Read: Why Do Dogs Sleeps So Much?
Why Do Dogs Breathe Fast While They Rest?
Sometimes, dogs start heavy breathing all of a sudden while they’re resting and lying down. This is a common indicator that they’re suffering from any kind of issues like diarrhea, kennel cough, and feeling pain. Another reason for sudden panting in dogs is inhaling allergens like dust and smoke particles. When their body temperature changes, they start feeling discomfort and show panting and heavy breathing signs.
5 Major Causes Of Fast Breathing In Dogs
There can be various reasons associated with heaving breathing in dogs, especially while they sleep at night. If you see your dog breathing loud and heavy at night, don’t worry, as it’s a normal condition in dogs. One should understand that younger and older dogs show more signs of heavy breathing than adult dogs.
Below are the few common causes that lead to loud and noisy breathing in dogs:
According to many studies and research, it’s proven that dogs also dream just like us. When they get excited or nervous in their dreams, they start breathing fast with an increased REM cycle. Excitement dreaming is more common in young dogs than in senior dogs.
As dogs do not sweat that often, they start panting and breathing fast to cool themselves to release the heat inside their body. If your dog spends most of their time outside, they might be at risk of heatstroke, so it’s important to look out for their daily routine.
Dogs also show signs of heavy breathing, coughing, and panting, if they have asthma. It’s advisable to visit your vet if your dog has frequent asthma attacks, especially when they sleep. Determining the factors contributing to asthma will ensure proper treatment of your dog.
Kennel cough is another cause that leads to rapid breathing conditions in dogs. Also known as Infectious Bronchitis, it’s a chest infection that is caused by colds, bacteria, and viruses. Kennel cough affects the respiratory system of dogs and leads them to breathe faster.
Lung And Respiratory Diseases
Just like humans, respiratory problems can also occur in dogs. These lung issues affect the breathing cycle of dogs and discomfort them from breathing correctly. If your dog also coughs a lot and suddenly starts panting, there’s a possibility that he might have some underlying respiratory illnesses.
There are a few other factors as well that contribute to heavy breathing in dogs:
- Pressure on the windpipe
- Inhalation of smoke and dust
- Suffering from Anemia
- Suffering from Pneumonia
- Suffering from Nausea
How To Prevent Fast And Heavy Breathing In Dogs?
To prevent heavy, fast, and rapid breathing in your dog, you first need to identify the factors making them uncomfortable while they’re sleeping.
If your dog is a healthy pet, he might be breathing abnormally due to excitement dreaming or any other less harmful conditions. In this case, you should not worry and try making their sleeping area more comfortable and cozy. Try providing your pet with proper bedding and a room with fewer unwanted sounds and dim lighting.
If your dog struggles with illnesses such as respiratory issues, kennel cough, or sleep disorders, you should consult your vet to inspect your dog’s health properly. A certified veterinarian may give your dog oxygen therapy that will help in improving your dog’s breathing air passage.
Should You Wake Your Dog In The Middle Of Their Sleep?
As discussed above, many reasons lead to fast breathing in dogs. Now the question is, should you wake your dog while seeing them breathing fast?
Dogs free from any kind of illnesses are usually fit and have a normal REM breathing cycle. So, if your healthy pet breathes heavy, you shouldn’t be concerned and not wake them while they’re sleeping.
On the other hand, if your dog has a fast REM cycle, there might be chances that they’re sleeping in pain and discomfort. If you’re seeing your dog breathing and panting fast in the middle of the night, waking them up is a nice option to provide them the comfortable sleeping positions. However, you should not wake them much often, as it will disturb their sleep cycle.
When Should You Contact Your Veterinarian?
Many times, abnormal breathing in dogs lasts for one or two days and should not be a sign of worry for pet owners. However, when your dogs are in discomfort and pain due to heavy breathing for a longer time, it’s recommended to visit your veterinarian. The vet will adequately examine your dog and look out for all the underlying diseases in your dog’s body. Treatment at the right time will surely stop your dog’s heavy breathing condition.
Visit your vet if your dog shows signs of discomfort such as:
- Heavy Panting
- Breathing abnormally
- Drooling and Howling excessively
- Making odd sounds from their throat
- Taking deep breaths frequently
To conclude, heavy breathing is normal in dogs while they sleep and should not make you panic in the middle of the night. And most dogs who are experiencing this issue do not suffer from any kind of medical condition at all. However, if you still observe any other illnesses in your dog’s health or sudden changes in their behavior, it’s a good idea to consult with your vet.
The bottom line is dogs never miss any chance to entertain us, and hence, they do weird stuff like licking, kicking, and sometimes panting when they sleep. So, one should take it easy and let them enjoy their dreams too!
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