Is it Normal for Puppies to Breathe Fast?

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Puppies To Breathe FastIf your dog’s breathing or heart rate is elevated but hasn’t been exercising, you might be wondering if this should be a cause for concern. Below, we list the reasons why a dog may be breathing faster than normal and when you should call your vet while answering the question, “Is it normal for puppies to breathe fast?”

Why Does My Dog Breathe Fast? 

Before you can tell abnormal breathing, you’ll need to know what healthy dog breathing is. The normal respiratory rate for dogs is around 15 to 35 breaths each minute while it’s resting. While exercising, a dog naturally breathes faster, but counting over 40 breaths every minute while resting counts as a pet’s rapid breathing and is worth investigating. 

However, it’s important to know their panting won’t usually mean that there’s a problem; this is your pup’s way of keeping its body temperature regulated while cooling down. Panting lets water as well as heat evaporate from the upper respiratory tract, mouth, and tongue, which can help the body get down to normal temperature. 

How Do I Know If My Dog’s Breathing Too Fast? 

In order to see if your pup is breathing over the normal respiratory rate, count your pup’s breaths for 1 minute as it sleeps or rests. You can also do this even if there’s no cause for concern since it can help you get a good understanding of your dog’s normal breathing rate. While a count under 30 can be considered normal breathing, a count above 35 breaths can be a worrisome sign and warrants a call to the vet. 

Your veterinarian should have a clear understanding of your pet’s respiratory rates from a previous examination; if not, they will be able to make an accurate diagnosis of your pet. 

Why Has My Dog Started Breathing Fast?

Brachycephalic breeds, or those with shortened snouts or squished faces such as boxers, pugs, and Boston terriers have a higher risk of getting breathing issues. Pet owners should always observe their pets for symptoms of breathing-related health conditions. However, short-nosed dogs aren’t the only breeds that may suffer from heavy breathing; fast breathing can be a symptom that it’s experiencing an injury or illness that needs veterinary care, no matter the dog breed. 

Some potential causes for heavy or labored breathing in canines include the following:

  • Kennel cough
  • Lung disease
  • Asthma
  • Exercise
  • Windpipe issues
  • Heat stroke
  • Smoke inhalation
  • Fungal or bacterial respiratory infections
  • Heart conditions
  • Laryngeal paralysis
  • Stiff airways
  • Windpipe pressure

When Do I Need to Call My Vet? 

If you see that your dog’s breathing is faster than it should be while it’s resting or sleeping, then it could be suffering from respiratory distress. Here are common symptoms that you can look for before contacting your vet:

  • Brick-red, blue-tinged, or pale gums
  • Labored breathing that uses the stomach muscles for breathing
  • Reluctance to eat, drink, or move
  • Excessive drooling
  • Fast and heavy breathing that sounds different or is louder from normal panting
  • Breathing with an open mouth as it rests

How is Fast Breathing Diagnosed? 

Should your dog have any of the following signs above, be sure to contact your vet right away, who will perform a full physical examination to determine where the breathing problem is rooted. This can involve searching the circulatory system, heart, airway, lungs, head, neck, or other areas. Your canine companion’s overall health will also be examined if it’s the cause of the issue.   

You should also let your vet know about previous medical issues your pet may have experienced before to help them determine the right diagnostic tests like X-rays to examine their lungs, abdomen, and heart for problems such as broken ribs or lung tumors. Furthermore, your vet may also look for signs of anxiety along with psychological factors they may deem a reason behind your pup’s breathing difficulties.  

How is Heavy Breathing Treated in Dogs?

By determining the root cause behind your pup’s breathing problems, you’ll be able to get the best treatment available. Your veterinarian may suggest a combination of intravenous fluids, pain relief, and other medications that may help get your pooch back to good health. Should the vet determine that your pup is suffering from stress or anxiety, they may suggest special training through a certified dog behaviorist. 

Oxygen therapy and plenty of rest may be required to help your dog recover. While some pups will need specialized medical attention in some cases, most dogs can be treated from their home. In more serious cases, hospitalization will be needed to keep an eye on a dog’s breathing patterns, and constant care may be needed to identify the underlying cause of their condition. 

Is it Normal for Puppies to Breathe Fast? 

Breathing fast isn’t always a sign of danger or problem in dogs, and sometimes it can be their way of cooling off their bodies. But if your furry friend is experiencing breathing difficulties, it’s always a good idea to seek medical advice from your vet immediately to ensure their health and safety. These kinds of health issues shouldn’t be taken lightly and as soon as you find out that your dog is struggling to breathe when they haven’t been playing or exercising, be sure to take action quickly.