Why Is My Puppy Breathing Fast While Sleeping?

Puppy breathing fast when he is sleeping because his breathing is automatic and does not require as much effort.

This is a common behavior in puppies and should not be cause for alarm unless it is excessive. If your puppy breaths fast when he sleeps but seems to be otherwise healthy, you can generally assume that the breathing is normal and there is no need to worry.

Although fast or rapid breathing during sleep may occasionally be an indication of a health problem, in the vast majority of cases, it is completely normal and there is no cause for alarm.

In spite of this, it is a good idea to educate yourself on the typical sleeping patterns of dogs and to be on the lookout for indications that something is wrong.

What is a healthy breathing rate?

The normal range for the number of breaths that a puppy takes while it is sleeping is somewhere between 10 and 35 per minute.

However, veterinarians say that certain dogs have lower thresholds than others. It is critical that you have a conversation with your veterinarian about the appropriate breathing rate for your particular dog.

Also Read: Best Homemade Treatment after Detecting Tick on Dog’s Body

If you want to get an accurate reading of your pet’s breathing rate, the best time to do so is when they are sleeping, as activity and play tend to raise it. To calculate your pet’s sleeping breathing rate:

  • Put a thirty-second countdown on the timer
  • Keep an eye on the way the chest of your pet moves up and down. This is evidence that they are breathing in and out at the same time
  • Count each inhale and exhale. Each inhalation and exhalation causes the chest of your puppy to rise and fall once
  • Repeat for 30 seconds
  • The number of breaths should be multiplied by two. That is the rate at which your pet breathes.

If multiplying by three isn’t your thing, try setting the timer for one minute and counting the number of breaths you take during that period.

The following is a list of some of the more common reasons why your dog breathes quickly while sleeping:

During sleep, rapid breathing can be caused by a number of different factors. The best person to consult when trying to figure out why your puppy’s breathing rate is so high is your veterinarian, but the reasons listed here are some of the more common ones.


Your canine companion is, ideally speaking, in the process of winding down after a vigorous bout of play or exercise. Because dogs do not sweat, it is necessary for them to take rapid breaths in order to bring down their body temperature and maintain it. In the event that you took your puppy outside for a game of fetch or the two of you went for a brisk walk together, it is possible that they will continue to breathe heavily as they rest it off.


To reiterate, dogs “sweat” because of their rapid breathing. Your dog may have rapid breathing while sleeping if it is a hot day or if you have the heat turned up to a high setting. However, you must take care that your puppy does not become overheated. Heatstroke is dangerous for dogs, just like for humans. On a hot day, you should either reduce the temperature or relocate your puppy to a location where it will be cooler, preferably inside your home. Ensure that they have access to a sufficient amount of water.

Poisoning from food

It’s possible that your puppy’s breathing would become labored if they ingested something they weren’t supposed to, like garlic or onions. Because food poisoning can be fatal, you should contact poison control or your veterinarian as soon as possible if you discover that your dog has consumed poisonous food.

Problems with the trachea

The windpipe of a dog is called the trachea. In the event that it collapses or is under an excessive amount of pressure, your puppy may begin to breathe more rapidly. In the event that your puppy has a collapsed trachea, it may be more difficult for air to enter their lungs.

A dry cough is one of the other symptoms associated with this issue. This issue is more common in older dogs, but it can also manifest in younger dogs, particularly puppies. There are some dog breeds that are more prone to tracheal collapses than others, such as Chihuahuas.

Heart problems

A common symptom of cardiovascular disease is labored breathing. If the veterinarian determines that your dog has ticker trouble, they may instruct you to monitor your dog’s resting breathing rate more frequently.

Fast breathing while sleeping is because of their breed

Dogs in the brachycephalic breed group, including Boxers, Shih Tzu, Bulldogs, have a propensity to breathe fast while sleeping. This is due to the shape of their respiratory passages which are smaller than those of other breeds. When these dogs sleep, they take in more air than they need and expel it quickly through their noses and mouths. This causes them to breath very fast and make an oronasal sound.

When you should be concerned about your dog’s fast breathing while he is sleeping

There are, alas, a few other potential causes for your dog’s rapid breathing while sleeping, and some of them are cause for concern. Some of these possibilities include: Bear in mind that the majority of the time, when a dog breathes quickly while sleeping, the cause is something innocuous; as this is something you should keep in mind. Nevertheless, it is important to be aware of the following potential medical explanations:

  • Heart disease present from birth: Due to the fact that the heart is having trouble functioning normally, dogs that have congenital heart disease may experience rapid breathing while they are sleeping. In addition to extreme fatigue and fainting, coughing is another one of the common symptoms associated with heart failure.
  • Breathing problems associated with sleep: A dog that suffers from sleep apnea might have an episode in which they have trouble breathing, followed by a period in which they breathe very quickly. It is possible for any dog to develop sleep apnea; however, brachycephalic breeds and overweight dogs are more likely to develop the condition.

If you believe that the rapid breathing that your dog exhibits while sleeping is caused by something other than their REM cycle, it is a good idea to have your veterinarian take a look at the situation.

Should you wake up your puppy if you notice that they are breathing quickly while they are sleeping?

As we have discussed in the previous sections, the rapid breathing that your dog exhibits while sleeping can be caused by a few different factors. Whether or not you should wake your dog up depends on the underlying cause of their rapid breathing while they are sleeping.

There is a general consensus among experts that it is best not to wake up puppies who are going through a typical REM cycle. Dogs are getting the much-needed rest that they require during REM, and disturbing them during this time could have a negative impact on their overall health.

If you are aware that your puppy would be more comfortable sleeping in a different position, you may want to wake them up in the event that sleep apnea is the cause of their rapid breathing during the night.


If your puppy is breathing fast while sleeping, there could be a few reasons. If the puppy is panting excessively, they may have a medical issue such as an infection or heart disease. If the puppy is snoring loudly, they may also have a respiratory issue. Finally, if the puppy’s body is reacting to anxiety or excitement, they may breathe rapidly while sleeping as a way to calm down.

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