What If Your Puppy Is Breathing Fast?

Welcome to the club of pet parents! We know you are all excited about a new member of the family. Have you already started observing its behavior? Does it seem your furry friend is having difficulties with breathing? 

Should you be worried if your puppy is breathing fast? What should you do if your pet is experiencing such conditions? Is this normal with young dogs? Although very few conditions require urgent attention, we would still like to help you understand the causes of heavy breathing with pups so you can have a clearer image of how to act.

What Is a Normal Breathing Rate?

Just because your puppy is breathing differently, that doesn’t automatically mean it is experiencing abnormal breathing. Note that pets breathe in a different manner than humans do. That’s why you should get more familiar with the normal breathing rate in dogs. 

How many breaths your puppy can take in one minute? This number defines the pet’s normal respiratory rate. On average, it varies between 10 and 30 breaths in a minute. The higher your dog’s activity level, the higher the rate. 

With full-grown dogs, the normal respiratory rate varies between 15 and 40 breaths per minute. That means accelerated breathing is nothing to worry about with hyperactive puppies.

Yet, you should define your puppy’s respiratory rate before drawing any conclusions. This is quite tricky as young canines are constantly on the go. Wait until it is completely relaxed for a minute or two or wait until the pup falls asleep. 

Set a timer for one minute and get closer to the dog. Count the number of deflations and inflations of the pup’s lungs. Compare these numbers to the average values and you’ll have a clear idea of whether you should be worried about your pet’s breathing. 

Why Puppies Breathe Fast?

1.     Heat 

Puppies don’t sweat like humans, which makes it harder to regulate their body temperatures. If your bowwow spends more than 30 minutes under the burning sun, there is a great chance it will make the pup breathe fast. The heat can make your dog’s saliva to evaporate and increase its body temperature as well.

2.     Stress

If you have just adopted a pup, try to understand their anxiety at first. Puppies are frightened when not around their mommies. It takes some time to get used to a new environment. Whenever a puppy is scared or confused, they will breathe rapidly. This applies to any kind of new experience puppies go through so have patience and make your furry friend feel your support. 

3.     Physical Activity

 Puppies love running around all day and playing with their toys and the family non-stop. Hyperactive dogs tend to feel worn out at the end of the day, which makes them breathe faster. Let the puppy relax and watch its breath. Eventually, you will notice its breathing coming back to normal. 

4.     Sleeping 

Although puppies are more playful than adult dogs, they also sleep more. Did you know puppies can have vivid dreams? When your pup is breathing rapidly, it could be they are having a dream about lynching their prey or dreaming about something horrific. Your pup’s sleeping position can make it breathe faster, too.

Medical Reasons Why Puppies Are Breathing Fast 

1.     Dyspnea 

Panting is typical for all kinds of animals, dogs especially. Yet, some puppies have difficulties with panting, which labors their breathing. This condition is called dyspnea and it can indicate other underlying health problems (pulmonary edema, asthma, etc.)

2.     Tachypnea

If your pup starts panting for no obvious reason after it has been lying for 10 minutes or more, it could be tachypnea. Frequent panting that interrupts your dog’s normal breathing is a major red flag. Consult a vet as soon as possible.

3.     Brachycephalic Puppies

Some dog breeds such as Pugs and Boston Terriers tend to experience breathing problems more than other breeds. A brachycephalic pup faces difficulties with breathing caused by the obstruction in their airways. Make sure to pay extra attention to your canine’s breathing if it falls into a sensitive category. 


Panting is a normal reaction with dogs when they want to cool down their body temperatures. If your canine is breathing fast while sleeping, when scared, or after being physically active, that’s completely normal. Yet, if you notice your puppy is breathing heavily no matter what it is doing, it would be best to consult a vet. 

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