7 Reasons Why Puppies Breathe Fast (And What to Do About It)

Puppies are sweet, lovable, and adorable pets. If you have just brought one home to become your companion and friend, then you are no doubt over the moon with happiness and excitement.

But then you notice something worrying: your puppy is breathing faster than normal. Immediately, dark thoughts fill your mind. Is your puppy suffering some terrible illness?
Before you panic, take a moment to learn about the breathing habits of puppies. Here are some intriguing facts that you as a puppy-owner should be aware of.

How Can You Tell if Your Puppy is Breathing Faster than Normal?

There might be times when your puppy seems to be breathing faster than normal, but he actually isn’t. In order for you to be able to tell if he is breathing faster than normal, simply measure his breaths.
A normal puppy takes around 15 to 40 breaths per minute. To count his breaths, lay your hand on his chest or stomach to feel the motion of his lungs. Keep a close eye on your watch and record his breaths.
Did your puppy take more than 40 breaths during the time you counted? If so, he is breathing faster than normal.
But there is nothing to worry about just yet. There are so many reasons why his breathing has become erratic and stranger. Here are 7 of the most common.
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7 Reasons Why Your Puppy is Breathing Fast

1. He is sleeping.

If your puppy is asleep when you notice him breathing fast, keep in mind that this is natural. Puppies sleep to allow their bodies to grow, and breathing faster is a part of it all.

2. He is dreaming.

Have you noticed that your pup is twitching and whining in his sleep? Do his feet move back and forth as if he is running?
If this is so, then your furry friend is having an awesome dream! Just like humans, dogs process their experiences and memories through dreaming.
So the next time you notice rapid breathing and cute puppy barks while your pet is sleeping, leave him be to enjoy his dream-world of chasing squirrels up trees or romping in a sunny park.

3. He feels hot.

Puppies don’t sweat as humans do. Their pores don’t open to emit perspiration to cool themselves down.
If your puppy is panting and breathing harder than usual on a hot summer’s day, then, you can put it down to the fact that he simply feels uncomfortably warm.

4. He has just finished exercising.

If you are worried about your puppy breathing faster than normal, take account of what he has been doing a few minutes before.
Has he been playing in the yard? Running around the house? If he has, then his quick breathing is caused by this vigorous activity.

5. He feels stressed out.

Just like children, puppies feel stressed out when they encounter something new. They might not react excitedly to situations that are out of their comfort zones.
For example, if your puppy is new, he might be missing his mother. If you have put him into your car for the first time, he might feel scared. In any new or scary circumstance, he will breathe harder when he is afraid or anxious.

6. He ate too fast.

You might feel excited to see that your puppy is eating enormously. The moment you put his bowl down, he gobbles up everything in it!
However, eating too fast has its problems. Your puppy might gulp in a lot of air as he gobbles up all that food. This causes a distended belly and more rapid breathing.
So if your puppy is breathing fast and has a swollen belly after eating, then it might be because he ate that food way much faster than he should.

7. He is sick.

There are, however, instances when fast breathing in a puppy is connected with illness. There are many kinds of diseases that can cause fast breathing, some of which include heart problems, anemia, bleeding lungs, kennel cough, and so on.
The thing to watch out for in order to determine whether or not you should take your puppy to the vet is the presence of other symptoms. Look out for chronic cough, loss of appetite, lethargy, and other warning signs that tell you to schedule that vet visit right away.

What You Can Do if Your Puppy is Breathing Fast.

So now you know the most common reasons why your puppy might be breathing fast.
But the next question is: what can you do about it?
To answer the question, simply determine why your puppy is breathing fast.
Here are some examples:

1. You can cool your puppy down if he is breathing fast due to heat.

It is a hot summer’s day and your puppy is lying on his side, tongue lolling out, looking uncomfortable. If this is so, give him a drink with some ice. Or put out a basin of cool water for him to wade his feet in. This will bring his temperature back to normal in no time.

2. You can make him feel more comfortable in what are (to him) stressful circumstances.

Have you just brought your new puppy home from the breeder’s? If so, make sure to do everything you can to make him feel relaxed. Pet him, give him treats, show him love, and give him a secure and safe secret place he can hide in when he wants to be alone.
If you want to take your puppy on car rides, make sure he gets used to being in the car first. Let him sit in the front seat with the car turned off, giving him treats meanwhile. Slowly but surely, he will get used to the sound of the engine, the motion, and his place in the car.

3. You can prevent distended stomach and fast breathing through controlling his eating.

If he eats food way too quickly, you can buy him a slow feeder to force him to eat more slowly. Or you can make mealtime training time – hitting two birds with one stone!
When you determine the cause of your puppy’s fast breathing, it will be much easier to find the best solution for it (or whether no solution is needed at all).
You aren’t alone when it comes to your puppy troubles. But if you understand the basics of how your pet’s body works, the road ahead of you will be easier and happier!
Emma Thompson

Hi, I'm Emma Thompson. Welcome to The Pet Town! I'm a Pet lovers like you and please feel free to get in touch with any questions. Enjoy your stay!

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