Dog Breathing Fast While Sleeping: Causes and Concerns

Dog Breathing Fast While Sleeping: Causes and Concerns

If you’ve noticed your dog breathing fast while sleeping, it might have caught your attention and caused some concern. Rapid breathing or panting in dogs can seem alarming, especially if it occurs during what should be a calm, resting state. While sometimes this can be a normal part of your dog’s sleep cycle, there are instances when it could be indicative of an underlying issue. In this blog, we’ll explore various causes behind this phenomenon and when it might be a cause for concern. For specific concerns about your pet’s health, it’s always best to contact Embassy Lakes Animal Hospital at (954) 432-5811.




What is Normal Breathing for Dogs?

Typically, a resting adult dog takes about 10 to 30 breaths per minute. When dogs enter the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage of sleep, it’s not uncommon for their breathing rate to increase. This could be a part of dreaming. Observing your dog twitching or moving their paws as if running can often accompany this faster breathing.

Signs of Abnormal Breathing

Abnormal breathing, on the other hand, is characterized by very heavy, loud breathing that seems strained or more rapid than usual, even during sleep. If you notice your dog consistently breathing heavily while resting, or if the fast breathing is accompanied by other symptoms like coughing, wheezing, or seeming struggle to breathe, it might be time to consult a veterinarian.

Possible Causes of Fast Breathing in Sleeping Dogs

  • Dreaming and Sleep Cycles: As mentioned earlier, dogs often breathe faster during the REM stage of sleep due to dreaming. This is typically harmless and should not be a cause for concern unless it’s excessively rapid or your dog seems distressed.
  • Environmental Factors: Environmental factors such as a hot room or a stressful new environment can also cause your dog to breathe faster. Ensuring your dog has a cool, comfortable place to sleep and feels secure can help mitigate stress-induced rapid breathing.
  • Health Concerns: Several health issues could also be the cause of fast breathing. These include respiratory infections, heart disease, lung problems, and even anemia. Each of these conditions can cause your dog to need more oxygen, which might manifest as faster breathing.

When to Contact Your Vet

If you notice changes in your dog’s breathing patterns that do not seem to fit the norm of dreaming or reacting to environmental factors, it’s important to monitor them closely. Keep an eye on how often this occurs and any other accompanying symptoms. If the fast breathing is persistent, or if your dog shows signs of distress, pain, or fatigue, it’s crucial to get in touch with a vet. Early diagnosis and treatment can make a significant difference in the outcome of various health conditions.

Preventative Measures and Ensuring a Good Night’s Sleep

  • Ensure that your dog’s sleeping area is quiet, has minimal light, and is at a comfortable temperature.
  • A consistent routine before bed, including a calm period of winding down, can also help your dog relax and sleep more peacefully.
  • Regular veterinary check-ups can help catch any potential health issues before they become serious. Make sure your dog is up to date with vaccinations and parasite control, as these can also affect their breathing and overall health.

Monitoring Your Pet’s Sleep Cycle

While it’s not uncommon for dogs to breathe faster during certain sleep phases, persistent or distress-related fast breathing should not be ignored. Monitoring your pet’s sleep patterns and being aware of the symptoms that accompany abnormal breathing can help ensure that any potential health issues are addressed promptly. Remember, if in doubt, it’s always best to call Embassy Lakes Animal Hospital at (954) 432-5811 to discuss any concerns you may have about your dog’s health. A timely consultation can help keep your pet healthy and happy.

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About Embassy Lakes Animal Hospital

Located in Cooper City, FL, we strive to do more than simply be a full-service veterinarian for your pet. Our decades of experience has served generations of families and their beloved pets and we look forward to serving you as well!