Dogs are man’s best friend for many reasons. First off, they’re cuddly, fun-loving, and affectionate.
Plus, they’re incredibly loyal and fiercely protective.
Because of these reasons, these furballs have become one of the world’s most popular pets. People adopt them at young ages and they become part of the family.
That’s why it can be disheartening when you notice something wrong with your dog. One of the clearest signs that something is wrong with your pet is heavy breathing.
So, if you’re wondering what to do if your dog is breathing fast while sleeping, we’ve got you covered.
In this article, we’ll walk you through all the causes that may lead your pet to gasp for air. We’ll also talk about what you can do to resolve the issue as fast as possible.
Dog Breathing During Sleep Overview
Dogs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, with a wide range of physical attributes. Because of that, it can be tricky to determine whether or not your pet is breathing heavily.
So, before we jump into the causes and solutions, you should make sure that your dog isn’t breathing normally.
To do that, you have to have some idea of how often a usual canine inhales and exhales.
On average, a dog will take about 10 to 35 breaths per minute while at rest. Yet, as they drift off to sleep, their breathing can slow down a bit.
It’ll drop to about 30 breaths per minute and sometimes even less. This isn’t a cause for concern, it’s just how dog bodies work.
However, an increase in breathing rate can spell out trouble.
If your dog is taking more than 50 breaths per minute, there may be an underlying issue. Other worrying symptoms can include heavy respiration and open-mouth breathing.
These indicate that your dog is struggling to catch their breath.
For that reason, it’s best to check your pet’s breathing pattern for an hour first before visiting the vet. This can save you a lot of money and effort.
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Causes of Heavy Breathing in Sleeping Dogs
There are a few factors that may lead your dog to breathe faster while they sleep. In this section, we’ll explore what they are and what you can do about them.
Many people don’t realize that dogs can dream just like people. They go through a R.E.M. sleep cycle where their imagination can run wild.
Depending on the nature of the fantasy, your dog can experience physical symptoms. To help you understand this, think about what a canine may dream about.
For instance, they can imagine that they’re running free in the park. That will get them excited and cause their heart rates to increase while they sleep.
This, in turn, will lead to faster breathing.
While this can happen to any dog, it’s far more common with puppies. That’s because they’re much more excitable at a young age.
Sadly, there isn’t much you can do about this. It’s best to wait for your pet to wake up on its own.
That way, you avoid startling them and causing their breathing to increase even more.
Dogs are one of the most active pets you can adopt. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise to find out they also eat quite a lot.
They need the extra energy to maintain their lively lifestyle.
Although, too much of a good thing can turn sour quickly. If your dog overeats, their stomach becomes larger and distended.
This leaves less room for the lungs to extend and relax normally.
Because of that, when your canine lays down to sleep, they won’t be able to breathe properly. Instead, they’ll gasp for air and may even foam at the mouth.
That can be a scary scene, but there’s usually nothing to worry about. Yet, it’s best to take a short trip to the vet to ensure that your dog is healthy.
To avoid this issue altogether, it may be a good idea to cut off food a few hours before bedtime.
3. Breed Variations
There are countless dog breeds out there for people to choose from. Unfortunately, some of them have a genetic predisposition to respiratory problems.
These are typically dogs with short snouts. For instance, French Bulldogs are incredibly cute canines with flat faces.
While they’re adorable, this can lead to breathing problems. That’s because, with a flat face, they’ll have trouble pulling in air through their noses.
If you’re wondering why your dog is breathing fast while sleeping, there are a few causes to consider.
Yet, before you do that, it’s best to know your dog’s breathing pattern. On average, a canine will take about 30 breaths a minute while they sleep.
If the breathing rate exceeds this number, there may be an underlying issue. These can be due to dreaming, overeating, or breed variations.