Puppy Breathing Fast: How to Know What is Wrong

Is your puppy breathing fast?

Is panting normal or is it a sign of a more severe issue?

It is not uncommon to find that your puppy is breathing rapidly. An increased rate of respiration can merely be a result of play or exercise, but it can be a sign of a serious health condition.

The possibility that something might be wrong with your pet is always terrifying. As a dog owner, you should learn to recognize what is normal and what is not. This knowledge will allow you to react quickly and appropriately if something is wrong.

The following guide will assist you in identifying the possible cause of your dog’s rapid breathing and how you can respond to it.

What Do You Need to Help Your Puppy?

There are various reasons why a brand new dog could have an elevated respiration rate from the harmless to the dangerous.

Possible causes for a puppy breathing very fast:

  • Something might be obstructing their lungs or throat.
  • Heart disease and other cardiac conditions.
  • Exertion from exercise
  • Overheating on a hot day or from activity
  • Fever
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Stress
  • Excitement
  • Dyspnea
  • While sleeping, it might be the result of dreaming

In order to respond correctly, you need to get an idea of what could be causing their abnormal breathing. The steps below will help you to narrow down the probable root.

You should be able to check your puppy for other signs of discomfort.

Here are some things that you will need to assess the situation:

  • A phone, watch or clock that you can use as a timer.
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    A dog thermometer.
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    A blanket to put your puppy on.
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    A piece of paper and a pen or pencil.
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    A calculator
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    Possibly, your veterinarian’s phone number.

Steps to Identifying Why Your Puppy Is Breathing Fast?

1. Establish Their Breathing Rate

puppy breathing fast

The first step is to find out whether your dog is breathing faster than usual and how elevated it is. In general, a healthy puppy takes 15- 35 breaths per minute. Anything over this means that their breathing is elevated. If it is higher than 40, there is more cause for concern.

You can calculate the rate per minute by counting how many breaths they take in thirty seconds. After this, you can multiply this amount by 2.

You will be able to count their breaths by looking for the rise and fall of their chest or the inspiration and expiration of air from their mouth or nostrils. The best way to do this is to measure it while they are resting or sleeping.

Repeat this after several minutes for a more accurate result.

If you have trouble with this, video below demonstrates how you can calculate their respiratory rate.

2. Find Out What Your Dog Was Doing

Now that you know how fast they are breathing it's time to look for potential causes. It is natural for your puppy to breathe more quickly after they have been active. It can happen after running, vigorous play, or a long walk.

Their respiration can increase dramatically after exercise. Because dogs have far fewer sweat glands than we do, panting is their way of cooling down.

If your puppy has been active, you don’t have to panic. It should return to usual after some rest.

Don’t be surprised if your dog starts to pant when they are excited for example if someone comes to visit. It is also common when a puppy is stressed or scared as when they are in a crate or car.

However, you should be wary of possible overexertion and overheat. If their breathing and temperature don’t start to decrease after several minutes, there might be a more significant problem.

3. Your Dog’s Breed

puppy breathing fast

Before you adopt a puppy, you need to do some research on the breed. If you do this thoroughly, you will be able to better care for your pet and will understand them better.

Certain dog breeds are more prone to developing respiratory problems. Dogs that are characterized as brachycephalic have difficulty breathing. These issues are a result of the shape of their head, throat, and muzzle.

Examples of brachycephalic puppies are:

  • French Bulldog
  • Pug
  • Chihuahua
  • Bullmastiff
  • Boxer
  • Shih Tzu
  • English Bulldog
  • King Charles Spaniel

They will pant much more frequently than other types of dogs. Over time you will begin to recognize what is normal for them and what is not. If it is a specifically severe attack, you will want to take them to a veterinarian.

Vets can often perform surgery on your puppy that can reduce breathing difficulties.

4. Examine Your Dog

puppy breathing fast

Whenever your dog displays unusual symptoms, you should inspect them to see if you notice anything else. It can be easier to do if you wrap them or if they are laying down on a blanket.

Besides calculating their rate of respiration, you need to pay careful attention to how they are breathing. It shouldn’t appear labored or shallow. Pay attention to any unusual sounds like rasping.

In addition to this, you should check your puppy’s heart rate. The acceptable range differs significantly between different dogs. Your vet will be able to tell you what the healthy bpm is for your pup. If there is a persistent increase of 20%, you should take your pet to a vet.

Raised body temperature is often a sign that something is wrong with your pet. It often accompanies panting. The ideal body temperature for a dog is 101 and 102.5 F.

On top of this, you need to look out for anything else that is unusual like bloating, whining, and lethargy.

5. Keep Track of the Duration

A crucial step in finding out what is wrong is to keep track of how long they have been breathing in this way. When you notice that your pet is respiring rapidly look at the time.

If your dog is merely a bit tired or hot, their respiration will slow down quite soon. If you don’t notice a decrease after 10 or so minutes of rest, you need to take a closer look at your pup.

You should also make a note of these periods of elevated respiration occur frequently.

6. Call Your Vet

puppy breathing fast

The previous steps will help you to rule out some possibly harmless causes of rapid breaths. Mostly dogs breathe more rapidly as a result of excitement or exercise.

However, if your rule this out and notice other problematic signs the next step should be to call your local veterinarian. They will be able to tell you if it is necessary to take your dog to the clinic.

Describe your dog’s symptoms, when it started, and how long it has been going on. All of this information will help your vet to make a diagnosis.

Final Thoughts

These guidelines can be useful in informing your response whenever your puppy is breathing extremely fast. Hopefully, there isn’t anything serious going on, and your pet only needs time rest.

I know from experience how stressful it can whenever you see anything strange about your pet.

However, it is essential to remember to stay calm whenever you might think that something is off with your puppy. If you are relaxed, you will be able to think more clearly and to make better decisions.

Share the article with all your friends who love their puppies too. Tell us in the comments what you have learned about puppies that are breathing rapidly.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. It is only intended for your general knowledge. You should always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care providers with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the petsofun.com site.

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