Updated at: 24-12-2021 - By: petexpert

While a quick rate of breath can be worrying it should not be a reason for instant panic. For one thing, puppies breathe much faster in their sleep than adult dogs do. “Why is that?” you might ask. Interestingly enough, puppies will dream much more often and more vividly than an adult dog might.

There are other factors to consider as well. Remember, a warm environment can also cause rapid breathing in your pup as it tries to cool its body down during a snooze. Keeping an eye on your thermostat will help your dog stay more comfortable! Also, a dog’s activity levels always affect its breathing. A brief nap after a spirited round of fetch or a walk through the park will leave your furry friend breathing a little harder for a bit. It will calm down as they rest, but don’t be surprised if the start of their nap comes with more rapid breaths after playtime. While these are perfectly natural reasons for rapid breathing, there are other factors to worry about.



Most mammals (and some birds) dream and your dog is no exception. Many pet owners enjoy watching their dogs twitch, run, and bark while fast asleep. After all, it’s fun to wonder what your pup is dreaming about.

However, a dog’s breathing may change as they enter or exit REM sleep. They might also start to breathe more quickly while excited or nervous. Consequently, both nightmares and good dreams can cause your dog’s breathing to become more rapid.

Still, this breathing pattern should vanish as soon as your dog awakes. If it doesn’t, but your dog isn’t exhibiting any other worrisome symptoms, then your pup could be experiencing a minor allergy attack.


Just like humans, dogs can suffer from allergies, particularly seasonal allergies. When pollen hits the air and you begin to sneeze, your dog might also start feeling congested.

Later on, when they go to sleep, this congestion can cause their airway passages to constrict and fill with phlegm, making it difficult to breathe. When this happens, they may breathe more rapidly to keep their blood-oxygen levels at a suitable level.

Dogs with shorter, smaller nostrils (brachycephalic dog breeds) are more prone to developing such breathing problems than those with long, wide nostrils (more on this below). However, a stuffy or squashed nose isn’t the only physical reason why a dog might be breathing fast.

Pain due to a sudden illness or injury could also be to blame. That’s why it’s essential to contact a veterinarian when in doubt.

Do Some Dog Breeds Breathe Faster Than Others?

Some dog breeds breathe faster than others when at rest. This is primarily due to two reasons:Certain breeds (like the Pekingese, Pug Dog, or French Bulldog) have narrow nostrils that can complicate breathing. Smaller dogs tend to breathe more rapidly due to a faster resting heart rate.

If your dog has a flat, squished-up face, it might have shorter, thinner nostrils that don’t allow for a lot of airflow. If this cute flat-faced pup develops a cold, a sinus infection, or allergies, they may struggle to breathe.

Small breeds weighing 30lbs or less have faster heart rates that require them to breathe more rapidly. However, this rapid breathing is usually normal and nothing to be concerned about. Still, there are a handful of things pet owners can do to help make their dog’s breathing (and life) a little easier.

What Can I Do To Help My Dog Breathe More Easily?

There are several things you could do to help your dog breathe more easily, even while fast asleep. From dietary changes to lifestyle changes, you’ll want to review these options and select the one that makes the most sense for both you and your furry buddy.


Put Them on a Diet

A poor diet can cause a lot of problems, including breathing difficulties. Feeding your dog high-fat foods can lead to excessive weight gain, and this extra fat can weigh on your pup’s lungs. When this happens, they have to work harder to catch their breath. This is very similar to the condition when overweight people have sleep apnea.

A simple, veterinarian-approved diet could help your four-legged friend shed some weight and breath a little more easily. Of course, diet isn’t the only culprit behind puppy breathing problems.

If your home is inundated with perfumes, colognes, air fresheners, or cigarette smoke, your dog might also be suffering from indoor allergies. Naturally, the first thing that owners should do is quit smoking indoors or around the dog, as pet owners who smoke tobacco may be shortening their pet’s lives and their own life. But an air purifier can help with the harder-to-prevent airborne pollutants.


Install an Air Purifier

Even the cleanest home can have poor indoor air quality, which is why many pet owners have invested in air purifiers. Not only do these fantastic devices help keep your home’s air fresh and pollutant-free, but they can also grab onto small strands of floating pet hair and pollen.

The Molekule Air is a fantastic option for those hoping to achieve the cleanest possible air quality. It can cycle up to 600sqft of air, destroying and catching allergens, bacteria, and other airborne pollutants.

It’s not inexpensive, but the benefits to both you and your dog can make it a smart long-term investment. Pets and pet parents with sensitive sinuses can enjoy an improved quality of life when using an indoor air purifier.


Dogs might start breathing fast while sleeping due to a change in sleep cycle or a stuffy nose. But rapid breathing can also be a symptom of a life-threatening illness or injury. If you notice additional symptoms, like heavy panting and drooling, you should visit a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Still, in most cases, fast breathing isn’t a sign of severe distress or pain. Some dog breeds, like the French Bulldog and the Chihuahua, breathe heavier and faster than others. Additionally, allergies can affect a pup’s breathing, especially if they become congested.


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