Why Is My Dog Breathing Heavy?

  • on April 10, 2022
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Dog owners are familiar with the various signs that their dog is uncomfortable. Some signs can be a little tricky to understand, though. If your dog is breathing heavily, figuring out what the problem is can be tough. This article explores why your dog might be breathing heavy and how to help.

Why Is My Dog Breathing Fast And Heavy?

Let’s be clear: dogs are not humans, but there are a few similarities that we can point out. Dogs typically breathe anywhere from 10 to 35 times a minute while they’re resting in a comfortable environment. When they’re engaged in strenuous activities within their environment, however, that rate tends to climb by as much as tenfold. This means that dog breathing can climb up to 110 breaths to 350 breaths per minute when working hard.

Panting is a natural process concerning our dogs, and it serves not only to regulate their body temperature but also to remove water vapor that has already been warmed in their respiratory system out of their mouth and upper throat area. This is because dogs have no sweat glands, so fast breathing allows them to get back to normal temperatures when they feel overheated or just do some exercise in excess. However, this fast breathing is abnormal if it combines with some health issues.

Causes of Heavy Breathing In Dog

There can be numerous diseases and injuries behind this problem. Some possible causes are

  • Asthma
  • Kennel Cough
  • Trachea (windpipe) issues
  • Laryngeal Paralysis
  • Rhinitis
  • Stiffening of airways
  • Pressure on the windpipe
  • Collapsing trachea
  • Smoke inhalation
  • Pneumonia
  • Heatstroke
  • Anemia
  • Exercise

How Would You Know That Your Dog Is Breathing Heavy And It’s Not Normal?

Dogs usually gulp down large quantities of air when breathing, but if your dog is panting more than he usually does or having trouble catching his breath. You should note these signs

  • Stop eating and drinking
  • Heavy breathing with the use of stomach muscles
  • Excessive drooling
  • Blue tinged or pale gums
  • Fast breathing and making sounds
  • Open-mouth breathing

How to Treat Heavy Breathing In Dogs?

If you notice that your dog is breathing abnormally rapidly even when sleeping or at rest, then this could be a sign of an emergency, as every second counts for dogs. This would mean that finding a veterinary hospital urgently would be sensible to determine the cause and best way to handle the problem.

You will be asked about your dog’s background as well. Specifically, you’ll need to mention whether or not your dog has had any previous medical issues. A thorough physical examination will be performed to determine any abnormalities in the heart, lungs, circulatory system, airways, etc. and if any general health problems could have caused this specific issue you’re currently experiencing with your pet at hand.

Treatment is mostly dependent on the cause of heavy breathing. Mostly antibiotics, pain relief medication, and health care products are given. Health care products can protect your dog from many problems.


Many dogs have heavy breathing that is perfectly normal. However, if your dog is breathing heavy and you are worried it could be a sign of a serious problem. You should contact your veterinarian for a checkup. They will be able to determine if your dog is breathing heavily due to a medical condition.



Article Categories:
Dogs · Pets Care

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