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3 Reasons Why Does My Dog Breathe Fast When Sleeping

It might be a little unsettling If your pet dog breathes quickly while sleeping. They can’t possibly be obtaining the quality sleep they need if they sleep like this.

Why does my dog breathe fast when sleeping?

The reasons for dogs breathing fast while sleeping aren’t alarming. Your pet can do this if your dog is dreaming when they are sleeping. Their breed, age, energy level everything can have an impact on their breathing when sleeping. But unfortunately, sometimes it can be an indication of a health issue.

You should definitely take your canine to a vet in case of any health issues. Can’t seem to figure out if it’s a health problem? 

Read our detailed article and you’ll discover all you need to know right here!

3 Reasons Why Your Dog Breathes Fast While Asleep

While rapid breathing during sleep might be an indication of a health problem. It’s usually nothing to be concerned about.

Dogs breathing heavily, sleeping with eyes open are very common. But it’s a good idea to understand more about typical canine sleeping habits. And be on the lookout for warning signals that anything is wrong.

Here are a few possible causes of your dog’s rapid breathing when sleeping:

Reason 1: Your Dog is Dreaming

Our dog’s dream is the same as ours. It’s also quite natural for puppies to begin breathing quicker. when they are in the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase of sleep. 

Tingling of the eyelids, as well as faint tiny whimpers or barks, may accompany this. 

Because your dog’s neurological system shuts down most motor activities while lighting up particular portions of the brain during REM sleep, this is the case. This enables them to fantasize without having to move.

After your dog has curled up for a nap, they will most likely begin the REM cycle 20-30 minutes later. Most dogs only remain in this phase for five to twenty minutes. They should settle into the non-REM stage by then.

A dog may have an exceptionally powerful REM cycle. This might be an indication of REM sleep behavior disorder, which is similar to human sleepwalking. 

Many veterinarians may prescribe a medicine to help the dog sleep more quietly since this sleeping problem can be harmful, with dogs dashing into furniture or walls.

Reason 2: Your Dog is Still a Pup

Why a dog dream is almost as enigmatic as to why we humans do. It’s most likely a method for the brain to integrate recollections. And find meaning in their daily activities. 

Dogs are likely to experience dreams that reflect their lively daytime activities.

Especially dogs that spend their days playing with their Master. Or explore the area with their dependable Pet Sitter.

Puppies have a higher chance than adult dogs to spend time in REM. That is because they are absorbing so many new experiences. It’s very typical for young puppies to have rapid respiration when sleeping.

Reason 3: Rapid Breathing is Normal For Your Dog Breed

You may observe fitful breathing when sleeping if your dog is of a certain breed. Especially If you have a brachycephalic dog, such as a Boxer, Shih Tzu, Bulldog.Or any brachycephalic breed. 

These dogs pant, wheeze and groan in their sleep as a consequence of their restricted airways.

Large dogs and tiny dogs, apart from brachy breeds, may have differing respiratory habits. Small dogs, on average, breathe quicker than large dogs, and their REM cycle is shorter and more intense.

Other Common Reasons

There are also additional things to think about. Remember that a hot atmosphere might promote fast respiration in your dog. Because it attempts to cool down while sleeping. 

Keeping tabs on the temperature in your home can help your dog feel more at ease. 

Furthermore, a dog’s exercise has an impact on its respiration. A little sleep after a game of fetch or a walk in the park. This can make your pet breathe a little heavier and yawn for a while when you pet him

Your dog might just be uncomfortable where he’s sleeping. Which might cause him to breathe fast or moan. 

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When Do You Need To Be Concerned?

There are a few other factors as well for which your dog’s respiration may be fast. When your dog is sleeping. Unfortunately, some of them are problematic.

When a dog breathes rapidly when sleeping, mostly it is due to a harmless reason. But, the following medical causes are worth considering:


Dogs do not sweat in the conventional sense. That is why they must depend on cooling processes such as panting to keep their bodies cool. 

Heatstroke might be a threat to your dog. If it has spent too much time in the sun.


Anemia is a condition that affects the blood. It occurs when your dog’s immune response selects red blood cells as a target. Those blood cells circulate oxygen throughout the body. A dog may adjust by breathing quicker if they get exhausted as a result of this condition.

Poisoning From Onions And Garlic

Garlic and onions are both terrible for your dog’s digestion and can induce rapid breathing. It’s worth mentioning that diarrhea, vomiting, and lacrimation are frequently present.

Heart Problem

Fast breathing might be a symptom that your dog’s heart is slowing down. Because they’re striving to flow more oxygen in the circulation than their heart can now handle. Regular visits with your veterinarian can assist you in keeping track of this.

Fluid in Lungs

Most animals have a little quantity of fluid in their lungs. This too much may cause pain and make it harder to breathe.

Check the dog’s gums for blueness; this might indicate that they’re having problems breathing. A dip in body temperature also might indicate something is wrong.

What Can You Do About It?

There are a few probable causes for your dog breathing quickly when sleeping. Here is a simple way for you to check if your dog is breathing normally.

Breathing Test at Home

There is a simple test that you can do at home to determine if your dog is breathing correctly. You’ll wait until your dog is quiet sleeping before counting its breaths per minute.

You may detect this by seeing their rib cage rise and fall over a period of a minute. You don’t want to upset your dog at this time. So stay a safe distance from him and don’t touch your pet dog.

Anything more than Thirty breaths per minute is usually a reason for worry. Fast breathing, might be an indication of appropriate REM sleep. Repeat the test every several hours. It is to keep track of your dog’s breaths per minute throughout various phases of sleep.

Should You Wake Your Dog Up?

The general agreement is not to wake up dogs. Especially those who are in the midst of a regular REM cycle. Dogs in REM sleep are getting some much-needed rest.  And disturbing them might be harmful to their general health.

It depends on the situation if you can wake your dog. Check if your dog has sleep apnea. If it does you may wake them up. That is if you know they prefer to sleep in a different position or not.


Question: What does a dog’s difficult breathing look like?

Answer: To breathe, sit up with a wide stance. As they breathe, their belly heaves in and out more. Foaming or foaming at the mouth is a condition in which one’s mouth becomes foamy or frothy. Gums with a blue tint.

Question: What is the reason for the dog’s heavy breathing when resting down?

Answer: Check If you see your dog breathing rapidly when at rest or while sleeping. It may be suffering from respiratory distress. Contact your veterinarian if you see any breathing that is noticeably laborious.

Question: Why is my dog breathing abnormally?

Answer: Breathing difficulties are most often caused by lung and respiratory disorders. They might, however, be symptoms of other problems like obesity, heartworms. Or perhaps malignancies. Or heart issues, allergy, trauma, etc.


Figured why does my dog breathe fast when sleeping? We hope you did. If you’re still having trouble figuring it out, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian! 

One tip before we end our discussion, try the breathing test before you start to panic. Because most of the time it’s very normal. 

Till next time, best of luck!