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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 fast while sleeping.

They can’t possibly obtain the quality sleep they need if they sleep like this.

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

It will help if you take your canine to a vet in case of any health issues. I 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 indicate a health problem, it’s usually nothing to be concerned about.

Dogs breathing heavily and sleeping with eyes open are widespread. But it’s a good idea to understand 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 natural for puppies to begin breathing more quickly in the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep phase. 

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, the REM cycle will likely begin 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 a compelling 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 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 of spending 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 specific breed, especially If you have a brachycephalic dog, such as a Boxer, Shih Tzu, or Bulldog. Or any brachycephalic breed. 

These dogs pant, wheeze, and groan in their sleep due to their restricted airways.

Besides brachy breeds, large and tiny dogs 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 other 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 be uncomfortable where he’s sleeping, which might cause him to breathe fast or moan. 

These dog beds are well-reviewed and are of good quality. These should give your dog all the comfort it needs.

When Do You Need To Be Concerned?

A few other factors for your dog’s respiration may be fast when sleeping. Unfortunately, some of them are problematic.

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


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

Heatstroke might threaten 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 due to this condition.

Poisoning From Onions And Garlic

Garlic and onions are 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 circulation than its heart can now handle. Regular visits with your veterinarian can assist you in keeping track of this.

Fluid in Lungs

Most animals have a small 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 breathing problems. A dip in body temperature also might tell 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 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 quietly sleeps before counting its breaths per minute.

You may detect this by seeing their rib cage rise and fall over a minute. You don’t want to upset your dog at this time. So stay safe 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 proper REM sleep. Repeat the test every several hours. It is to keep track of your dog’s breaths per minute throughout various sleep phases.

Should You Wake Your Dog Up?

The general agreement is not to wake up dogs—especially those amid 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. If you know, they prefer to sleep in a different position.


What does a dog’s difficult breathing look like?

To breathe, sit up with a wide stance. As they live, their bellies heave in and out more. Foaming or foaming at the mouth is a condition in which one’s mouth becomes foamy or bubbly.

What is the dog’s heavy breathing when resting down?

Check If you see your dog breathing rapidly when resting or sleeping. It may be suffering from respiratory distress. Contact your veterinarian if you notice any noticeably laborious breathing.

Why is my dog breathing abnormally?

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