You’re probably used to seeing your dog breathe quickly or hearing your dog pant constantly as a pet owner, especially after a walk or a play session. Your dog breathes more quickly than usual to stay cool on a hot day, and they pant in excitement as they wait for the delectable treat or toy you’re carrying.

However, suppose your dog exhibits other symptoms in addition to rapid breathing. In that case, it may be an indication of an underlying issue.

In dogs, rapid breathing may signify respiratory problems, Cushing’s disease, or heart failure. All three of these conditions result in panting, which, unless more symptoms occur, may seem to have no apparent explanation.

Consult your veterinarian as soon as possible if your dog displays further symptoms, such as a change in gum color, noisy breathing, or challenging breathing.

Table of Contents

What Causes Dogs To Breathe Fast

Counting your pet’s respiration rate at home is one of the most acceptable ways to assist your veterinarian in identifying any issues.

Your dog may be experiencing heart failure or other significant issues if its resting breathing rate increases. The ideal respiratory rate for your dog is between 15 and 30 breaths per minute.

Lower respiratory rates are conceivable and are not a concern if your pet is otherwise sound and healthy. An abnormal resting rate, however, is consistently higher than 30 breaths per minute, and this irregularity signals cardiac failure in particular.


Dogs typically breathe more quickly during and after activity. Your dog’s muscles work harder, their body utilizes more oxygen, and they expel more carbon dioxide when they exercise.

Your dog needs to breathe much more heavily to meet these additional demands. Your dog will pant to cool off after exercise; if your dog exercises regularly, it will recover much more quickly than other dogs.

A vigorous workout will result in more panting than a leisurely block walk. Call an emergency vet immediately if your dog is panting more than usual, drooling, has red gums, starts vomiting, or loses consciousness. These are all indications of canine heat stroke.

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A dog’s emotional mood frequently causes them to begin breathing rapidly. Dogs pant when they are eager, such as when they meet new people or are awaiting good food. This kind of panting frequently occurs quickly and shallowly and may be accompanied by whining.

Contrarily, stress panting is frequently more difficult and protracted. Pay attention to your dog’s body language if your dog starts to pant. Are your dogs yawning, looking away, or have their eyes opened wide?

These are all indications of canine stress. Last, a dog breathing fast can feel sick, hurt, or uncomfortable. Keep an eye out for any more signs that your dog may be ill, and report your findings to your veterinarian as soon as possible!

Feeling Hot

Breathing fast will help your dog cool off. Your dog’s wet tongue makes contact with the air as your pant. Air moves over your dog’s tongue as they pant, evaporating moisture.

It lowers the body temperature of your dog and cools its tongue. Breeds like the English Bulldog, Pug, and Pekingese that are prone to overheating may require more time during this process.

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When it’s hot outside, it’s crucial to watch these breeds and take all necessary steps to prevent heatstroke.

Chronic Illness

In dogs, rapid, laboured breathing may indicate a persistent condition. Dogs exhibit many of the same symptoms as people with heart failure, such as coughing, trouble breathing, and intolerance to physical activity.

Similarly, panting, thirst, and abdominal bloating can all be symptoms of Cushing’s illness. Finally, several respiratory conditions will make your dog pant a lot, and these illnesses include pneumonia and laryngeal paralysis.

Signs of Abnormal Breathing

Dogs with breathing issues can either be dyspnea or tachypnea. Dyspnea, or laborious breathing, occurs when your dog exerts more effort to breathe than is necessary, given the conditions.

Dyspnea symptoms include noisy breathing, breathing with the elbows out from the body, holding the head low and out in front of the body, and breathing with the chest wall and abdomen moving more than usual.

There are numerous reasons why dogs get dyspnea. Congenital hernias, bloat, enlarged liver, trauma, infections, electrocution, heartworm, heart failure, and tracheal collapse are some conditions that might result in dyspnea.

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Tachypnea, on the other hand, happens when your dog breathes more quickly than its environment  permits.

As a result, your dog’s breathing will be shallower than usual, and its mouth may be closed or partially open. Low blood oxygen levels, anaemia, and lung blood clots can cause tachypnea.

Prevention and Solutions of Dogs Breathing Fast

If your dog experiences any of the following, be careful to call your veterinarian right away:

  1. The tongue and gums of your dog are either blue, purple, white, or bright red.
  2. The panting is severe and persistent.
  3. Their breathing is very noisy (stridor)
  4. Their average respiratory rate is greater than 30 breaths per minute.
  5. The breathing becomes fast when other sickness symptoms present, such as lethargy or diarrhoea.

Keeping your dog cool is one of the best methods to minimize respiratory distress because dogs pant to cool down. Ensure that there is always an abundance of fresh, clean drinking water, especially after activity. Watch out for indicators of heatstroke while it’s hot outside. Your dog won’t have to work as hard to cool down if you prevent heatstroke.

If possible, get your dog away from the stressor if they are breathing rapidly due to stress. If you can’t remove your dog from the upsetting circumstance, provide your dog with the best calming measures.

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You know your dog best, so physical affection or verbal encouragement may work best, depending on the person. If your dog experiences anxiety, go to your veterinarian or a behaviourist to determine the cause of the problem.

As always, keep an eye out for indications that your dog’s stress level is rising. If stressed-out dogs think they can’t escape the situation, they may turn aggressive.

My dog is stressed. How can I reduce fast breathing in my dog?

As soon as you can, take your dog out of the uncomfortable situation if they are experiencing stress. Your responsibility is to soothe your dog in whatever way you can if you can’t get them away from the stressor.

You are the expert on your dog; you may choose to comfort and praise them verbally or physically.

Always pay close attention to your dog’s body language and be alert for indicators that their stress level is rising. If a stressed-out dog feels trapped in the circumstance, it may lash out in self-defence.

Why does my dog pant at night but not during the day?

For various reasons, your dog may pant at night but not throughout the day. Dogs are good at hiding their misery, so we frequently learn about their suffering only after it has already happened.

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Your dog may pant at odd times, such as in the middle of the night when they should be sleeping and resting, if they are in pain. A dog who urinates a lot at night may also be experiencing a lot of nightmares.

Unfortunately, dogs have dreams when they sleep, just like people do. Last, a senior dog with dementia could become anxious or confused at night. A reversed sleep cycle could cause panting, pacing, and nighttime awakenings.

Dogs Breathing Fast – Why does a dog pant for no reason?

Dogs usually pant for a purpose, even if it’s unclear why. They could be experiencing stress about something, being too hot, or experiencing unseen discomfort. Always look for other indicators before brushing off your dog’s behaviour.

Are they pacing, sluggish, or possibly even defending a specific area of their body? Excessive panting, though a seemingly harmless symptom, is frequently one of the first or only signs that your dog is ill.

How do dogs show pain or discomfort?

Most dogs are excellent at disguising their suffering, so any indicators of pain may be hard to detect until it is severe. A dog in pain will typically shudder, flatten its ears, and exhibit unusual aggression.

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They may excessively pant or whine, lick or bite a particular place, shun play and walks, and cringe at the touch. Their pulse will quicken as well. Always seek guidance from your veterinarian as soon as your dog displays signs of pain.

Dogs Breathing Fast – How many lungs does a dog have?

Dogs have one left lung and one right lung, much like people. The lungs have several lobes, although we frequently visualize them as a single sac.

The left lung has two lobes, and its cranial lobe consists of two other halves, but only partially. The right lung, in contrast, has four lobes: the accessory, caudal, middle, and cranial. It is not like a person’s lungs! People’s right lungs have three lobes, compared to the left’s two.

Your dog is the expert on them. Therefore, there may not be an apparent cause for alarm if the breathing is rapid. Panting may be a symptom of stress, pain, or an underlying medical condition, such as heart failure.



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