Many factors affect breathing in dogs, and some diseases related to unusual breathing in dogs can be life-threatening if not properly treated. Similar to that of humans, canine respiratory system includes the mouth, nose, throat, and lungs. Anything interferes these organs may thus lead to unusual symptoms. These unusual symptoms may occur at any single time and this includes sleeping time. Many dog owners may concern about why their dogs are breathing faster when sleeping or resting.
Fast breathing while sleeping in dogs
Panting and fast breathing in dogs are commonly normal, especially under circumstances, such as warm weather, stress, and exhaustion. They breathe fast in order to get rid of excess heat from the body and re-regulate body temperature
As to fast breathing when they are sleeping with the AC turned on and in not-so-warm weather, there are a few possible risk factors. Some of these are not worrying, while some others might require further attention.
It is common for puppies to have faster heart rates compared to adult dogs. Hence, it is not uncommon for them to breathe faster while sleeping. This fast breathing should slow down as they get older. In addition, small dog breeds also breathe faster than the larger ones. Therefore, if you own a shih-Tzu that breathes faster than a Labrador, this should be normal under as long as there are no other strange symptoms.
Fast breathing in dogs while sleeping may also be a sign that they are dreaming. If a dog is dreaming of running fast or chasing other animals, their heart rates increases, causing faster breathing. Thus, is the dog does not show any other concerning symptoms, occasional fast breathing during their sleep time could possibly be rooted in their dreams.
Short-faced dogs such as bulldogs, shih-Tzu, Pekingese, or pugs are also more susceptible to fast breathing compared to long-faced ones. Because of this reason, it is really crucial to ensure these short-faced breeds do not get overheated, so that their body heat and temperature can be well-maintained.
When is fast breathing while sleeping concerning?
Although occasional fast breathing while a dog is sleeping should not be life-threatening, you might need to examine other symptoms when this fast breathing occurs more frequently. There are some possible reasons why a dog keeps breathing fast while sleeping and some of these can be life-threatening. Knowing the root of this health related problem can help determining proper treatments to prevent unwanted risks.
One of the most common risk factors why a dog is breathing fast is being overweight. When a dog is overweighed, their heart works harder and as a result, they will breathe faster, especially during sleep or rest. To reduce the risk, make sure your dog gets adequate exercises and well-controlled diet, as these significantly affect their body weight and posture.
Heat stroke while sleeping also leads to fast breathing. Although outside temperature may drop during nighttime, your dog’s body temperature might be slightly higher. In certain dogs, this may lead to heat stroke. If you suspect your dog is suffering from heat stroke, take him to the vet immediately.
When a dog suffered from heat stroke, they are going to breathe faster in order to get rid of excessive body heat and temperature. Heat stroke is, unfortunately a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical care
Another possible risk factor of rapid breathing in dogs that requires concern is heart failure. When dogs suffer from congestive heart failure, they may breathe rapidly, as their body is not circulating enough oxygen. Dogs with heart failure do not only breathe rapidly while resting, but may also show intolerance for exercises, which should raise concerns.
Anemia may also lead to rapid dog breathing. This ailment occurs when your dog’s immune system attacks red blood cells that are suspected as foreign objects. Infections that are rooted in tick infestation may also lead to anemia, which decreases red blood cell level. Lower level of red blood cells causes less oxygen in circulation. To respond to this, your dog’s body reacts by increasing respiration that occurs as fast breathing. When your dog is suffering from anemia, other symptoms in addition to rapid breathing commonly occur. Thus, pay attention to weakness, pale gums, and fatigue.
Preventing fast breathing while sleeping in dogs
Although not necessarily life-threatening, fast breathing in dogs does raise some concerns. Therefore, it is very important to perform immediate treatments and preventions to minimize your dog’s susceptibility to this health issue. As this symptom may lead to heart failure and other dangerous ailments, early preventions are essential.
Consider these important steps to manage healthier dog’s life:
- Make sure your dog has easy and adequate access of water in daily basis. Keep their water bowl full, yet change it regularly to prevent bacterial infestation. Teach your dog to drink some water after exercises.
- In order to prevent heat stroke, it is also important to exercise your dog during the cooler part of the day. Hence, morning or evening exercises are recommended.
- Never leave your dog alone in a vehicle, although you keep the engine on. Inside a car, temperature is significantly higher compared to one outside, and this may cause heat stroke in dogs.
- Toxins may also lead to rapid breathing. Hence, it is really important to maintain healthy diet for your dogs. Avoid food that can be risky for dog’s health, such as onions and grapes.