Why is my dog breathing so hard? Find Out Here

What Causes Heavy Breathing In Dogs?

Since dogs can’t sweat, panting helps keep them cool after exercise or when they are in a hot environment. Certain dog breeds like french bulldogs and pugs may breathe heavier due to their shorter snouts.

However, there are certain conditions and illnesses that can cause heavy breathing in dogs, such as:

  • Respiratory conditions, including chronic bronchitis
  • Fluid in lungs or lung cavity
  • Heart failure
  • Cushing’s syndrome
  • Heatstroke
  • Poisoning from consuming a toxic substance1
  • Side effects of medications
  • Injury2
  • Why is My Dog Breathing So Hard?

    You might have observed your dog breathing heavily when they are at rest, which is not normal. Some breeds, such as the Bulldog, simply have faces that result in heavier breathing. Though, it could also be a sign that something is wrong with your pet. It could be a symptom of various medical conditions, including:

  • Heatstroke
  • Heart failure
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Allergies
  • Old age
  • Asthma
  • Obesity
  • The severity of the breathing depends on the underlying condition causing your dog to breathe hard and fast.

    Why is my dog breathing fast? Is something wrong?

    For you to be able to spot abnormal breathing youll need to understand what a healthy respiratory (breathing) rate for your dog is. A typical healthy dog will take between 15 to 35 breaths per minute while at rest. (Naturally, while exercising, your pooch will breathe much more quickly). So, anything above 40 breaths per minute while your dog is at rest is considered abnormal and certainly worth investigating.

    That said, its important to understand that panting doesnt always mean that theres a problem. Panting is your pups way of regulating their body temperature, cooling themselves down and allowing water and heat to evaporate from their upper respiratory tract, tongue, and mouth.

    Dogs cant sweat to cool themselves down, instead they need to breathe fast to allow air to circulate through their body. Rapid breathing helps your pups body to get back to a normal temperature.

    10 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Breathing Fast

    “Why is my dog breathing fast?” is a fairly common question from dog parents. Sometimes rapid breathing can be normal, but other times it may signal a problem. Integrative veterinarian, Dr. Julie Buzby, puts your mind at ease by explaining how to tell if your dog’s breathing is normal and discussing 10 conditions that may cause your dog to breathe fast.

    As a dedicated dog parent, you may spend a lot of time staring at your adorable dog. So it only makes sense that sometimes you might wonder if what you are seeing is normal. This is especially the case with breathing because your dog’s rate and type of breathing can vary greatly through the day.

    My goal is to help you understand what is “normal” for your dog and when you might need to call a vet. To begin, let’s take a look at my dog, Jake, for a baseline on normal breathing. Table Of Contents