Why is My Dog Breathing So Fast?

Everyone knows it: a dog chases a hare. After this sprint, he lets his tongue hang out of his mouth and panted – that’s completely normal. But breathing too fast can also be a symptom of an illness. Here you will find all the important information about fast breathing in dogs.

Dog Panting: What Does That Mean?

As soon as dogs move around a lot or are exposed to heat, they begin to breathe very quickly – also called panting. Panting means the dog is taking more than about 40 breaths per minute. If a dog panted in its sleep at night, it usually stems from a dream. If breathing does not calm down, this could indicate physical problems.

Dog Breathes Quickly and Briefly

If the fur nose has just come from a walk and has run around wildly, breathing is logically faster than after a nap. A dog’s breath should calm down after about ten minutes.

When it is hot, dogs breathe faster even when they are resting because they cannot sweat. Panting causes the saliva to evaporate in the throat, which creates a pleasant cooling effect. With this kind of breathing – also called panting – a dog breathes quickly, briefly, and shallowly.

Dog Breathes Quickly When Lying Down

An increased breathing rate is only noticeable when the dog is at rest and not under the influence of heat. The dog is breathing quickly and loudly, but hasn’t just run or been in the sun? You should take a closer look here.

How Do I Recognize Panting?

At rest, a dog breathes through its nose and has its mouth closed. He takes about 10 to 40 breaths per minute – one breath means that the chest rises and falls once.

Small dogs breathe faster than big dogs

The exact number is of course different for every dog and also depends on its size. Small dogs tend to breathe faster than large dogs. The best way to count their breaths is with your four-legged friend lying on their side. To do this, put your hand on his ribs. If your darling has a breathing rate of over 40 breaths per minute, breathing is increased. Extreme panting can result in up to 400 breaths per minute. This is not a problem at first – you should be careful if this condition persists for a long time.

What are the Reasons for Panting?

Respiratory diseases

If the dog is breathing quickly and panting too, it may indicate a respiratory disease. But, as already mentioned, only if he does this over a longer period of time. Dogs then pant to reduce pain in any inflamed areas in the mouth or throat.

Dental problems

Problems with your teeth, such as tartar, can also be the reason. Sometimes you can recognize inflamed areas yourself by looking your four-legged friend in the mouth.

Heart disease

Breathing too fast can also indicate heart disease. If the fur nose breathes quickly and trembles, for example, pain could be the cause. Going to the vet cannot hurt in this case.


Heatstroke or sunstroke, which are easy to avoid, can also be the cause of rapid breathing. Another possibility is that the panting is a shock reaction. This usually resolves itself within a short time.

Dog panting in sleep: dreams

Many dog ​​owners observe that their fur nose is panting quickly when they sleep. There is no need to panic here because the most common reason for this is a dream. Dogs dream – like humans – in order to process what they experienced during the day.

My Dog is Panting All the Time – What Should I Do?

  • If you notice that your dog has been panting for longer than 20 minutes, you should react and investigate the cause.
  • Count the breaths per minute. More than 40 are critical!
  • Try to calm him down by petting him and coaxing him well.
  • If breathing does not return to normal within 40 minutes at the latest, contact a veterinarian.
Alice White

Written by Alice White

Alice White, a devoted pet lover and writer, has turned her boundless affection for animals into a fulfilling career. Originally dreaming of wildlife, her limited scientific background led her to specialize in animal literature. Now she happily spends her days researching and writing about various creatures, living her dream.

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