Last Updated on May 25, 2023 by

Why is my puppy breathing fast while sleeping? Learn more here! Typically, getting a puppy is an exciting and enjoyable experience. When caring for a puppy, several circumstances worry and alarm pet parents.

Observing their adorable puppy breathing while sleeping causes new puppy parents to have frequent anxiety. Do you need to worry? Is this standard?

Continue reading to learn more about how puppies breathe, why they can be breathing quickly while sleeping, whether this should worry you, and what to do if you discover your puppy breathing quickly while sleeping.

Understanding Your Puppy’s Respiration System

It’s crucial to understand what a puppy should normally be breathing before we can declare that they are living “too quickly.” A puppy’s resting respiratory rate is typically between 15 and 40 breaths per minute. This is more frequent than an adult dog’s resting breathing rate, which ranges from 10 to 30 breaths per minute. Because they are growing and need more oxygen to support their rapid metabolism and cellular growth, puppies breathe more deeply during rest than adult dogs.

While your dog is asleep, it’s easiest to gauge its respiration rate. The puppy must be asleep for this to be the same as lying down. Set a timer for 60 seconds and count the times your puppy’s chest rises and falls as they breathe while sleeping to determine its respiratory rate. In this manner, you may be confident that they are not breathing rapidly because they have just completed playing, are enthusiastic, are overheated, etc.

Why is My Puppy Breathing Fast While Sleeping?

You shouldn’t be concerned if your puppy breathes between 15 and 40 times per minute because this is a typical rate.

There are a few potential causes if your puppy’s respiratory rate is more significant than usual. Some are absolutely risk-free, while others could necessitate talking to your veterinarian. Here are a few typical explanations for your puppy’s rapid respiration while dozing:

Why is My Puppy Breathing Fast While Sleeping?

Recent Play or Exercise

Why is my puppy breathing fast while sleeping? The most frequent cause of a puppy’s rapid breathing during slumber is from a recent play session. Your puppy needs more oxygen than usual to replace their cells after just finishing playing with a new toy, running after you in the living room, or jumping on other animals. This is a typical and unproblematic reason for a puppy’s rapid breathing. If this is the cause of your puppy’s rapid breathing, it will start to slow down as it rests, usually within the first 10 to 15 minutes. 


Your puppy may merely exhale quickly to lose heat if they sleep outside on a warm day, are resting next to a heat source like a heating pad, are within a warm enclosure, or have just finished playing out. Dogs can dissipate heat most effectively by panting or breathing rapidly.

Since pups are more prone to heat stroke, action should be taken to cool them down if you feel this is the cause of your puppy’s excessively rapid breathing. To assist them in cooling off, lower the heat, take the heating pad off, direct a fan in their direction, and/or take them into the air conditioning. Make sure they have sufficient water at all times.


Dreaming is arguably the cutest explanation for a puppy’s rapid breathing during sleep. Yes, just like us, puppies dream! These dreams occur during REM sleep, along with other physiologic changes, including a rise in heart rate. Puppies with rapid breathing fits often exhibit different symptoms of a vivid dream, such as twitching and whimpering or wailing. If you spot these symptoms in your puppy, there’s no need to wake them up, but you can quickly check to ensure they’re only dreaming by gently waking them up and observing whether the quick breathing slows down.

Fear or Anxiety

Cortisol, the hormone in charge of the fight-or-flight response, will rise in reaction to emotions like stress, anxiety, and terror. This hormone will increase heart rate, which will therefore cause breathing rates to grow as well. Puppies’ stress levels might increase when they move into a new home, and they could feel a little anxious after being separated from their mother and other puppies in the litter. Once a puppy is soundly asleep, the stress response usually goes away, and with time, your dog will adjust to their new home and family.

Abnormal Causes of Fast Breathing in Puppies

After discussing the typical causes of a puppy’s rapid breathing when sleeping, let’s move on to some possible reasons for concern:

  1. Pain or Injury

Puppies are as charming as they are clumsy, and tragically, they occasionally injure themselves. Due to their small size, they can accidentally be dropped, kicked, or walked on. Your puppy will breathe faster if they are in pain. Typically, a limp or even a swollen area can alert you to your puppy’s discomfort. Your puppy should be examined by a veterinarian if this is the probable reason so that they can administer safe, effective pain medication and any other treatments your puppy may require.

  1. Heart Illness

Puppies can occasionally be born with congenital heart problems. Your puppy’s heart is one big pump inside the uterus, with gaps between its four chambers. These openings should seal during birth, directing blood to the lungs or the rest of the body. The injured puppy may develop a murmur and an inadequate heartbeat if one of these holes doesn’t shut. Puppies may also have weak or weak heart valves or abnormally small blood veins.

  1. Lung Conditions

Puppy breathing fast, what does it mean? Compared to adult dogs, puppies have weakened immune systems. As a result, they are prone to airway infections and illnesses, including pneumonia, influenza, kennel cough, and others. These conditions prevent the lungs from adequately exchanging carbon dioxide and oxygen. Therefore, puppies with lung disease must breathe more quickly to compensate for their decreased oxygen intake with each breath. Your puppy’s ability to breathe correctly will get more challenging as these infections worsen.

What to do About Your Heavy Breathing Puppy 

Puppy Heavy Breathing, What, Why, When?

My puppy heavy breathing. It is unnecessary to take immediate action if you see your puppy breathing rapidly while it is dozing.

Count how many times they breathe in 60 seconds after ensuring they are asleep and not just lying down. If the number exceeds 40, keep an eye on them to see if it starts to slow down after about 10 minutes. If your puppy was playing or nervous before going to sleep, its respiratory rate should have slowed. Keep an eye out for any additional indications that they may be dreaming, such as twitching or making noises.

When the respiration rate remains elevated for longer than 10-15 minutes after they have fallen asleep and you don’t observe any other signs of dreaming, it may be a clue that something more severe is going on in the background. Making sure they aren’t too hot at this time, especially if it’s hot where they are sleeping, and ensuring they have plenty of access to water are also wise decisions. Make sure their gums are pink and healthy-looking.

Your puppy should be examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible if you see pale gums or any other symptoms of sickness, such as lethargy, weakness, a loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, a swollen tummy, fleas, limping, etc. As illness and disease can progress quickly in puppies, it is not advised to wait more than a day for a veterinary appointment. If this is necessary, take your puppy to the emergency clinic.

Puppy Breathing Fast While Sleeping: Puppy Heavy Breathing

In summary, it isn’t something to worry about if your puppy isn’t exhibiting any other disease symptoms and you see them breathing quickly while sleeping. Give your lovable dog a thorough examination, and always call a vet if you spot anything unusual, just in case.

Apart from that if you want to know about Tips For Sleeping Soundly then please visit our Pets category.