9 reasons puppy’s breathing 100-200 fast breaths per minute while sleeping: 8 weeks or older

If you suddenly hear your puppy breathing 100 to 200 breaths per minute while sleeping, it’s no wonder you start to worry.

Whether you need to worry or not depends on things we’ll walk you through in this article. 

The good news is there is a significant chance it is happening because of the sleep stage that your puppy is in. Yes, they’re more likely to be breathing fast during the fourth stage of a REM cycle. 

cute puppy in front of a window

As they’re growing, they’ll need increasing oxygen levels. It may just be another reason why it’s going on. 

Keep reading to understand whether you need to worry and call a vet. Hopefully, you will have discovered by the end of the article that you’re dog is fine

However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your furry friends. 

Keep observing them. There is cause for concern if the fast breathing goes on for more than 10 minutes of your dog’s sleeping. It may seem weird to you, but there’s often no reason for concern. It’s especially the case if the puppy breathes 50 to 70 breaths per minute.

It’s natural for you to worry if you think they’re hyperventilating.

Here’s what we’ll be going through:

Table of Contents

Why is my puppy breathing so fast? Should I worry?

As the owner of a puppy, you know certain things are inevitable. However, peace and quiet are something you’ll only experience as they’re sleeping. 

Let’s be honest. We all find it very therapeutic and relaxing when our little ones go to sleep in front of us. 

To ensure nothing is going on out of the ordinary, we encourage you to read the reasons for the fast breathing. 

Is it normal for puppies to breathe fast?

The good news is that you often don’t need to worry if your puppy is breathing fast while sleeping.

However, there are situations where it could happen because of underlying medical conditions. 

Should you worry or not worry? You’ll get a list of the potential medical reasons to help you better determine whether or not it’s time to call the vet. 

Again, if you’re concerned, you’re better off calling. 

How many breaths per minute is normal for a dog that’s sleeping?

adorable puppy

Fur parents can easily obsess over the smallest things regarding their babies. After all, you spent a long time finding and caring for them.

Like humans, dogs also dream. It can sometimes get rowdy. They’re probably thinking about all the love you’re giving them! 

Vivid dreams can significantly impact their breathing, and they can turn it both fast and heavy. 

We have it in common with our furry friends that our dreams go through four stages of sleep. REM is one of those stages and includes rapid eye movement. 

Why is my sleeping puppy breathing so fast?

That particular sleep stage has other physiological changes associated with it. Irregular breathing and affected heart rates are just some of them. 

Hearing your dog breathing 100 times per minute could be an indication that they have a crazy dream. 

Howling and twitching are other physiological reactions they could have when going through the REM stage. 

Faster breathing is also a normal part of the developmental process of your tiny friend. They’re going through a tumultuous time where their bodies are growing. 

If you think back to the time you were a child, you can probably remember the aches associated with growing. 

During times of sleep, we recover. Our bodies recover, and our furry friends are no different. They spend their days running around and goofing. It’s only normal for them to need some time off.

Faster breathing also allows for higher oxygen levels to enter the body.

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This elevated bed is a nice way to make sure your friend is comfortable.

Do Puppies Breathe Faster than dogs?

Puppies are more active than older dogs, which is why it’s normal for them to breathe faster. The physical exertion will take some time for them to recover from. 

Higher levels of fear and anxiety are other reasons it may be more normal for them to be breathing at a more rapid pace. 

Puppy Breathing 100-200 breaths per minute While Sleeping

sleeping puppy

Let’s go through the various reasons your puppy is breathing so fast.

  • Fear
  • Physical exertion
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Food poisoning
  • Kennel cough
  • Heart disease
  • The temperature in the house
  • The breed

Fear or anxiety

Puppies go through a lot of new situations during these early times. For that reason, it’s not unlikely that they’re experiencing a certain level of fear or anxiety. They’re meeting new friends, learning new faces, and getting used to your setting rules.

All these may contribute to a certain level of anxiety for your furry friend. Anxiety can be why they wake up with their hearts racing as they’re processing everything in their dreams.

If you were going through what they’re going through, you might also turn out to be a bit more anxious than normal. An 8-week-old puppy may be breathing fast while sleeping as he’s just been separated from their moms and other dogs they know. It will take some time to adjust. Fear and anxiety are sure reasons that can initially affect their sleep. 

Physical exertion

Watch your puppy, and you’ll see they tend to fall asleep right away as they’re done playing. Dogs do not sweat and have other ways of dealing with exertion than we do. Rapid breathing or panting is their way of de-escalating from all the excitement they experienced. 

Puppies often fall asleep straight after playing, so it can take them 10 minutes to get back to baseline. They’re simply trying to catch their breath and get rid of some of that excess heat that accumulated. 

Respiratory conditions

The fast and shallow breathing could be caused by respiratory conditions also. Their windpipe is called a trachea, and it could collapse. If that happens, you’ll see that your dog starts experiencing symptoms, including rapid breathing.

Some dog breeds are more prone to this hereditary condition. Here are some of the dogs that experience it most commonly:

  • Chihuahuas
  • Lhasa Apsos
  • Pomeranians
  • Shiz Tzus
  • Toy Poodles
  • Yorkshire Terriers

It’s also possible that your dog has an asthma session. Irritants can cause inflammation, and the windpipe ends up swollen as a consequence. Labored breathing or panting could be cause for concern. In those situations, it’s better to call a vet.

Food poisoning

Puppies don’t have the caution that older dogs do; honestly, most dogs will eat anything regardless. However, given their curious nature, puppies are especially prone to food poisoning.

Fur parents need to be observant when it comes to stuff their babies can’t eat. Food and plants that are toxic to dogs need to be removed. You’ll see the puppy pee, poo, and vomit everywhere if they get anything toxic. However, it could also cause excessive, fast breathing. 

It’s especially common if they’ve consumed onions, garlic, or chocolates. 

Kennel cough

Constricted upper airways can result in fast breathing, and Kennel Cough could be the reason. Consult a vet if you also believe the puppy has a fever.

Heart disease

Congenital heart problems could also cause the situation, and rapid breathing may just be the first symptom. If you start experiencing other symptoms, it’s time to call a vet.

Here are other symptoms to look out for:

  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Change in behavior

The temperature in the house

We went over the fact that dogs don’t sweat but get rid of a lot of excess heat through their mouths. Panting or rapid breathing could be a way that they’re indicating you should be turning on the AC to make them feel more comfortable. It’ll often be associated with sweating their paw pads. 

Their normal temperatures range from 101°F to 102.5°F. Maybe you live in a place that’s extremely warm, or perhaps Colorado is having a really hot summer. A change in body temperature of a couple of degrees could cause your furry friend to have heat stroke. 

The breed

Some breeds are different from others, but they have relatively small lungs. Their developing diaphragms also cause them to breathe faster. 

While other breeds are more likely to outgrow this behavior, it’s common for it to persist in brachycephalic breeds. More mature dogs will grow bigger lungs and won’t need to breathe as quickly. 

The shortened skulls and snouts could be the reason you see the behavior. It’s particularly common in these types of dogs: 

  • Boxers
  • Shih Tzus
  • French Bulldogs
  • Pugs
  • Pekingese

Panting and rapid breathing is more common as their airways are very restricted. 

Are you an owner of one of the breeds mentioned above? It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with what’s normal to be able to distinguish between normal and abnormal breathing patterns. Boxers and German Shepherds will all have different behavioral and breathing patterns.

Decreased physical activity, coughing, vomiting, and retching are behaviors you should always be on the lookout for. 

Pain and breathing problems

Be on the lookout for things that may indicate that your puppy is in pain. Moaning, coughing, and lethargy are common indications. Excessive drooling is another situation that could indicate a health issue. 

Puppy Breathing 200 breaths per minute sleeping

The normal breathing rate of your puppy will be upwards of 40 breaths per minute as they’re resting. However, those same numbers do not apply as they’re either dreaming or relaxing after exercise.

At those points, your puppy could breathe as much as 200 to 400 breaths per minute to get rid of some heat. They’re excited beings, and maybe it’s been warm outside. 

They usually have thicker coats of fur than we do, and the heat can accumulate for that very reason.

Other symptoms to look out for

It’s always good to be mindful of whether your dog is coming down with some type of disease. The most common signs you’ll see include

  • Pale gums
  • Prolonged rapid breathing
  • Panting during daytime
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Anti-social behavior
  • Fatigue
  • Changes to their appetite

Checking their temperature is always a good idea. 

Panting vs. breathing heavy

Panting and heavy breathing are two different things. If you see that their mouth is partially open as it’s ongoing, it’s panting. 

Heavy breathing will occur when their mouth is closed. You’ll see their stomachs move up and down more than usual during heavy breathing. 

What is the respiration rate of a normal dog?

Underneath, you can find the respiration rate of a normal dog. That is not to say there aren’t factors that could change it. However, these are numbers that would usually be the case in resting situations that may not include temporary REM sessions. 

Resting Respiratory Rate15 – 40 breaths per minute
26-50 lbs Resting Respiratory Rate20 – 30 breaths per minute
51-75 lbs Resting Respiratory Rate15 – 20 breaths per minute
76-100 lbs Resting Respiratory Rate10 – 15 breaths per minute
> 100 lbs Resting Respiratory Rate10 – 15 breaths per minute

When should I worry about dog panting?

Your dog is like a little child, and it’s important to use good judgment. While you can’t run to the vet every two days, knowing something could be wrong is important. If the behavior seems to continue, it could be time you take them in for a general health check. 

There may be signs that indicate something more serious is happening. While we would love to speak dog language and be able to ask them, it’s not always that obvious.

DISCLAIMER: WE DO NOT OFFER MEDICAL ADVICE. APPROACH A VET IF YOU BELIEVE ANYTHING IS WRONG.

Have you wondered whether any of these reasons could be causing the situation?

  • The breed
  • The house temperature
  • Heart disease
  • Food poisoning
  • Physical exertion

FAQ

Do puppies breathe faster when they sleep?

Yes, they do. It’s especially the case when they’re going through REM sleep.

Are puppies supposed to breathe fast?

It can help alleviate a bunch of issues when they do.

Do dogs breathe faster than humans?

Without the ability to sweat, it’s only normal that dogs breathe faster than humans. Besides getting rid of excess body heat, it also helps stabilize their oxygen level.