Why Does My Dog Breathe So Fast When Sleeping? (Is It Dangerous)

Watching your dog sleep is NORMAL, right?

When you’re watching your best friend sleep and you notice their breathing starts to speed up, it’s normal to feel a little worried. The good news is, you don’t necessarily have to be.

But why does your dog breathe so fast when they are sleeping?

If your dog is panting or breaths rapidly in their sleep, they may be experiencing an intense dream, sinus pain/congestion, or allergies.

Some dog breeds breathe more quickly by nature. If a dog wheeze, drools, or pants while resting, concerned pet owners should visit a veterinarian.

It is essential you do not panic, take a deep breath (ba-dum tss) and read our guide below to discover the reasons why your dog might be breathing fast while they are asleep.

How Can I Tell If My Dog is Breathing Too Fast?

The first step is to check if your dog is breathing too fast. The average respiratory rate for a resting dog is 10-30 breaths per minute.

If your dog is breathing fast, it could be a cause for concern.

Reasons My Dog Breathing Fast?

Many things can influence how fast your dog breathes. Here are some of the possible causes:

  • Asthma
  • Lung Diseases such as cancer
  • Exercise
  • Kennel Cough
  • Laryngeal Paralysis
  • Windpipe Issues
  • Bacterial Respiratory Infection
  • Fungal Respiratory Infection
  • Pressure on the Windpipe
  • Stiffening of Airways
  • Smoke Inhalation
  • Breed Characteristics
  • Pain
  • Parasites
  • Pneumonia
  • Compressed Lungs
  • Hernia
  • Heat Stroke
  • Anaemia
  • Nausea
  • Collapsing Windpipe
  • Medication
  • Rapid Eye Movement

Thrilling Dreams

Like us, dogs can have dreams that cause them to move or even cry out in their sleep. These dreams can be so real to your dog, their breathing may change as a result.

You might notice your dog’s legs twitching or their breathing speeding up and slowing down, but there is no need to panic.

Sinus Congestion

If you notice your dog’s breaths have changed or become more rapid, they may be experiencing sinus congestion. This can happen as a result of an infection, allergies, or asthma.

Allergies or Asthma

If you notice your dog has begun to wheeze or cough, it may be suffering from allergies or asthma.

These conditions can cause the airways to become inflamed and narrow, making it harder for your pup to maintain a normal breathing rate.


Your dog might also be heavy breathing as a result of pain. This could be due to an injury, arthritis, or another underlying condition.


Just like people, dogs dream. Sometimes, when they are having a particularly intense dream, your dog’s breathing may speed up.

If you notice that your dog’s breath is laboured or their tongue is hanging out, don’t panic! This could simply be a result of them having a good dream.

Heat Stroke

Dogs can suffer from heatstroke too, just like humans. This occurs when their body temperature rises above the normal levels, leading to dehydration and exhaustion.

If you suspect that your dog is suffering from heatstroke, move them to a cooler environment immediately and give them water.

According to the experts, if they do not recover within 10 minutes of being treated, take them to the vet straight away.


Your dog can also suffer from anaemia which is a condition where the body does not have enough red blood cells.

This can be caused by other issues, including exposure to toxins or parasites, and should be checked by a vet immediately.

If you notice that your dog has started to breathe slower than normal, seek veterinary advice right away.

Fluid in The Lungs

Fluid in the lungs can also cause your dog to breathe faster than normal. This could be due to heart failure, pneumonia, or another respiratory condition.

Heart Failure

Finally, heart failure can also cause your dogs to breathe fast while they are sleeping.

This is due to the fact that their heart is too weak to pump blood around the body efficiently.

They may be suffering from severe heart failure and need emergency care.

Read Here: Why Do Dogs Twitch When Sleeping?

How to Help a Dog Breathe Better?

If you are concerned about your dog breathing quickly, there are a few things you can do to help them:

– Take them to the vet for a check-up

– Keep their sleeping area cool and free from dust

– Avoid taking them for walks in hot weather

– Give them regular baths to help with allergies or asthma

– Keep an eye on their weight and make sure they are not overweight

– Give them plenty of exercises to keep their lungs healthy

What Should I Do If My Dog Is Breathing Fast Whilst Resting?

While your puppy is snoozing, pay attention to whether he or she is breathing fast.

Stomach issues, in conjunction with rapid breathing, might indicate poisoning; while other signs include discolouration of the gums. Similarly, unusual body temperature can signal heart failure or fluid in the lungs.

Should You Wake a Dog Up?

Waking up your dog to see whether or not they were dreaming may be justified, but waking them out of REM sleep can be as disorienting and should be avoided.

If you do rouse them from REM sleep, try to speak softly and reassure them that everything is fine if possible.

When is the Right Time to Contact My Vet About My Dog’s Breathing?

If you are concerned about your dog breathing fast, it is always best to consult with your veterinarian.

They will be able to give you a professional opinion and put your mind at ease.

When contacting your vet, be sure to mention if you have noticed any other changes in your dog’s behaviour such as:

  • Panting heavily
  • Fast or Heavy Breathing
  • Drooling
  • Stuffy Nose
  • Having trouble standing or moving
  • Using their whole abdomen to breath

Your vet will likely want to perform a physical examination and may also order some tests, such as chest x-rays or blood work, to rule out any underlying health conditions.

If your vet does diagnose your dog with allergies or asthma, they will likely recommend some treatment options, such as medication or steroids.

They may also suggest some lifestyle changes, such as switching to a hypoallergenic diet or using an air purifier in your home.

By understanding the possible causes, you can work with your vet to ensure that your dog is breathing as quickly and easily as possible.

How Will the Vet Diagnose the Cause of My Dog’s Fast Breathing?

In order to diagnose the cause of your dog’s fast breathing, your vet will first need to perform a physical examination.

They will likely check your dog’s temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate. They may also listen to their chest with a stethoscope to check for any abnormal sounds.

Your vet may also order some tests, such as chest x-rays or blood work, to rule out any underlying health conditions.

If your vet does diagnose your dog with allergies or asthma, they will likely recommend some treatment options, such as medication or steroids.

Do Certain Dog Breeds Breathe Faster Than Others?

It’s not uncommon for some dog breeds to breathe more quickly than others.

  • Many dogs and certain breeds have narrow nostrils that can cause breathing difficulties.
  • Smaller dogs have a faster resting heart rate, which causes them to respire more rapidly.

Dogs that have pushed their body to the extreme might be more prone to rapid breathing due to overexertion of the respiratory system.

This is common in sporting dogs or working dogs.

Dogs with short noses (brachycephalic breeds) are also more likely to breathe rapidly as they have difficulty getting enough air in through their small nostrils.

Small dogs with fast heart rates often breathe more quickly than larger breeds because their hearts beat faster.

However, this rapid breathing is typical and not a cause for concern.

How Is Fast Breathing in Dogs Treated?

The treatment for a dog’s rapid breathing will depend on the underlying cause.

If your dog is wheezing or coughing, it could be due to an allergy or asthma.

Your veterinarian may recommend changing your dog’s diet, using an air purifier at home, or giving them anti-histamine medication.

What Can I Do to Make My Dog’s Breathing More Comfortable?

There are a few things you might do to make life easier for your dog while he is sleeping.

You’ll want to assess these solutions and pick the one that makes the most sense for both you and your canine companion.

Put Them on a Diet

High-fat meals may cause your dog to gain weight at an alarming rate and have difficulty breathing.

When this happens, they must work harder to catch their breath. This is comparable to obesity-related sleep apnea.

A simple, veterinarian-approved, diet may assist your four-legged companion in losing weight and breathing more easily.

Install an Air Purifier

An air purifier can make a world of difference for your home and, as a result, your dog breathes fast while sleeping.

Not only will an air purifier improve the quality of the air inside your house, but it will also help to remove any irritants that may be causing your dog to have difficulty breathing.

There are a variety of air purifiers on the market, so be sure to do your research to find the best one for your home.

You’ll want an air purifier that is specifically designed to remove pet dander, dust mites, pollen, more oxygen and other allergens from the air.

A good air purifier will make a noticeable difference in your dog’s rapid breathing, making it a worthwhile investment for the health of your pet.

Visit a Veterinarian

If your dog’s fast breathing difficulty is severe or if you’re unsure of the cause, it’s always best to visit a veterinarian.

Your vet will be able to properly diagnose the problem and recommend the best course of treatment.

In some cases, your vet may prescribe medication or steroids to help see your dog sleeping peacefully again.

They may also suggest some lifestyle changes, such as switching to a hypoallergenic diet or installing an air purifier in your home to improve your dog’s sleep cycle.

No matter what, it’s important to follow your vet’s recommendations to ensure that your dog is healthy and breathing easy.

How Can I Help My Dog To Sleep?

There are several things you can do to help your dog sleep better at night (yes even dogs suffer from sleep apnea).

One of the most important things is to feed your dog a healthy diet and refrain from smoking in or around the house.

Whatever steps you take, it’s important to ensure that your dog is comfortable and has a safe place to sleep.

This will help puppies and adult dogs to get the rest they need and breathe more easily throughout the night.


It’s normal for adult dogs to breathe rapidly when they are sleeping, but if you’re concerned about your dog’s fast breathing, it’s always best to check with a veterinarian.

There are a few things you can do to help your dog breathe more easily, such as switching to a hypoallergenic diet or installing an air purifier in your home.

Hopefully, this guide has helped you to understand your furry friend’s breathing habits and how to keep them safe.