Is My Dog Breathing Too Fast? (And Why!)

When your dog begins taking deep breaths and showing signs of discomfort, it can become an alarming sight.

You will want to know what’s going on and what has caused the dog to start breathing quickly all of a sudden.

This is a common sight and it’s important to pay attention to your dog during this period. Start by asking, is my dog breathing too fast?

Your dog is breathing too fast if it’s noticeable when the dog is resting. This is a medical problem and a sign of an underlying respiratory condition. Many dogs will also display additional symptoms including fatigue, twitching eyelids, pale gums, and physical distress. This is often associated with conditions such as fluid in the lungs or a heat stroke.

You are highly recommended to consult with a vet to figure out what’s causing the respiratory distress in your dog.

Here is a look at the main signs your dog is breathing too fast.

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Signs Your Dog Is Breathing Too Fast

1. Heavy Panting

The common breathing rate for dogs is set at 15-35 breaths per minute.

If a dog is breathing 50 times a minute, this is a sign of respiratory distress and should be assessed in greater detail.

To start, you will want to make sure the dog is panting heavily. This includes assessing how the chest is moving and whether or not the dog was just running around. Sometimes, a dog has simply increased its heart rate and requires oxygen leading to heavy breathing for a few minutes.

However, if this is happening at rest then it’s time to start counting the dog’s breaths.

You will want to count to see exactly how many breaths the dog takes within a minute. If it is over 35, you will want to move on to the next step.

With a dog breathing fast while resting, this is a sign something is wrong. You should always observe a dog’s breathing patterns when it is resting as that is when the dog shouldn’t be uncomfortable or out of breath.

Is my dog breathing too fast

2. Noticeable Chest Movement

You will now want to see if the dog is breathing from the stomach.

This means do you see the dog’s stomach moving in and out rapidly? This is a common sign the dog is putting a lot of energy into taking in as much oxygen as possible.

With a dog breathing quickly, you will want to get on top of things immediately. Otherwise, it can lead to further respiratory distress and long-term medical issues.

Always look for the chest movement and if it is noticeable then move on to the next step.

3. Pale Gums

If a dog is breathing fast through the nose, you should take the time to inspect its gums.

The dog’s gums can often paint a picture as to how the dog is feeling and whether or not there is a lingering health issue that might have gone unnoticed.

If the gums are blue, dark red, or pale, this is a sign something is wrong. The dog might be dealing with some form of a respiratory condition that is now making its oxygen levels drop dramatically.

Always pay attention to the gums in situations such as these because they do tell a lot about a dog’s labored breathing.

Is my dog breathing too fast

4. Twitching Eyelids

You will also want to take a look at the eyelids.

If a dog’s eyelids are starting to twitch and it can’t seem to focus its eyes, this might mean there is an underlying respiratory condition in play.

The body attempts to calm down in a situation such as this and that can lead to situations where the eyelids twitch. When combined with labored breathing and pale gums, you will likely be dealing with fluid in the lungs or some other medical condition.

It’s best to consult with a vet to see what the root cause is once you start seeing 1-2 of the symptoms listed here.

Final Thoughts

Is my dog breathing too fast?

Your dog is breathing too fast if it is taking more than 35 breaths per minute. A healthy breathing rate for dogs is 15-35 breaths per minute. Anything beyond this point might signal respiratory distress including fluid build-up in the lungs or a heat stroke.

It’s highly recommended to consult with a vet for further diagnosis. Sometimes scans are required to see what’s going on with the lungs.

This is a good way to have peace of mind when it comes to feeling as healthy as possible. Otherwise, the dog’s condition will worsen as time goes on.

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