Why Is My Dog Breathing Heavy? (At Night, While Sleeping, After Throwing Up)

Why Is My Dog Breathing Heavy

If your dog has been sick it is only natural to keep a watchful eye on them to make sure they are okay.


If they have been throwing up it is paramount to watch what happens afterwards to know if you should notify a veterinarian or just let your dog rest.


And while the rest you may notice they are breathing heavily; it could be an indication of other complications, or it could be completely normal and you just never noticed.


What is Normal Breathing For Dogs?

dog breathing


1. Dogs take between 18 to 34 breaths per minute which are considered the normal range.


If it is on the high end of over 30 breaths per minute it might alarm you, but you can check by counting if it is within the normal range.


Count your dogs’ breathe in a minute or in thirty seconds and multiple by two.


If it is within, it is okay and you can relax but still keep monitoring for some more time as your dog has been sick.


If it is higher than normal you can see how long it lasts for; dogs can be vivid sleepers and their breath can temporarily increase.



2. It is normal for some dogs to breathe deeply or heavily even while sleeping.


It can be due to the age of the dog; younger dogs and puppies breathe a lot faster due to their circulatory system working faster.


This is normal for them.


It would be best to note if their deep breathing is different from normal or has any other symptoms.


Older dogs tend to have slower breathing and deeper breathing could indicate sickness.


When dogs enter REM sleep it is much like how humans do so.


REM is Rapid Eye Movement and it is a deep sleep where the brain shuts down and paralyzes the body aside from essential functions like breathing.


There are physical signs of REM sleep in dogs which include:

  • Rapid Breathing
  • Deep Breathing
  • Paddling
  • Talking
  • Twitching
  • Stretching


These are all normal and should not be of any concern.


3. It can be due to the breed of dog as smaller dogs breathe deeper and faster throughout their lives.


Especially dogs with compressed or flat faces, Brachycephalic dogs, who are predisposed to breathing problems.


Once again it will be best to note if their breathing is different from normal especially after being sick.



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What To Do If You Find It Abnormal?

If it is abnormal you should watch for other symptoms you can share with your veterinarian like a fever.


But one thing you should not do is attempt to wake them up as they can react badly.


If awake they are lethargic, continue throwing up, continue breathing abnormally or simply not themselves.


It is best to call the veterinarian right away.


1. If deep breathing is a symptom it could be an indication of cardiomyopathy or congestive heart failure.


Where deeper breathing is supposed to help increase blood circulation.


2. It may also be anaemia where there are fewer red blood cells and your body requires more oxygen than usual because it is not getting enough.



3. It could also be due to your dog having asthma or any other respiratory illness that makes it hard for them to breathe properly.



4. Or they could just be really hot.


Dogs have no sweat pores and rely on breathing to cool down.


In this case, it helps to keep them in a comfortable environment to see if their breathing gets back to normal.



5. Onion or garlic poisoning can cause your dog to breathe rapidly as a symptom and it comes with vomiting, diarrhea, and excessive salivation.



6. Excessive fluid in the lungs can cause deep breathing to get in enough oxygen, and this is likely to happen after vomiting.


In this case, check your dog’s gums to see if they are blue, it is an indicator for this condition along with low body temperature.


Symptoms Of Illnesses You Should Look Out For

dog with respiratory machine


  • Excessive drooling
  • Coughing
  • Choking
  • Snorting
  • Blue tongue/gums
  • Pale Tongue/gums
  • Excessive thirst
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Different colored urine


All these are red flags for varying illnesses from poisoning to anaemia or even heart disease.


And you should contact your veterinarian if any of these symptoms occur along with heavy breathing in sleep after your dog has thrown up.


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A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.