Why is my puppy breathing fast while sleeping?

puppy resting in a dog bed outdoors

The question many people ask is why is my puppy breathing fast while sleeping? Puppies can sleep a lot, which is why it’s not unusual for them to sleep eighteen hours a day. Sometimes they snore while they’re asleep and sometimes they can even breathe fast. This may be an indication of a problem with their breathing or other medical condition that needs to be addressed by a vet. But it can also be completely normal.

It’s important to know the difference between normal puppy snoring and abnormal breathing. Read further for some information about breathing in puppies.

Why is my puppy breathing fast while sleeping?

It’s important to know the difference between normal puppy snoring and abnormal breathing, so here we present some information about breathing in puppies. The nose is the primary tool for air intake for both dogs and cats. The lining of the nostrils traps odors from the environment, which is why dogs have wet noses. When this area gets clogged up, then dogs exhibit symptoms like sneezing or even nasal discharge. But the most common problem is a respiratory infection caused by viruses and bacteria which can settle in the nose, throat and lungs.

Some signs of a respiratory infection include: coughing, sneezing, foaming at the mouth, upper-respiratory depression (i.e. lethargy, wheezing), difficulty breathing, increased heart rate.

In these cases it’s very important to check the dog over for any foreign object that may be lodged in their throat and blocking breathing, or to see if there are any puncture wounds from something like a stick or other sharp object. If either of these things occur then you should get the dog to a veterinarian immediately.

What is a normal breathing rate for a puppy?


dog resting in a shaded outdoor area

A normal breathing pattern would be 15-40 breaths per minute, sometimes even up to 50 breaths per minute. This includes normal sleeping periods and times when the puppy is awake. During sleep, the puppy’s breathing rate can increase as much as three times its sleeping state.

Some puppies breathe a lot faster than others without showing any signs of distress or illness. However there are some early warning signs of an underlying illness. If your puppy’s breathing changes or if you notice a higher than usual sleeping state, then he needs to go to the vet.

Why is my puppy doing wheezy sounds?

It is normal for puppies to sometimes make a wheezing sound when they breathe, and this may appear as snoring. When your puppy breathes in, the sound can be compared to the sound of a vacuum cleaner. Normally, a wheezing puppy will also show signs of distress on his face as well, such as head-shaking or movement in an attempt to get comfortable.

The majority of puppies will have periods where they make these wheezing sounds while sleeping. It is nothing to be surprised about. However, your puppy should be evaluated by a vet if these periods become more frequent, or if persistent.

How much do puppies sleep in a day?


Puppies can sleep around 18 hours per day because they learn a lot of new stuff and their brains are developing. But there are usually periods where puppies wake up and sniff around. These periods can be as short as 10 minutes, but usually longer depending on their age.

How can you help your puppy sleep at night?

A lot of people have trouble getting their puppies to sleep at night. A few things that can help are the following.

Exercise more during the day

If your puppy is a restless sleeper and won’t shut their eyes, try giving them more exercise during the day so they’ll sleep better at night. Or you could try playing white noise in the background. For example leaving the TV on for some background noise. This should help your pet get to sleep in no time.

Get your dog a big comfortable dog bed

If you want your dog to breathe normally and sleep well, then it’s very important that they are able to lie down comfortably. The sleeping position of dogs is often based on breeding. For example, hounds (scent-driven) will curl up together in groups whereas herding dogs prefer to be on their own. Whatever your dog’s instincts, make sure they have a large comfortable bed and room to stretch out without feeling cramped.

Make sure their body temperature is right

A dog will sleep soundly if its body is kept at an ideal temperature of between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter you can get pets warm by wrapping them in a blanket or using a heating pad. In the summer, keep them from getting too hot by allowing an air-conditioned space or by providing cooling mats with fans.

Let your dog sleep where they feel safe

The best place for any dog to sleep is in a spacious area where they feel safe and secure and can see what’s going on around. If they’re nervous about being alone you could get them a companion pet. Dogs are naturally social animals and will get lonely if left on their own for too long.

Sleep with your puppy

I welcome you to sleep with your puppy or provide an awesome bed next to where you typically sleep. This is the best way to make sure they get enough sleep and avoid waking up in the middle of the night. This is only recommended if you are okay with your dog sleeping in your bed or bedroom.


In summary, it’s important to know the difference between normal puppy snoring and abnormal breathing so that you can contact a veterinarian if you notice anything out of the ordinary. A normal breathing rate for a puppy is 15-50 breaths per minute. If he’s breathing at a rate of greater than 100 times per minute, it may be time to seek medical help. If you are concerned about your puppy’s breathing, contact your veterinarian for advice. I hope this article answered your questions about why your puppy is breathing fast while sleeping.

Now that you know the answer, get yourself and your puppy a good night’s sleep! 🙂

Gabriel Smith

Hello, my name is Gabriel and I LOVE to sleep. Okay, you’re right, a lot of people do like sleep. But my passion is actually not sleeping. My interest lies in the “theoretical part”. What to do before bedtime. What a good night’s sleep is. etc. In short, how to sleep well. I hope you share the same interest as me, and enjoy reading everything about sleep.

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