Why Do Dogs Breathe Rapidly?

Dog Health

“Why do dogs breathe fast?” Dog owners don’t often worry about it. The main reason for this is that this behavior in dogs is quite typical and usually does not indicate any problems. Dogs have a tendency to pant in very hot weather, when they have a lot of energy or when they are excited. However, it should be known that this situation has a limit. When saying “the dog is breathing fast” evolves into saying “the dog is breathing too fast” it is important to seek the expertise of veterinarians to identify potential causes. In this article, “why do dogs breathe fast?” You can find information about the answers to the question.

Why Do Dogs Breathe Rapidly?

In general, dogs breathe fast. They regulate their body temperature by breathing rapidly after a long walk or brisk exercise. This behavior exhibited after exercise and play allows dogs, like us, who do not sweat from their skin, to cool their bodies. Still, “why do dogs breathe fast?” There are additional answers that can be given to the question.


Dogs are sensitive creatures that can get stressed for many different reasons. They may become out of breath when exposed to intense stress, anxiety, or fear. Emotional fluctuations are behind the change in the breathing rate of dogs when they experience separation anxiety, fear of car travel or fireworks. It is important to read their body language in order to understand whether the reason for dogs’ rapid breathing is due to stress. If it is known that they are afraid and worried about which situations, it can be easier to stay in a more stable mood by keeping them away from the events or people that trigger this emotional state.

Pain or Restlessness

Dogs are very good at hiding their aches, pains and restlessness. Some dogs can hide their discomfort for a long time without showing them to their owners. However, when their complaints increase significantly and even become unbearable, they can share the first signs with us by breathing rapidly. If the dog is breathing rapidly and additionally shows vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, restlessness, limping or various behavioral changes, then it is important not to delay veterinary examinations. The side effects of some drugs used by dogs can also cause symptoms such as rapid breathing in dogs. It would be beneficial to closely observe the dogs using drugs and to consult veterinarians if side effects of the drugs used occur.

Chronic Diseases

Heart failure, Cushing’s Syndrome and respiratory system disorders can make rapid breathing behavior chronic in dogs. Dogs, like humans, can suffer from heart failure and may exhibit symptoms such as difficulty breathing, decreased exercise condition, and coughing. If the cause of rapid breathing in dogs is heart failure, treatment planning is carried out in line with the cause of the disease. Cushing’s Syndrome, which is characterized by the excessive secretion of cortisol, also known as the stress hormone of the adrenal glands of dogs, can cause symptoms such as rapid breathing, fast hunger and thirst, and hair loss in dogs. In addition to chronic diseases such as heart failure and Cushing’s Syndrome, respiratory system ailments can also be explained by “why do dogs breathe fast?” may raise the question. Pneumonia, lung tumors, and asthma are examples of conditions that affect dogs’ respiratory rates.

Golden Retriever adult dog with tongue out


It is recommended that dogs be kept cool and not exercise more intensely than usual, especially in the summer months. Heat stroke, which can occur with a dangerous increase in the body temperature of dogs, can cause rapid breathing. In this case, dogs should be delivered to veterinarians without wasting time. Depending on how high the body temperature is, it may be necessary to intervene in the dogs within minutes.


Anemia in dogs is a condition characterized by a decrease in red blood cells. The main task of the red blood cells in the blood is to carry oxygen to the body, when these cells decrease in number, the amount of oxygen delivered to the cells will decrease, so dogs may begin to breathe faster than usual. Diagnosis of anemia in dogs can be made with simple blood tests.


Rapid breathing is a common consequence in overweight dogs. Obesity is a disease that puts the health of our friends in danger and carries a life-threatening illness with the diseases it causes. Increased breathing frequency in overweight dogs is a sign that they are struggling to get oxygen into their bodies. For this reason, dogs should eat healthy, exercise regularly, and if they are overweight, they should be changed with the recommendations of veterinarians. You can view Light dog foods by clicking here.

Racial Predisposition

Rapid breathing is common in dogs with short and flat faces, such as the Bulldog, Boxer, Pug, Pekingese, and Shih Tzu. The common problem of these breeds, which are called flat and flat-faced, is that they cannot breathe properly due to the anatomical structures of their faces. This can be observed prominently after eating, getting excited and exercising.

puppies playing in the grass

Call to Game

There may also be very innocent and certainly not dangerous reasons behind the rapid breathing of dogs; Calling to play is one of these reasons. Dog panting can only be a sign of happiness. Dogs can be considered a gentle invitation to play if their rapid breathing is accompanied by a wagging tail, a relaxed mouth, and glowing eyes.

Situations Requiring Consultation with Veterinarians as soon as possible

As mentioned before, there may be many different reasons behind the rapid breathing in dogs, sometimes as an indication of excitement and sometimes as a symptom of chronic diseases, this situation requires urgent referral to veterinarians under certain conditions. If dogs suddenly start breathing rapidly and there is no condition to cause rapid breathing (such as temperature, excitement, stress, and exercise), if the dogs have had an accident, if the rapid breathing has become continuous and intense, if the gums of the dogs are blue, white, or purple. It should not be neglected to contact veterinarians as soon as possible.

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