8 week Old Puppy Breathing Fast While Sleeping: 9 Reasons Why

Many puppies are separated from their mothers at the age of 8 weeks. They look very vulnerable and delicate, and you spend most of your time checking on him to ensure he is fine. You then notice that your 8-week-old puppy is breathing fast while sleeping, and you are now wondering what is wrong with him.

Read on to know why your 8-week-old puppy is breathing fast and when you should be concerned.

How Fast Is Normal?

You cannot know whether your dog is breathing fast if you do not know the normal breathing rate of a puppy. A puppy and an adult differ in their breathing rate. Also, factors like temperature and exercise can determine the rate of breathing.

As per the Animal Emergency Center, a puppy will breathe more frequently, between 15 and 40 breaths per minute. However, an adult dog will breathe at a slower rate of 10 to 30 breaths per minute. Check the number of breaths your dog takes in 60 seconds to check if they are breathing quickly. This will enable you to decide whether you need to be concerned. 

Why Is My 8-Week-Old Puppy Breathing Fast While Sleeping

Your puppy can breathe fast for several reasons like; upper and lower respiratory issues, puppy heatstroke, food poisoning, anemia, puppy exertion, pulmonary edema, trachea collapse, or if he is a brachycephalic breed.

1. Upper Respiratory Issues

Your pet may breathe more quickly while sleeping if they have certain upper respiratory conditions like kennel cough. Additionally, if your dog coughs during the night, it may be difficult for him to sleep because of rapid breathing.

2. Lower Respiratory Issues

If your dog has a lower respiratory condition like bronchitis or pneumonia, he may breathe more quickly at night. These illnesses can be identified by laborious breathing and an increased effort to breathe.

3. Puppy heatstroke

As their body temperature rises, pups pant and breathe rapidly to bring it down. A dog can suffer heatstroke if it becomes overheated, especially on warm days.

When it’s hot outside, you should keep your puppy indoors as much as possible and provide them with continual access to fresh water. Additionally, taking your puppy for a walk in the cooler evenings or early mornings is a good idea.

4. Brachycephalic breed

Due to their tiny airways, brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds like pugs, bulldogs, and boxers typically breathe fast, snore, wheeze, and even pant while sleeping.

Furthermore, little breeds typically breathe more quickly than huge dogs do. Therefore, if your puppy routinely experiences breathing issues or symptoms mentioned earlier while sleeping, it’s crucial to talk to your veterinarian.

5. Puppy exertion

Your puppy may still be cooling off while resting if they have just returned from a vigorous play session or long walk. Dogs pant and breathe rapidly to control their body temperature because they don’t sweat as humans do.

6. Anemia

Anemia is a blood disorder that develops when your dog’s immune system decides to target its red blood cells. As a result, a dog can breathe more quickly to make up for low levels of these cells since they transport oxygen throughout the body.

7. Puppy food poisoning

Some foods, like onions, garlic, chocolate, avocado, and food containing xylitol, are just a few of the foods that are poisonous to pups. They can be lethal to your pup, even in modest amounts.

Some warning signs of dog food poisoning include lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, excessive drooling, or fast breathing. Call a veterinarian immediately if you think your puppy might have ingested something harmful, especially if your 8-week-old puppy is breathing fast while sleeping.

8. Pulmonary edema

The condition known as pulmonary edema, which manifests as rapid breathing, coughing, wheezing, blue lips or tongue, trouble breathing, open mouth breathing, cracking noises when breathing, and collapse, is caused by a buildup of fluid in the lungs of your puppy.

9. Tracheal collapse

Breathing can become fast or quick if your puppy’s trachea (windpipe) collapses since it will be much harder for air to enter and exit their lungs. A dry cough is another red sign of tracheal collapse.

Although older dogs tend to have this illness more frequently, puppies can also get it. Breeds, including Yorkshire terriers, Chihuahuas, and Pomeranians, are highly susceptible to tracheal collapse.

3 Simple Things You Can Do for Your Puppy if You Think Is Breathing too Fast

1. Eliminate Any Sources of Stress

If you think something is making your puppy overly excited or anxious, get rid of the source or move the puppy far from it.

Depending on the dog, it might be anything, including a strange visitor staying at the house, an automobile, weird noises, or music. Take your puppy to their favorite resting place, and ensure it’s a calm, cool environment.

2. Ensure That Your Puppy Is Not Dehydrated

The body might experience a lot of stress due to dehydration.

Sadly, most owners are diligent enough when giving their puppies their food, but they frequently forget to give them water.

Ensure your puppy eats and drinks according to their schedule, and take them out for their regular potty break before bed.

3. Visit A Vet

If the above approaches are not working, you should call your vet, as he will help you rule out any health issues. Fast breathing is a typical symptom of respiratory disease or heart complications which could be why your 8-week-old puppy is breathing fast while sleeping.

Rapid Breathing vs. Panting

A puppy can start panting after breathing fast for some time. However, this does not necessarily imply that your dog has any problems. If you want to know whether or not your dog is in danger, you should apply the logics we discussed above.

Although breathing fast in puppies is nothing to worry about, you should always take your puppy to the veterinarian if you think they are ill or have any other concerns about their health.

This is particularly true if they also display symptoms like reduced appetite, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea.

What Does Rapid Puppy Breathing Look Like?

A puppy breathing fast while sleeping will make tiny noises while inhaling and exhaling. Additionally, their tummy will quickly enlarge and contract.


It is common for puppies to breathe fast while sleeping. These can be caused by several reasons like health issues, exercise, environmental issues, or when they are dreaming.

I hope this article will help you determine whether your puppy’s breathing rate is normal. However, do not hesitate to call your vet if you are unsure or have any other health concerns. 

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