There are few things in the world more exciting than bringing home a new puppy. These adorable balls of energy bring us boundless joy and teeth-weakening cuteness. For all the love and positivity they inspire, these silly fluffy babies can also bring moments of significant stress, inspiring frantic searches like, “Do puppies breathe fast?”

Worry not— rapid breathing in puppies is rarely a cause for concern. We’ll help you identify when you should take a closer look and when you can go about your day without beginning to mirror your puppy’s breathing pace.

A Closer Look at Your Puppy's Breathing

On average, puppies breathe faster than adult dogs. This might seem surprising, but it's generally a normal part of their development. Puppies are little bundles of energy, and they're growing rapidly. This growth requires more oxygen, leading to a faster breathing rate. It's not uncommon for a puppy to take 15 to 40 breaths per minute, while an adult dog might take 10 to 30 breaths per minute.

However, you might observe even faster breathing when your puppy is sleeping. This can be due to REM sleep, a stage of deep sleep where rapid eye movement and rapid breathing occur. If you've noticed your puppy's breathing rate increase during sleep, it's usually nothing to worry about.

Differentiating Normal and Abnormal Puppy Breathing

While fast breathing is common in puppies, it's important to know when it could be a sign of a health issue. Fast, shallow breaths could indicate distress or an underlying health problem. In such a case, your puppy might show additional symptoms like loss of appetite, fatigue, coughing, or a change in behavior.

A non-squeaky dog toy can be a helpful tool to distract your puppy and see if the fast breathing slows down when they are calm. If their breathing doesn't slow down or if they're uninterested in their favorite toy, it could be a sign that a vet check is necessary.

Puppy Health and Fast Breathing

Several conditions can lead to fast breathing in puppies. Pneumonia, heart problems, heatstroke, and distress can all cause a puppy to breathe faster than usual. If your puppy shows signs of fast breathing accompanied by other symptoms, it's crucial to get them to a vet immediately. The vet can help determine the cause and initiate appropriate treatment.

For instance, if a puppy has been outside in the summer heat for too long, it could be suffering from heatstroke. In this case, bringing them inside and offering them cool water could help lower their breathing rate. Dog shampoos for sensitive and itchy skin can also help soothe any discomfort they might be experiencing due to heat rash.

How to Monitor Your Puppy's Breathing

Monitoring your puppy's breathing can help you understand their normal rate and make it easier to identify any changes. A simple way to monitor their breathing is by observing them while they're at rest. Take note of their breathing rate and pattern. If you have a GPS dog collar, you might be able to track their heart rate, which can offer additional insight.

do puppies breathe fast

Steps to Take When Your Puppy is Breathing Fast

If you notice your puppy is breathing fast, first, try to calm them down. Create a quiet environment, and perhaps give them their no-stuffing dog toy to play with. This will help them relax and bring their heart rate down.

Ensure they have plenty of water and aren't overheated. If you're using an electric fence for dogs, make sure it isn't causing them undue stress, leading to faster breathing.

However, if the fast breathing persists, or if it's accompanied by other symptoms like lethargy, coughing, or loss of appetite, it's time to visit the vet. It's always better to be safe and get professional advice.

Factors Influencing Puppy's Breathing

Numerous factors can influence your puppy's breathing rate. Some of them are perfectly natural, while others could point to a health issue. Let's delve deeper into these influencing factors.

Activity Levels and Excitement

Just like us, puppies tend to breathe faster when they're active or excited. It's normal for your pup to take quick breaths during a play session, or when they're exploring a new environment. Once they've calmed down, their breathing should return to a normal rate.


As mentioned earlier, a puppy's breathing can speed up during sleep, particularly during the REM phase. This is when they're dreaming, and you might notice them twitching or whimpering along with their fast breathing.


Heat can also cause a puppy to breathe faster. If it's a hot day or if your pup has been active, they might pant to cool themselves down. However, prolonged, heavy panting could indicate heatstroke, which is a serious condition that needs immediate veterinary attention.

Taking Care of Your Puppy's Respiratory Health

Maintaining your puppy's overall health can go a long way in ensuring their respiratory health.

Regular Exercise

Regular exercise is important for your puppy. It helps them stay fit, keeps their lungs healthy, and regulates their breathing rate. Be careful not to over-exert them, especially in hot weather, as this can lead to heatstroke.

Healthy Diet

A balanced, nutritious diet is also key to your puppy's health. It supports their growth and immune system, helping them fight off illnesses that could affect their breathing.

Regular Vet Check-ups

Regular vet check-ups are essential. They can help identify any potential issues early before they become serious. Always follow your vet's advice regarding vaccinations and treatments.

Proper Training

Training your puppy is also a part of their overall wellbeing. If they're trained properly with an electric fence for dogs, they are less likely to get stressed or anxious, which can affect their breathing.

Quality Products

Choosing quality products, such as a GPS dog collar can help ensure their safety during outdoor adventures. The use of no-stuffing dog toys can provide safe playtime. A suitable dog shampoo, especially dog shampoos for sensitive and itchy skin, can keep their skin and fur healthy, which indirectly contributes to their overall health.

Recognizing Breathing Difficulties in Puppies

Though fast breathing in puppies is generally normal, some situations require prompt attention. Being able to identify signs of respiratory distress in your puppy can help you act fast and potentially save their life.

Difficulty Breathing or Shortness of Breath

If your puppy appears to be struggling to breathe or is taking shallow, rapid breaths, this could be a sign of a problem. They might extend their neck and gasp for air, which is a clear indication that you need to contact a vet immediately.

Change in Tongue or Gum Color

A healthy puppy should have pink gums. If their gums or tongue turn blue or purple, it means they're not getting enough oxygen. This condition, known as cyanosis, requires immediate veterinary intervention.

Persistent Coughing or Choking

While a minor cough isn't usually cause for concern, persistent coughing could indicate a respiratory issue. Likewise, if your puppy is choking or seems to have something stuck in their throat, it's essential to get help right away.

Changes in Behavior or Energy Level

If your puppy is usually energetic but has become lethargic, or if they're behaving unusually, this could be a sign that they're not feeling well. Any drastic changes in behavior or energy level should be taken seriously.

What is Considered Normal Breathing for Puppies?

First of all, it is important to understand what a normal breathing pattern for a young doggy looks like.

According to the Animal Emergency Center, between 15 to 40 breaths per minute is normal for puppies. To count breaths, either watch your puppy’s chest or put a wet finger or small mirror over its nostrils. Count the rate over 15 seconds and multiply by 4. It may be a good idea to do this exercise a few times and calculate the average to get the most accurate sense of your puppy’s regular breathing pattern.

It is worth noting that it is normal for puppies to breathe slightly faster than adult dogs; the AEC denotes normal dog breathing to fall between 10 to 30 breaths per minute.

do puppies breathe fast

Signs of Abnormal Breathing

Now that you know what sort of breathing is entirely normal for your puppy, let’s shift gears to signs that truly merit concern. If you notice the symptoms below, call your vet or seek medical attention for your dog:

  • The abdomen expands instead of the chest with each breath
  • Breathing with an open mouth but not panting
  • Loud gasping sounds
  • Extremely rapid or slow, labored breaths

For context on these issues, the veterinarian website Vets Now describes, “Difficulty or labored breathing is known as dyspnoea, and excessively fast breathing is called tachypnea.” Dyspnoea can come about from everything from swallowing a ball to lung cancer to an injured chest wall. Meanwhile, causes of tachypnea include chocolate poisoning, stress, fear, bronchitis, and being a smushy-faced, or brachycephalic, dog. The danger, according to Vets Now, is that “tachypnea may progress to dyspnea so it should never be ignored.”

If your puppy has additional symptoms including pale gums, a runny nose, unusual fatigue, fever, or coughing, do not dismiss the rapid breathing: Seek medical attention.

According to PetMD, “Owners should get a feel for what is normal for their dogs before any health problems develop. From observing your dog’s normal behavior — how does your pup breathe when he’s playing versus when he’s at rest? — you will be able to identify if something goes awry.

Nurturing Your Puppy: More Than Just Monitoring Breathing

While understanding and monitoring your puppy's breathing is important, nurturing a puppy involves much more. Ensuring they're well-fed, properly trained, and appropriately socialized is vital. It's also crucial to provide them with safe and engaging toys to help them learn and grow.

Consider investing in non squeaky dog toys for quiet playtimes and no stuffing dog toys to avoid potential choking hazards. Regular grooming is equally important, and using a gentle dog shampoo for sensitive and itchy skin can keep your puppy looking and feeling their best.

Safeguarding Your Puppy’s Environment

As a pet parent, your job doesn’t end at monitoring your puppy’s health. It also includes creating a safe environment for them. If you have an electric fence for dogs, make sure it is properly installed and that your puppy understands its boundaries. A GPS dog collar is another great tool to ensure your puppy's safety during outdoor activities.

Fast Puppy Breathing: Knowledge Is the Key

To recap, yes, puppies do breathe faster than adult dogs, and it's usually nothing to worry about. However, persistent rapid breathing, especially when combined with other symptoms, should be checked by a vet.

As a pet parent, you want the best for your new furry friend. Understanding their unique needs, including their breathing patterns, is an integral part of caring for them. And remember, when it comes to your puppy's health, there's no such thing as a silly question. It's always better to ask and be safe.

By educating yourself, you're not only unraveling the truth behind the fast breathing of puppies but also becoming the best pet parent you can be. Here's to many happy, healthy years with your furry friend!

Safeguarding Your Puppy with Fi Dog Collars

One of the best ways to ensure your puppy's safety and well-being is by using a reliable tracking device, such as the Fi dog collar. This advanced tool does more than just monitor your pup's location—it also helps you understand their health and behavior, making it an ideal accessory for the discerning pet parent.

do puppies breathe fast

What is a Fi Dog Collar?

The Fi dog collar is a cutting-edge GPS tracker designed to help you keep tabs on your furry friend. But it's not just a location tracker. One of the standout features of the Fi collar is its ability to monitor your dog’s activity levels, including steps taken and overall activity score. This feature can provide valuable insights into your puppy's health and well-being, making it a useful tool for the modern pet parent.

How Can Fi Dog Collars Help Monitor Your Puppy's Breathing?

While the Fi dog collar does not directly measure your puppy's breathing, it helps you keep track of their activity levels. This can indirectly provide insights into their respiratory health. For example, if your pup is usually active but suddenly becomes lethargic, it could indicate they're not feeling well and experiencing respiratory distress. The Fi dog collar allows you to catch such changes early, enabling prompt veterinary attention.

Moreover, with its comprehensive tracking system, the Fi collar can help you understand whether your pup's rapid breathing is due to excitement from playing or a potential health concern. By comparing their activity data with changes in their breathing, you can get a clearer picture of your pup's health status.

Enhancing Your Puppy's Safety

The Fi dog collar is also a great tool to ensure your puppy's safety during outdoor activities. With its real-time GPS tracking feature, you can keep an eye on your pup, ensuring they don't wander off too far while exploring. This feature is especially helpful if you're using an electric fence for dogs, as you can be sure your puppy stays within the designated boundaries.

Moreover, in case your puppy manages to escape, the Fi dog collar's lost dog mode sends you alerts and updates of your dog’s location, giving you peace of mind that your pet can be found quickly and safely.


In conclusion, understanding your puppy's fast breathing can be crucial in deciphering their health and well-being. While it's often a normal part of their development, persistent rapid breathing alongside other symptoms can signify health issues.

By monitoring their behavior, ensuring a safe environment with an electric fence, tracking their whereabouts with a Fi dog collar, and maintaining their health with appropriate toys and shampoos, you can provide the best possible care for your puppy.

It’s a journey of constant learning, but the companionship and unconditional love make it all worthwhile. Keep your knowledge updated, and here's to a fulfilling and healthy life with your furry friend!

Fi builds cutting-edge technology to elevate the relationship between millions of dog parents and their dogs. Find out more at