If you’ve noticed that your dog is breathing fast, it’s important to remember that dogs are not humans. And because they’re not humans, there are a lot of reasons—some serious and some not-so-serious—for why their respiration may be out of the ordinary. To understand what might be going on with your dog, you need to know how to distinguish between normal and abnormal breathing patterns in canines.
Is your dog breathing fast or panting?
If your dog is panting, it could be a sign of heat exhaustion or stress. It can also be an indication of anxiety, pain, or heart problems. Some dogs have a respiratory condition called collapsing trachea that causes them to make these sounds when they breathe in and out.
If you notice that your dog is panting more than usual and showing other signs of distress (e.g., lethargy), take him to the vet immediately!
Is your dog’s breathing noisy?
If your dog is breathing quietly, but quickly and heavily, it’s normal to be concerned. However, a noisy breath can also be an indicator of trouble. Snoring is generally associated with an upper respiratory tract infection—a cold or other sickness that affects the nose and throat. If your furry friend’s snores are louder than usual and accompanied by a runny nose or sneezing, they may need medical attention.
Does your dog have any discharge from their eyes or nose?
If your dog is breathing fast, you should also check for discharge from their eyes or nose. Dogs can get runny noses just like humans, but they may also have a runny nose because of an infection in their respiratory tract. If your dog has a runny nose, it’s important to take them to the vet right away so they can be treated before their condition worsens.
What is the seasonal pollen count like in your area today?
If your dog is showing signs of seasonal allergies, you can use the pollen count to determine whether or not he will be affected by an increase in airborne allergens. The higher the pollen count, the more likely it is that your pet will suffer from seasonal allergies. According to PetMD, “the average pollen count in the United States varies between 50 and 150 grains per cubic meter.”
Is your dog experiencing any other symptoms?
While it’s important to get your dog’s breathing checked out, you don’t want to jump into a panic if the vet says everything is normal. The best thing you can do is pay attention to other symptoms of illness. If your dog is breathing fast and has other symptoms, such as:
- Inability to control bowels or bladder
- Weight loss
- Lethargy (lethargy means lack of energy)
Has there been a change in the temperature and humidity of the room since you got home?
A dog can become overheated or dehydrated in just a matter of minutes. Make sure that your dog is drinking plenty of water, especially if you’re outside with them on a hot day. A good rule of thumb is to make sure they always have access to fresh clean water without having to walk across the room for it.
If your dog has been panting for more than five minutes, or if his/her tongue starts hanging out and/or becomes dryer than usual, he/she may be getting too hot and need some help cooling down fast!
Is your air conditioner working properly?
If you notice that your dog is breathing fast, it’s important to make sure that your air conditioner isn’t working properly. If the air coming out of your vents is cool and dry, then the air conditioner is functioning correctly. On the other hand, if the air coming out of your vents is hot and humid—or even just warm—then there may be something wrong with your equipment. In this case, it’s best to call a professional technician as soon as possible before irreparable damage occurs to either yourself or your pet!
If you are worried take your dog to a vet.
If you are worried about your dog’s breathing, take him to the vet.
A sudden change in your dog’s breathing pattern could be a sign of something serious. If you notice any changes in your pet’s breathing that concern you, don’t wait! Take your pet to the vet immediately for an examination and diagnosis.
It’s always a good idea to take your pet to the vet if you’re concerned about their breathing. If you want to be extra safe, you could also give them a check up on some of these other tips we’ve provided in this post just to make sure there isn’t anything else causing them problems.