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Why Does My German Shepherd Breath So Fast

Labored Breathing In Dogs

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When dogs are working harder to breathe than circumstances warrant, they are said to be dyspneic, or suffering from dyspnea. Breathing difficulties can happen when breathing in , when breathing out , or both. Common symptoms include:

  • The chest wall, and sometimes the belly, will move more than is normal when breathing
  • Nostrils may flare open when breathing
  • Breathing with an open mouth
  • Breathing with the elbows sticking out from the body
  • Neck and head held low and out in front of the body
  • Noisy breathing

How To Determine Your Pup’s Respiratory Rate

To determine what breathing rate your pup lies within, and how to count it, first, you need to make sure your puppy is calm and relaxed. Also, you need to make sure he is also not actively panting. In other words, your pup must have his mouth closed without the tongue sticking out as described a few paragraphs below.

Finding a dull moment when your pup is calm may sound easier said than done considering how active puppies are, so you will have to catch your puppy at a moment of relaxation. By getting your puppy’s respiratory rate when he is relaxed, you can obtain a baseline number that you can compare to when you notice any rapid breathing that concerns you.

So once your puppy looks and acts relaxed, you can start counting the number of times your puppyâs chest area rises and falls as he inhales and exhales and record this particular cycle.

The Why Of This Issue

So now youre probably wondering why is my puppy breathing fast while sleeping?

There are a few basic scenarios when your pup might be breathing fast that are pretty easy to understand.

For example

If your puppy was just playing outside in warm weather. If your pup breathes fast after this, it is completely normal. The panting is just to help them catch their breath! Giving them time to cool down and some water will help their breathing return to normal in no time.

In most cases, your pup will be breathing hard because they over-exerted themselves a little bit too much. Still, there are a few cases where you should know a little bit more about this breathing difference. Lets go through them in the rest of this article.

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Signs Of Fast Breathing

If your puppy takes an average of 30 breaths per minute, fast breathing will become very obvious. When dogs pant, regardless of the reason, they can take up to 400 breaths per minute.

You may also notice that your puppys mouth is open and their tongue is out. They do this to get their tongue out of their way and open up their airways more.

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Diagnosis & Treatment Of Fast Breathing In Dogs

Why does my German Shepherd breathe so fast?

The vet will perform a full physical examination to determine whether the problem is located in the heart, circulatory system, lungs, airway, neck, head, or other area. A general health condition may also be causing an issue.

You will also be asked questions about your dog and any previous history of medical issues. X-rays may be taken to check the heart, lungs and abdomen for issues such as broken ribs or lung tumors. Organs will also be examined.

You and your vet can also look for signs of anxiety, stress or other psychological factors.

Treatment will be determined by the underlying cause. Your vet may prescribe pain relief, intravenous fluids with calcium, or medication.

For stress or anxiety, special training with a certified dog behaviorist may be required. No matter the cause, rest and oxygen therapy will be needed. While most dogs will be allowed to be treated at home, some may need to be constantly monitored. Hospitalization may be the safest option for dogs with serious illnesses.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog is breathing fast or is displaying other concerning symptoms, contact our Somerset County emergency veterinary hospital right away. Our compassionate emergency vets are available to help your pet 24/7, 365 days a year.


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What Can I Give My Dog For Respiratory Distress

Medications for treating ARDS include antibiotics, pain killers, fluid therapy, and corticosteroids for reducing inflammation and swelling. Frequent readings of temperature, pulse, respiration rate, and blood pressure will be necessary for following your dogs progress in the initial stage of the treatment.

Why Does Your Dog Wag Their Tail Slowly

When your German Shepherds wag is slower, it means that they are unsure of a certain situation or person. They are most likely analyzing the situation, trying to determine if they should be relaxed or alert.

You will most likely see such a wag when your dog is meeting a human or animal for the first time. How they begin to wag their tail after this initial interaction will give you some indication of how your pup feels about that individual.

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Pay Attention To Your Dogs Breathing

Although its completely normal for dogs to pant and breathe heavily from time to time, it can be a sign of a serious issue. Pay attention to your dogs breathing and look for other signs that may indicate a more serious issue.

Take the Canine Bronchitis Assessment to see if your dog could have chronic bronchitis.

How The Dog Respiratory System Works


Diseases in any part of the respiratory system, and even in other parts of the body, can lead to breathing problems in dogs.

The respiratory system has many parts, including the nose, mouth, throat , windpipe and lungs. Air is pulled in through the nose or mouth and is then carried down into the lungs, through a process referred to as inspiration. In the lungs, oxygen is transferred to the red blood cells. The red blood cells then carry oxygen to the rest of the body.

While oxygen is being transferred to the red blood cells, carbon dioxide is transferred from the red blood cells to the air within the lungs. It is then pushed out through the nose or mouth through a process referred to as expiration.

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Why Does My German Shepherd Not Get Enough Exercise

When they do not get much exercise it can cause them to develop behavioral and health issues. If yours is not getting much exercise then it could be the case that it needs more. Generally, it is recommended that German Shepherds get an hour of exercise daily.

If your German Shepherd has always panted fast then it would be more likely to be natural especially if the vet has not found any issues on previous visits. However, it would still help to ask if the panting is normal on your next visit.

Why Is My German Shepherd Breathing Rapidly

Rapid breathing in dogs may simply be down to excitement or exercise. Dogs may also pant when theyre in fear, stressed or hot. Panting is one of the most important ways a dog thermoregulates. But beware, heavy or rapid breathing is an early sign of heat stroke and should be closely monitored.

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How Can I Tell If My German Shepherd Has Fleas

Constantly Itching And Scratching This is a sign everybody associates with fleas, and if you notice an excessive amount of itching and scratching then youll need to check your pup for fleas. You may also notice that your german shepherd likes it when you scratch them more too, as this provides them more relief.

Want To Train Your Dog With Peace Of Mind

Why does my German Shepherd breath so fast?

If you havent trained your dog properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether its barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.

The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.

With Brain Training For Dogs, youll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog wont listen, youll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, thats given proven results. Not to mention the fact, youll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.

So instead of worrying about whether theyre going to be well-behaved or not, youll only have to worry about how much fun youll have with them!

And in most cases, its still going to be:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.

Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your dog completely and never worry whether theyll be naughty or not. Instead, youll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them will always be there, EVEN IF YOURE NOT.

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Treats Treats And More Treats

Use soft or lickable treats over hard ones because, chewing, crunching, and chasing bouncing treats is exciting and will amp your dog up instead of calming them down, she said.

Try rehydrated finely ground dog foods, cottage cheese, or plain yogurt in a refillable camping squeeze tube. You can use shredded, baked, or boiled chicken, chopped string cheese, or sausage-like rolled dog foods for treats that need to be dropped on the ground.

What Do Your German Shepherds Licking Habits Mean

When your dog licks you, it is a sign of affection and a way for them to bond with you. It is also your pups way of telling you to pay attention to them.

Some dogs will also lick you if they want to appease you. They may be aware that you are angry or frustrated. It is their way of saying, Im sorry.

In case your dog is licking their lips or you notice their tongue flicking out, this is an entirely different scenario. It indicates that your dog is uncomfortable.

Your dog could be reacting to something stressful in his or her environment. If you cant pinpoint what this is, it may be your dogs way of telling you that they need some space. Move to another room and leave them alone for a while.

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Catch Your Dog Resting

The best thing you can do to encourage your German Shepherd to stay calm is to catch them in their ever-elusive rest pose. If you see your dog sleeping or relaxing, quietly place a treat nearby without saying anything. This is the time where enthusiastic praise could actually be a detriment because it will get the pup wound up again. This technique is called capturing calmness.

There are many reasons why your German Shepherd may be breathing heavily, but some are definitely more dangerous than others. Its essential to take the situation into account before panicking, but also seeking veterinarian care if necessary.As your pets guardian, there are also a lot of things you can do to help your dog in a stressful, health- or heat-induced situation. Always call your vet if you are unsure if care is needed.

Heavy Breathing Vs Normal Breathing In Dogs

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In healthy dogs, normal breathing shouldnt be laboured. A normal rate of breathing for dogs is between 10 and 35 breaths per minute, and the average dog takes about 24 breaths per minute at rest.3 If your dog displays consistently heavy breathing at rest, it may be indicative of a serious health issue.

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Will Your German Shepherd Attack When Their Hackles Are Raised

This is another universal sign for an angry dog. When you notice that the fur along your dogs neck and back is raised, it is important to be cautious. In this state, your German Shepherd is aggressive, upset, and may attack anyone around them.

Due to this, you need to approach them carefully. Talk to your dog in a low voice and dont attempt to grab them if they jerk away or snap and snarl at you. Avoid making sudden movements, try to pick up your dogs leash and get them away from the trigger.

If you notice this in someone elses dog, try to get away from that area. Dont run or rush away, though, as it can cause the dog to come after you. Instead, slowly move backward until you are in a safer area.

How Can I Tell If My German Shepherd Is Breathing Fast

There are a number of ways to determine if your German Shepherd is breathing a bit on the fast side. One of the first things you should do is try counting their breaths while they are sleeping. This helps to give you a baseline rate with which to compare by.

If your dog is breathing fast, listen for any sounds that might give a clue to the reason behind it. Wheezing, for an instant, may be a sign of allergies, and high-pitched sounds may indicate an obstruction located in the upper airway.

As far as your dogs normal breathing rate, it is generally going to be between 15 35 breaths per minute when at rest or sleeping, while an actively playing dog can fall anywhere in a range of 15 60 breaths per minute.

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Reasons For Breathing Issues

What diseases or conditions can cause a puppy to breathe fast and/or have difficulty breathing? There are several respiratory and non-respiratory disorders known for these signs: anemia, heart problems, circulatory problems, heartworm disease, pneumonia, infections, fever, dehydration, pain, shock, or perhaps some side effect from a medication or exposure to a toxin, are all potential triggers that may cause changes to a puppy’s normal respiratory rate.

Luckily, these disorders and conditions are often accompanied by other symptoms in addition to the increase in respiratory rate so that they will alert you that something is not right. Indicators of problems include coughing fits, pale gums , lethargy, loss of appetite, congestion, and exercise intolerance. The tricky fact is that sometimes puppies may mask their symptoms or owners may fail to recognize them.

Why Do German Shepherds Pant So Much

Why Do German Shepherds Breathe So Fast? (8 Reasons)

If you are new to German Shepherd ownership, you will likely be unfamiliar with their frequent panting. But is your dog panting more than they should? Is there anything in which you need to be aware of and take into account as an owner of this breed? I started to wonder why the German Shepherd breed was more prone to panting than other dogs. I decided to do some research. Id like to share all that I was able to find here today.

So, why do German Shepherds pant so much? German Shepherds are known to pant a lot because they are large dogs with thick coats. So naturally, they need to pant more than other breeds to cool down and keep a cooler temperature. Extra panting is to be expected in warmer weathers, when their coats are at their longest and following exercise. However, excessive panting could be a sign of a potential health issue so you may need to get your dog examined by a vet if the panting persists.

Seeing your dog pant more than others may lead to questions as to whether or not you need to visit a vet. It is understandable to feel concerned.

Thankfully, however this is one of those things that varies by dog breed. German Shepherds do in fact pant more than most other dog breeds.

There are numerous reasons dogs pant, and most of those reasons are no cause for concern.


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When Is Panting Normal/ Abnormal

Panting is normal right after exercise, and particularly if its warm outside.

German Shepherds are big dogs with powerful physiques, so you will hear them pant as a means of regulating their body temperature.

Shepherds have double coats, which keeps them feeling hotter for longer. Excitement will cause panting if theyre enjoying his play and exercise, or if his owner has just returned home.

Loud and sudden sounds frighten the most nonchalant of us, so it hardly surprising that a German Shepherd would become frightened, causing them to pant. Fear will cause your German Shepherd to pant this is normal.

You should be concerned if the panting is sudden, deeper, and more extended than usual, particularly if your dog has no reason to pant.

Heavy and periods of extended panting can be a symptom of the following ailments: cushing syndrome, mitral valve disease, congestive heart failure, cancer, and/or anemia.

If your Shepherds tongue or gums appear blue, white, or purple, this indicates that they are not getting enough oxygen and should be taken to a vet immediately.

Here are some other things to look out for an when your dogs panting is more of a cause for concern:

  • The temperature is cold especially if your German Shepherd has not expended much energy.
  • Excessive thirst and urination coupled with panting means that your dog is not holding onto enough water.
  • Dry skin/hairloss

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