Do Australian Shepherd Breathe Fast?

Rapid Australian Shepherd breathing can be quite scary phenomenon, especially for its new owners. While in many cases there is a clear explanation why puppies breathe quickly, it is important to know that there are cases where certain disease processes and constant rapid breathing can indicate illness. In this article we will talk about how fast Aussies breathe, possible reasons for that and how to act in such situation.

How Fast Does an Australian Shepherd Breathe Normally?

To make sure your Australian Shepherd breathes faster than it should, measure its breathing frequency while he is in a quiet state. That is, preferably when the dog is asleep.

So, how fast does an Australian Shepherd breathe normally? Well, a healthy dog will take between 20 to 35 breaths per minute being at rest. Anything above 40 breaths is considered as fast breathing and should be investigated. If this condition is permanent, it suggests illness or pain. In addition, insufficient number of breaths per minute with hardly noticeable chest movement is also dangerous. In these cases, a visit to the vet is urgently recommended!

Dog‘s fast breathing can be divided into two categories:

Breathing can be divided into two categories:

  1. Normal, physiological causes
  2. Alarming, pathological causes

Therefore, it is important to understand the differences between these two so that you know what action to take. Typically, with normal, physiological situations dog can encounter on a daily basis: a very energetic workout, an emotional meeting with the owner after some time being alone, due to short-term fears, excitement or stress. On the other hand, the pathological causes that cause rapid breathing in puppies is often result from medical conditions.

Many things can lead to rapid breathing, therefore it is best to consult a veterinarian before making conclusions, if your puppy‘s breathing pattern turns out to be unusual. A trip to the vet is always the best way to find out the severity of the situation and treat possible illnesses that may have occurred. We will analyze each cause in detail below.

Reasons Why Aussies Pant

First of all, if your dog is panting, you can tell by the following symptoms:

  • Your dog‘s tongue hangs out of its mouth and moves;
  • The dog breathes very quickly (could be up to 8-10 times faster than normal) through the nose and out again through the mouth;
  • Aussie is very salivating when breathing.

Reasons why an Aussie pants faster:

First lets talk about normal, physiological causes:

Exercise: if you are actively spending time, playing or exercising, it is normal for your Aussie‘s breathing rate to increase. But after a while it should calm down and the breathing become as usual. Don‘t forget the breaks!

Excitement: it is normal behavior if your dog breathing rate increases while he is excited. And the excitement can be even in a simple situation. For example, you just get back home, going for a walk with him, or when you‘re preparing food for him.

Anxiety: just like humans, dogs also sometimes have some reasons to worry. Anxiety can arise from being at home alone, driving in a car, being in an unknown, new place and so on. You can notice that if your Aussies heart rate increases and the dog breathes quickly. When he is taken out of the frightening situation, his breathing returns to normal.

And here are alarming, pathological causes:

Heart disease: in dogs, heart disease can cause fluid to build up in the lungs. As a result, oxygen absorption deteriorates with breathing, and the dog has difficulty breathing. That’s is why dog starts to breathe faster to compensate for the lack of oxygen.

Heatstroke: the dog should stay in the shade at high temperatures and drink plenty of water, as higher temperatures can cause a dangerous heat stroke. Do not leave the dog in the car on a hot day as the temperature inside will raise up very quickly! Even an open window will not help!

Larynx paralysis: in the case of laryngeal paralysis in dogs, breathing becomes more difficult because the air cannot flow in properly. This leads to faster breathing.

Pains: for example, if the dog has eaten its food too quickly, stomach pain often occurs and it then begins to pant.

Steps to Take When Your Aussie is Panting Excessively

If you check your Australian Shepherd‘s breathing regularly, you will be able to quickly see when his breathing changes.

Here are 6 steps you can take when you notice that your Australian Shepherd is panting excessively:

  1. Make sure your dog does not overheat too much. You should not go for a walk in the midday heat, it is better to do it early in the morning or late in the evening when it will be cooler. Never Leave your dog alone in the care when the temperature is high. He could get heat stroke and die from it.
  2. In the warm months, your dog should be able to reach a shady spot. If your Aussie spends a lot of time outdoors, install a roof for him or an outdoor house. Or simple option: the dog should be able to enter the house at any time.
  3. A delicious dog ice cream can help with heat panting. Ready-made ice cream is available in stores or you can make it yourself. Here is our article about ice creams and recipes.
  4. The importance of water. Make sure your Aussie has the opportunity drink enough fresh water whenever he wants. If you have an opportunity, go swimming with your pet, as it is a great way to cool off in a lake.
  5. If your Australian Shepherd is breathing quickly from fear, the best thing to do is to distract him with a treat or to play with him.
  6. If your dog is breathing too quickly as soon as he has eaten, due to abdominal pain, you should divide his food into smaller portions or use other methods that will prevent the dog from swallowing very quickly.

Two Ways to Measure a Dog‘s Breath

Respiration rate can be determined by counting the number of inhalations and exhalations per minute. There are used several methods:

  1. according to the movement of the dog‘s chest and belly
  2. according to the movement of the nasal nostrils

By placing your hands on dog‘s chest, this makes it possible to capture breathing movements. Breathing also depends on the position of the dog‘s body. Animals find it easier to breathe when they are standing. In heart and respiratory diseases, dogs are more likely to sit, making it easier to breathe.

Breathing is also affected by the time of day and seasons. At night, when dog is in a state of calm, dog breathes less frequently. In summer, when it is very hot, as well as in hot rooms – breathing becomes more frequent.

In winter, dog‘s breathing in the state of calm will be smooth and unnoticed. Muscle work greatly increases the breathing of dogs.

Why Is My Australian Shepherd Puppy Breathing Fast While Asleep?

There can be various reasons why a dog breathes faster at night. The most common are:

Room temperature too high: not only in summer, but also in winter, the room temperature at home can be too high for a dog. For heat-sensitive dogs, the sleeping area should not be near a heater or fireplace. On hot summer days, the house or floor can also be very hot. So, before choosing a corner for your dog, think about where it might be most comfortable for him. The right temperature at home is really very important for your dog!

Vigorous activity before bed: often there is not enough time to exercise during the day, therefore some dog owners catch up on the missed activity in the evening. A quick run through the forest, late Frisbee in the park or a mountain hike. Depending on the dog’s physique and condition, it may take a while to get back to normal body temperature. In this case, the dog will pant late in the evening or at night.

Stress or nervousness: dogs sometimes react to stress or fear with an increased pulse and faster breathing. If your Australian Shepherd is panting hard at night, this may also be a sign that your dog is afraid of something. Strange noises, such as fireworks, can be a reason for panting at night. However, certain situations during the day can also be so overwhelming that the dog cannot rest in the evening.

To find out what is making your dog nervous, you need to watch him closely. When does the dog pant more intensely at night? Did something extraordinary happen today or the day before? Maybe you’ve changed your Aussie’s sleeping place or daily routine?

Feeding too late or incorrectly: if you feed your Australian Shepherd in the evening shortly before it is resting, it may be panting at night because of this. Especially if you feed your Aussie with raw, red meat. It causes the body to produce increased heat during digestion.

Illness, fever and pain: if your Australian Shepherd is panting exceptionally hard at night, there may also be a disease as the cause. Sometimes the pain only starts at night, when the dog comes to rest and is no longer distracted from the turbulent everyday life. If this could be the reason, be sure to get him checked by a veterinarian. The vet will then examine your dog for possible pathological triggers.

If your Australian Shepherd is suddenly panting hard at night without any specific reason, you must visit a veterinarian as soon as possible. Only the veterinarian can find out whether your dog is in pain or a serious illness may have triggered the panting. The earlier a disease is detected, the faster and better your dog can be helped.

Australian Shepherd Breathe Fast While In The Cage

If you noticed that your Australian Shepherd breathe fast while in the cage – this can be for two main reasons.

  1. He is not used to be in a cage and it is stressful and uncomfortable for him.
  2. And second reason could be direct sunlight into his case.

Make sure the dog‘s cage is covered from the sun and he will not get hot. If your Aussie is in a cage while you are driving a car – make sure to set the right temperature as well.

Some dogs are afraid to be in a cage, so it is best to start doing it in short periods. Practice this several times a day until he start to feel good. Leave some toys, let him understand that fun things can happen in the cage as well.

When You Should Go To the Vet if Your Australian Shepherd is Breathing Fast?

If your Australian Shepherd is breathing or panting quickly for a long time for no apparent reason, you should take him to the vet. Only specialist can find out the cause of the dog‘s rapid breathing. Only you know your dog best, so if you notice anything unusual, it is best to contact a veterinarian immediately.

Final Thoughts

It is always important to watch your dog closely. In this way you will quickly notice whether these are some changes in his behavior. If the behavior is very unusual for your Aussie and you have a feeling that something is not good, it is better to take your pet to the vet quickly.

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