My Dog Huffs and Puffs at Night, Should I Be Concerned?


If your dog huffs and puffs at night, the possible reasons could be that it:

  • Is frightened
  • Wants to warn you that there is some movement close by 
  • Is dreaming
  • Has some health issues.

Why Does My Dog Huff and Puff at Night

 

For a couple of weeks now, I have noticed that my 4-year-old dog huffs and puffs at night for no reason. He is both playful and happy during the day as well as our walks, but during the nighttime, he often wakes me up with the sudden noises he makes. Should I be concerned?

 

Their furry best friend is happy and healthy is what matters most to (probably) every dog owner. In fact, many people treat their pets almost as they were their children. That’s not always a good thing, however. Even the slightest change in their dog’s behavior can make those kinds of fur parents worry too much.

 

So, does your dog seem perfectly fine during the day, but at night it suddenly starts huffing and puffing? Mine too! But don’t worry; that doesn’t necessarily mean there is cause for alarm. 

 

While some dog breeds are more prone to frequent huffing and puffing due to their small stature and flat face, others do it only occasionally and for a more specific reason. So, without further ado, here are the 4 most common causes a dog huffs and puffs at night:

 

Fear

One possible reason is that your dog heard some noise either inside or outside the house and got scared. It is well known that dogs have a much better hearing than humans. In fact, their hearing is almost two times better than ours. So, it is no surprise that any kind of noise can wake your dog up and cause it to huff and puff until the source is gone. That kind of behavior is simply a dogs’ mechanism for coping with stress

 

Warning 

 

As I previously mentioned, even the slightest noise can easily wake your dog up. Once again, there is no reason to worry, since the dog probably just sensed some movement in its vicinity. It may simply want to warn you about it since dogs have a very strong instinct for protecting their “pack.”  So, unless there is a thief in the house, you shouldn’t be concerned!

 

In fact, it may not be trying to alert you to a human’s presence at all. Sometimes, dogs sense other dogs nearby and start huffing and puffing, especially if they are of the opposite gender.

 

Dreaming

 

Dogs spend half of the day sleeping, but they generally prefer to sleep when their owners do so as well. And yes, just like many other animals and people, dogs can dream too. And not only do they dream, but they also have nightmares as well. You probably noticed that your dog often twitches and moves a lot while sleeping. That is probably when the huffing and puffing starts. 

 

Naturally, you would like to wake the dog up and comfort it, just like your parents did with you when you were a child. But we all know that waking up from a nightmare can be a frightening experience. If you think that your dog might have an aggressive reaction upon waking up, it’s best to leave it alone, difficult as it may be. If your dog is unpredictable, the best thing you can do is to simply wait for it to wake up and then comfort it.

 

Health issues

Although most of the reasons a dog huffs and puffs at night are not alarming and are completely normal for every canine, sometimes they may indicate a more serious medical issue. Of course, in such cases, your dog would probably be showing other symptoms, not just huffs and puffs. However, even if you haven’t noticed anything unusual, a little extra caution wouldn’t hurt! If you have any concerns about your dog’s behavior, you should take it to the vet as soon as possible.

 

On the other hand, if a dog’s puffing is followed by trembling, visibly dilated pupils, fear, and searching for comfort or help, you should be alarmed. Dogs can predict various kinds of health issues including seizures both in humans and in themselves. So, a dog that’s huffing and puffing may be trying to warn you that it’s sensing a seizure coming. 

 

If you think that maybe the case, make sure that there are no sharp or fragile objects around your dog so it can’t hurt itself or break something. Talk to it softly and comfort it while gently patting it. When the seizure is over, take your pet to the vet immediately.

 

Another possible health issue followed by huffing and puffing is the so-called reverse sneezing. It is more similar to a forceful sucking of air through the nose than to huffing, but it sounds the same. It is sudden, rapid, and sounds like a dog is having difficulties inhaling a sneeze.

 

Generally, this issue is not that serious in comparison to seizures. It can be caused by anything that can irritate the throat, including food, water, or inflammation and allergies. However, consulting with your vet is always the best option in such cases. 

 

Final Thoughts 

 

Dogs have powerful senses, and they react to some external stimuli that we humans often can’t detect. So, if your dog huffs and puffs at night occasionally, you probably don’t have to worry. As long as your fluffy friend is happy, playful and acts normal during the day, there is no reason for concern! Of course, if you have any concerns regarding your dog’s health, it’s always a good idea to consult with your vet.

 

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