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Why Does My Husky Breathe So Fast? 9 Surprising Reasons

Why Does My Husky Breathe So Fast

You notice your Husky breathing faster than normal. 

And it makes you wonder why.

Is it a usual thing huskies do? Or should you be worried?

Look no further! 

In this article, you’ll find out:

  • How fast a Husky’s breathing rate should be.
  • 9 surprising reasons your Husky breathes fast.
  • What you can do to help regulate their breathing.
  • Whether fast breathing is a sign of underlying health conditions.
  • And a lot more…

Why does my Husky breathe so fast?

Your Husky breathes so fast because of overheating, exhaustion, or obesity. It may also be due to heart or respiratory problems. Other causes include Cushing’s syndrome, poisoning, or medication side effects.

9 reasons why your husky breathes fast

#1: Your Husky is overheated

Did you know that huskies are bred to live in temperatures as low as -75°F (-59°C)?

This is why they have such thick double coats that protect them from the cold.

But this doesn’t mean they can’t live in places with warmer climates.

They can actually adapt to both kinds of weather.

But we still need to make sure they don’t overheat when the temperature is hot.

Breathing rapidly is one of the signs of overheating in dogs.

Aside from this, AKC also mentions the following warning signs:

  • Fever.
  • Vomiting.
  • Diahrrea.
  • Disorientation.
  • Excessive thirst.
  • Bright red tongue.
  • Drooling thick saliva.
  • Increased heart rate.

Warning: Overheating may cause seizures. Once you notice any signs, work quickly to get their temperature down.

“How can I do that?”

The following are steps you can do to help your Husky cool down:

  1. Take them to a shaded or cooler area as soon as possible.
  2. Use cool water (not cold) to lower their body temperature.
  3. Apply it to their ears, paws, and the area between their legs.
  4. Allow them to drink small amounts of lukewarm or cool water.
  5. Once they cool down, immediately take them to the nearest vet.

There are also measures you can do to keep huskies safe from the heat.

Take them on walks when the temperature isn’t too hot. Either early in the morning or when the sun has set.

It’s also advisable to keep them hydrated. Make sure they have access to plenty of clean water.

Providing them with a cooling mat or cooling vest will also be helpful.

You can even make this fun for your energetic pup. Allow them to swim in a pool or play with your sprinklers.

Lastly, you can make “pupsicles” as treats for them to cool down during a hot summer day.

#2: Your Husky had too much exercise

Your Husky Breathes So Fast Because He Had Too Much Exercise

Overexertion can also be the reason why your pooch is breathing so fast.

Huskies are known to be energetic and active dogs. They need their daily exercise.

But as responsible paw parents, we need to make sure they don’t overexert themselves.

PetMD says that even though exercise is necessary for your dog, it’s still important to keep it moderate.

It should depend on their breed, age, and health condition.

Letting your Husky have too much exercise could lead to injuries and stress.

If you’re wondering how to determine if they’re overexerted, here are signs to watch out for:

  • Limping.
  • Stiffness.
  • Lack of focus.
  • Sore muscles.
  • Heat sickness.
  • Slowing down.
  • Behavioral changes.
  • Reluctance to exercise.

It’s important to let your Husky take breaks during walks. And make sure to always carry an extra bottle of water for your furry friend.

Fact: A study showed that dog owners are more likely to get more exercise than those without dogs.

#3: Your Husky is overweight

As part of the working breeds, huskies are often fit dogs. However, some may still get fat.

And this could be the reason why they’re breathing so fast.

According to AKC, the standard size and proportion of an adult Husky are shown on the chart below:

Male21.5-23.5 in (54-59 cm)45-60 lb (20-27 kgs)
Female20-22 in (50-55 cm)35-50 lb (15-22 kgs)

If your Husky’s weight is beyond the range mentioned above then they could be obese.

Dogs who are overweight tend to have a hard time breathing. They’re also more at risk of developing diseases.

The extra weight can also impact your Husky’s ability to move and their overall mood.

 A study mentioned that obesity is the most common medical disease in dogs.

It’s often caused by eating too much or a lack of exercise. It may also be because of bloating or other health conditions.

So if you have an overweight Husky, don’t give up! It’s not too late to help them get into shape again.

Here are tips you can do to keep them fit:

  • Keeping them active.
  • Avoiding table scraps.
  • Limiting treats and snacks.
  • Customizing a healthy diet.
  • Providing them with high-quality dog food.

Note: Always consult your vet for a proper diet plan for your pooch.

Watch the video below for a guide on how to feed your Husky:

You might also want to check out: Why is my puppy so lazy?

#4: Your Husky have heart problems

Some dogs are born with heart disease while others develop it over time.

Fortunately, Huskies are not that prone to having heart problems.

But it doesn’t mean they won’t have it. Some may still get it as they grow older.

Those with this condition often have difficulty in breathing. They will breathe faster and with more force.

They will also have more trouble breathing while lying down.

This is due to the heart not being able to pump blood properly. And this prevents oxygen from getting distributed in their body.

As a result, they breathe rapidly to compensate for the lack of oxygen.

It may take a long time for the symptoms to show. But make sure to look out for the following:

  • Fatigue.
  • Fainting.
  • Potbelly.
  • Dry cough.
  • Restlessness.
  • Rapid weight loss.
  • Behavioral changes.

Having your Husky regularly checked by a vet will help in the early treatment of heart problems.

#5: Your Husky has respiratory problems

Respiratory problems are one of the usual causes of breathing problems in dogs.

And this could be the reason your Husky is breathing fast.

There are different conditions that affect their respiratory system. It could be because of pneumonia or pneumothorax.


Pneumonia is a lung disease that causes inflammation in the lungs.

It’s mostly due to a viral or bacterial infection. And it leads to low oxygen levels which cause difficulty in breathing.

Some symptoms include:

  • Lethargy.
  • Coughing.
  • Wheezing.
  • High fever.
  • Weight loss.
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Irregular breathing.

Pneumonia should never be ignored. Once you notice any signs, consult your vet immediately.

Other causes of this condition also include sniffing contaminated food or spores.


This condition causes chest pain and breathing problems due to collapsed lungs.

It’s when air is trapped in the space between the lungs and chest wall.

Causes of this include:

  • Chest injury.
  • Blunt trauma.
  • Lung disease.
  • Ruptured lung.
  • Damage to the windpipe.
  • Surgical wounds to the chest.

Huskies with this condition will have labored and shallow breathing.

They will also show the following signs:

  • Vomiting.
  • Coughing.
  • Bluish skin.
  • Short of breath.
  • Rapid heart rate.

PetMD mentions that dogs with large deep chests are more prone to this condition.

So once your pup shows signs of difficulties in breathing, bring them to a vet immediately.

Read also: 13 Surprising Reasons Why Your Dog Grunts Like A Pig

#6: Your Husky is suffering from laryngeal paralysis

Older huskies may develop a condition called laryngeal paralysis.

It’s when their vocal cords become paralyzed. And their airway becomes partially blocked.

Not being able to take a breath makes them anxious. And this causes them to breathe faster.

Dogs with this condition breathe loudly with a harsh sounding noise.

The symptoms are mild at first and are usually not noticed by owners until it worsens.

This is why we should be aware of the following warning signs:

  • Fatigue.
  • Collapse.
  • Weight loss.
  • Abnormal-sounding bark.
  • Dark red or purple tongue.
  • Gagging when eating or drinking.

Huskies affected by this can easily get overheated in hot temperatures.

This is because they won’t be able to pant properly and cool themselves.

It’s advisable to visit your vet immediately when you notice any signs.

Early treatment can help in preventing severe respiratory distress.

Aside from Huskies, the most common breeds that could develop this condition are:

  • Dalmatians.
  • Bull Terriers.
  • Irish Setters.
  • Labrador Retrievers.

#7: Your Husky has Cushing’s syndrome

Cushing’s syndrome is developed when a dog’s body produces too much cortisol.

This condition is usually caused by a malignant tumor in the pituitary gland.

And it can put your Husky at risk of serious health conditions.

Dogs with Cushing’s syndrome will show at least one of the following signs:

  • Panting.
  • Potbelly.
  • Hair loss.
  • Skin infections.
  • Excessive thirst.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Increased appetite.
  • Thinning of the skin.

If your Husky has this condition, they are likely to develop kidney damage and diabetes.

So once you notice any of the signs, take immediate action. Contact your vet for proper treatment.

#8: It’s due to garlic or onion poisoning

Garlic and onion are common herbs we use in our kitchen.

But did you know that these are toxic to our canine companions?

If your Husky happens to consume large amounts of garlic or onion, they’re likely to get poisoned.

According to PetMD, the toxic substance of these herbs damages the hemoglobin of dogs.

This can cause anemia and may lead to organ failure. 

One of the symptoms of garlic and onion poisoning is rapid panting.

But these signs can sometimes show after a day or two.

So be vigilant and watch out for the following:

  • Vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Weakness.
  • Pale gums.
  • Red or brown urine.
  • Excessive salivation.

And by now, you know the drill. Once your Husky shows any of these signs, visit a vet asap.

The key to avoiding poisoning in dogs is to keep anything toxic away from them.

You should also avoid giving them any food seasoned with garlic or onion.

Other foods that are toxic to dogs are:

  • Grapes.
  • Raisins.
  • Avocado.
  • Chocolate.
  • Macadamia nuts.

Further reading: 13 reasons why dogs arch their backs

#9: It’s due to medication side effects

Some medications that are given to dogs can have side effects.

And this could be the reason why your Husky is breathing fast.

Always let your vet know when they show any bad reaction to their prescribed medicine.

Some common side effects may include:

  • Lumps.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Skin irritation.
  • Stomach ulcers.

It’s also best to talk with your vet for professional advice before giving them any medications.

And when giving your Husky medicine, always follow label instructions.

Also, make sure to give them the right amount of prescription. And not miss a dose or overdose.

People also ask:

Is it normal for Huskies to breathe fast?

It’s normal for Huskies to breathe fast when they’re panting to regulate their body temperature. But it depends on how rapidly they’re breathing. Obvious signs that something is wrong are vomiting, gagging, and loss of appetite.

The normal breathing for a healthy Husky takes between 15 to 35 breaths during rest.

So if they breathe more than 40 per minute while resting, it may be a sign of serious health issues.

And immediate care and medical attention are needed.

Why is my Husky breathing so hard?

Your Husky is breathing so hard because they’re suffering from heatstroke. Another cause is chronic health problems. It may also be due to anxiety or a traumatic experience. 

Heavy breathing can quickly become life-threatening.

So it’s advisable to bring them to the nearest vet as soon as possible.

Why is my Husky breathing so fast while sleeping?

Your Husky is breathing so fast while sleeping because of a condition called sleep apnea. This causes their throat muscles to relax and it blocks their airway opening.

Huskies who are obese and have allergies are prone to this condition.

When your dog has sleep apnea, they will also tend to snore loudly. They may also gasp or choke while sleeping.

If your Husky is overweight, make sure to put them on a diet. Also, increase their activity levels to prevent sleep apnea.

If they suffer from allergies, a visit to the vet will be helpful. they will be able to diagnose the problem and provide proper treatment.

Do Huskies have breathing problems?

Huskies have breathing problems that are usually caused by aging. Older Huskies may develop breathing problems when their vocal cords become paralyzed.

Make sure to watch for loud breathing noises especially when exercising. 

Always keep an eye on your old buddy as this may cause them to collapse. 

Luckily, this can be managed and can be treated with proper medication.