Q: Is my dog's breathing normal?

June 27, 2010 | By Mary T. | 1 answer | Expired: 2041 days ago

Mary T.

Why does my dog sigh? Is this normal?

Chosen Answer

If your dog's breathing is otherwise normal, don't read too much into one sigh. Is this a sigh of resignation? Maybe we’re reading too much into a dog’s respiratory functions.

A dog’s breathing is automatic and not something he thinks about at 10 to 30 times a minute. Sometimes a dog pants and breathes faster, through the mouth, to get more oxygen and to help cool off. Many dogs pant when frightened or anxious. All these are basically automatic.

Then along comes a meaningful (or maybe not) sigh — defined in respiratory function terms as a forced movement when inspiration or expiration exceeds the tidal volume. And it does seem to be a conscious thing. “Oh, sigh, we’ll never have world peace now.”) Or so the dog seems to imply.

Sometimes a sigh is just a sigh.

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