As pet owners, we always want to make sure our furry friends are healthy and happy. But sometimes, we notice unusual behaviors that can leave us worried. One of those behaviors is when our dog appears to be breathing from his stomach. In this article, we will explore the reasons why this may be happening and what you can do about it.
What Is Breathing from the Stomach?
Before we dive into the causes of breathing from the stomach, let’s first understand what it means. When a dog is breathing from his stomach, it appears as if his belly is moving up and down instead of his chest. This is because the diaphragm, which is the muscle that separates the chest and the abdomen, is being used more than usual to help the dog breathe.
This type of breathing can be normal in some situations, such as when a dog is sleeping or relaxing. However, if you notice that your dog is breathing from his stomach frequently or while he is active, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.
Causes of Breathing from the Stomach
There are several reasons why your dog may be breathing from his stomach:
Just like humans, dogs can become overweight or obese. When this happens, excess fat can put pressure on the diaphragm, making it harder for your dog to breathe normally. This can lead to breathing from the stomach.
2. Heart Disease
Heart disease is a common condition in dogs, especially as they age. When the heart is not functioning properly, it can cause fluid to build up in the lungs, making it harder for your dog to breathe. This can lead to breathing from the stomach.
3. Respiratory Issues
Dogs can develop respiratory issues, such as asthma, bronchitis, or pneumonia. These conditions can make it harder for your dog to breathe normally, and he may start breathing from his stomach as a result.
4. Anxiety or Stress
Dogs can experience anxiety or stress for a variety of reasons, such as separation from their owner, loud noises, or changes in routine. When a dog is anxious or stressed, he may start breathing from his stomach as a way to cope.
Dogs can overheat easily, especially in hot and humid weather. When a dog is overheated, he may start breathing from his stomach as a way to cool down. Heatstroke can be a serious condition and requires immediate veterinary attention.
What Can You Do About It?
If you notice that your dog is breathing from his stomach frequently or while he is active, it is important to take him to the veterinarian for a check-up. The vet will be able to determine the underlying cause and recommend a treatment plan.
Depending on the cause, treatment may involve medication, changes in diet and exercise, or surgery. In some cases, such as with anxiety or stress, behavior modification techniques may be recommended.
It is also important to keep your dog at a healthy weight, provide plenty of exercise, and avoid exposing him to extreme temperatures.
Breathing from the stomach can be a sign of an underlying health issue in your dog. If you notice this behavior, it is important to take him to the veterinarian for a check-up. By identifying the cause and following your vet’s recommendations, you can help your furry friend breathe easier and live a happier, healthier life.