Why Is My Baby Pug Breathing Hard? [Possible Reasons]

Baby Pugs are the best! They are just fun and joy in little wrinkly packages. Like any other puppy, they are super playful and energetic. They love a good game of tug-o-war, fetch, or hide-and-seek. 

Occasionally, you may notice your baby Pug breathing hard. Is this something you should be concerned about?

Pugs are susceptible to breathing problems because of their flat faces. That said, when a puppy breathes hard, it’s usually due to other reasons than adult Pugs.

why is my baby Pug breathing hard

Why Is My Baby Pug Breathing Hard?

When your baby Pug is breathing hard, it is most likely due from exertion, like playing or running. You only need to worry when your baby Pug is breathing hard, unrelated to exertion or play. 

Fast Breathing In Baby Pugs Due To Exertion

Play is one of the hallmarks of puppyhood. Like their wild wolf cousins, puppies play not only to have fun but to learn how to interact with their surroundings. 

Playing allows puppies to learn boundaries with adult dogs, their human owners, and other important skills for becoming adult dogs. 

Puppies need to be with their mothers and littermates until ten weeks old because their mothers and littermates will be their best teachers, and the most important lessons they can learn are the ones they learn through play.

Young puppies don’t know that their teeth and claws can hurt others, and when they play, especially with their mother, they learn not to bite or claw. 

To a new owner, the level of excitement a puppy can reach while playing may seem alarming. After an intense play session, your puppy may be exhausted and breathing hard. This is nothing to worry about!

Helping your puppy to burn off some of its youthful energy is a great thing to do. Puppies that don’t get enough exercise can sometimes turn to more destructive behavior, like chewing or excessive barking. 

No one wants their shoes chewed up! So if your puppy seems completely fatigued, heavy breathing included, after some high-energy playtime, you’re doing a great job at keeping your puppy active.

One special note about Pug puppies is that they tend to tire more easily than other breeds that have longer snouts because of their flat or brachycephalic faces. 

Pugs that are too hot or have been exercising too hard can have trouble breathing because of their flat faces.

If your puppy seems to be struggling to take a breath after energetic play, take them immediately to the vet. There is a difference between fast breathing from play and labored breathing stemming from brachycephaly.

Pug puppies should be played within cooler environments and may need more breaks than their longer-nosed brethren. That isn’t to say that you should forgo puppy playtime! Just be a little more cautious with your little Pug. 

Other Causes Of Fast Breathing In Pug Puppies


Creepy crawlies like worms are an unfortunate circumstance that affects a lot of puppies. Not all puppies will be infected with worms, but it is so frequent that almost all puppies are given deworming treatments with their first vet visits.

If your Pug puppy has a round, taut belly, along with heavy panting, this is a good indication that they may have worms. Worms are very rarely a dangerous affliction to puppies when treated early. Only a vet can give you the medication your pup will need, so take them as soon as possible if you have any suspicion.


Heatstroke in dogs is just as serious as the name suggests. Heavy or fast breathing is just one sign of heatstroke. Others include:

  • Drooling
  • Seizure
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Temperature over 104 degrees

If you suspect heatstroke in your dog, you must act quickly. A few things you can do to lower your Pugs temperature are:

  • Move them to a cooler area. If outside, find the nearest shady spot out of the sun.
  • Place ice packs on your Pugs stomach and chest.
  • Bathe with cool water, not cold. Cold water can restrict blood flow and be detrimental to trying to cool down your dog at the right pace.

Once your puppy is cooled down, it’s time to head to the veterinarian’s office. Never assume that because your dog is acting normal that they don’t need vet care. A heat stroke is a major medical emergency, and you should always follow up with your vet if you suspect one.

Pain Or Injury

Another reason your puppy may be panting is because of pain. Dogs don’t always yelp and cry when they are in pain. Sometimes the only sign that your little pup is hurting will be the way they breathe.

Fast, frantic breathes, shallow breathing, or heavy panting can all be indications that your Pug is in distress. Other less obvious signs can be yelping when being picked up, excessive licking of a certain area, or hesitation to run and jump like usual.

It can be frustrating and disheartening to learn that your puppy was hurting without you being aware, but knowing the indications of injury can go a long way towards getting your best buddy feeling better faster.


It’s atypical for puppies to be overweight at such a young age. Puppies are so active and agile. They tend to burn off a ton of calories just frolicking around. 

Still, Pugs are prone to obesity, and if your puppy is leaning more towards adolescence than puppyhood, it might be time to start watching their diet a little more closely. 

Suppose your young dog is huffing and puffing or panting heavily for extended periods of time after exertion, and you’ve noticed a little extra pudge on them. In that case, their heavy breathing could be caused by obesity.

Thankfully, young dogs can lose weight and get into shape much faster than older dogs. A young Pug probably just needs a little bit of a diet adjustment and some extra walks to shed that weight and breathe easier.

Final Word

Now that you know some of the odd reasons your baby Pug might be breathing heavy, it’s good to remember that a puppy breathing hard is usually just from normal puppy excitability. 

Just make sure your baby Pug doesn’t spend too much time in the heat and always has access to cool, fresh drinking water, and feel free to play away!

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