How Long Can a Dog Hold Its Breath


How Long Can a Dog Hold Its Breath

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It is common knowledge that when dogs hold their breath, they are trying to get your attention. If you ignore them, they will eventually stop and take a breath. It may seem harmless enough, but there can be some serious risks associated with the behavior. The biggest risk is that if a dog holds their breath for an extended period of time, it could lead to serious injuries such as brain damage or even death.

How Long Can a Dog Hold Its Breath

Other potential risks include choking on secretions in the throat and rupturing blood vessels in the eyes if pressure increases too much on these organs due to prolonged holding of breath. Today I am going to discuss how long can a dog hold its breath.

How Long Can a Dog Hold Its Breath?

It is likely that any traces of the drug will no longer show up on test results after five days. If your dog is scheduled for surgery or another procedure where anesthesia will be necessary, make sure to inform the attending veterinarian that Metacam has been administered within the past week.

His heart would give out first as his heart and diaphragm muscles would stop functioning due to a lack of oxygen. Minutes after that, all bodily functions will cease, and death will ensue.

The average labrador retriever walks around 10 miles per day, and he can only hold his breath for around 35 seconds. A petite pomeranian, however, could do as long as a minute easily.

However, it’s not about how strong your dog is. Rather, it’s about the size and weight of your dog that determines how long you can actually hold its breath. So, in general, terms, the larger the breed of dogs versus their weight means they would have longer lung capacity than smaller ones weighing less but with bigger lungs (like some dachshunds), who might also weigh just as much if not more than them.

Can a Dog Hold Its Breath Underwater?

Yes. Dogs have been known to time their underwater dives so they can stay submerged for long periods of time.  Now, although we cannot confirm exactly how much time, we did find one account that says that an Irish Setter named Blainey once dove down to the bottom of an 18-foot swimming pool and held his breath for 1 minute 16 seconds. Before coming up for air! We also found an account of a Labrador named Sugar who dove down to the bottom of a 12-foot swimming pool and held his breath for 1 minute 36 seconds.

Can a Dog Hold Its Breath Underwater

However, this is pretty rare since most dogs will only stay submerged for between 5-10 minutes at best. But some professional rescue dogs are trained in diving for life-saving purposes such as mountain climbing and river searches. In addition, dogs rescued people trapped under rubble or fallen buildings are all trained in this area. 

However, for the average pet dog, the most that can be hoped for is for them to hold their breath anywhere from 15-20 seconds before gulping air.

Can Dogs Hold Their Breath Longer Than Humans?

The answer is yes; dogs can hold their breath longer than humans — and for an excellent reason. Dogs evolved to hunt for food in water because they live on islands or near bodies of water that are frozen over most of the year. To find enough food, they had to dive down into deep pools and bring back fish from the bottom where there was no air. The deeper they dove, the less time they could spend underwater searching for food. So it became essential for them not to use up all their oxygen breathing when diving and hunting by holding their breath as long as possible.

The average length of time that a dog can hold its breath is 8 minutes. However, a greyhound, such as Moxie (in the photo), can go even longer than that because it was specially bred to race in open fields for up to 3 hours at a time.

Can Holding Breath Be Harmful to Dogs?

Absolutely. Dogs are air-breathing animals and do not have gills nor other special adaptations for holding their breath.

Suffocation is a hazardous emergency that should be treated as such, no matter the cause of the problem. It is important to remember that dogs do not breathe out carbon dioxide like humans (i.e., exhaling through the mouth).

They must pant to expel it from their body, which means they cannot stop breathing by themselves even if they want to avoid getting water into their lungs or are scared of a painful situation like being restrained on a grooming table or at the vet’s office. When dogs hold their breaths, it soon becomes impossible for them to maintain enough oxygen in their bodies because of the following factors:

Can Holding Breath Be Harmful to Dogs

For this reason, they must exhale more often than humans. When dogs can not do so (i.e., when they cannot get enough oxygen into their bodies), they become extremely stressed. Then the heartbeat speeds up to supply as much blood as possible to the vital organs, like the brain and lungs.

You can check it to Keep Dog Quiet When Working From Home


I hope the aforementioned discussion will answer all your queries about how long can a dog hold its breath. But it would help if you remembered that it is not wise for your dog to hold its breath. So it would help if you always kept an eye on it. Have a nice day!

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