Dogs pant when they are hot, in pain, anxious, or sick. If this is a new behavior or continues for a prolonged period, you might want to contact your vet. And although it can be difficult to determine why you pet pants a lot and if it is something to worry about, you know your furry friend best, so it is up to you to decide when it is time to take action.
Why Does My Dog Pant So Much?
There are various reasons why dogs pant. Some of them are common and nothing to worry about, while others can indicate there is something more serious going on.
You Dog Pants When They Are Hot
Dogs are unable to sweat like humans, so they pant to cool themselves down. Quick breathing helps humidify the water in their nose and lungs, cooling their bodies from the inside.
If your pup is panting because they are too hot, it should subside once they get a drink of water, relax, and settle into a cooler environment.
Your Dog Pants to Let You Know They Are Sick or in Pain
Sadly, dogs can’t talk to their owners when they are feeling under the weather or suffering from some form of illness or discomfort.
However, panting can be seen as a form of communication, with your dog indicating to you that something just isn’t right.
Your dog will pant excessively if they are nauseous, hurting, or uncomfortable.
Some diseases that can cause dogs to pant a lot include but are not limited to:
- Cushing’s Disease
- Heart and lung disease
- Laryngeal Paralysis
It is also important to note that medication that treats your dog’s illnesses can also be a contributing factor to excessive panting. Speak with your veterinarian to find out if your pet’s medication needs to be adjusted or changed.
You Dog Pants When They Are Anxious
Is your dog panting while pacing up and down the hallway? Do you notice an increase in panting when you are about to leave the house or usher them towards the car? Panting can be a good indication your pet is suffering from anxiety or stress.
Your Dog Pants from Excitement
If your dog is panting heavily every time you come home from work or when you pull out their harness and leash, it can be a sign they are excited.
You will know your dog is panting due to excitement because it is triggered by activities or items they enjoy.
Excitement panting will often be shallow and fast-paced, with some dogs adding a bit of whining to the mix.
What is Too Much Panting in Dogs?
Because panting is common for most dogs, it can be hard to tell whether or not you should worry. However, there are a few signs and symptoms that should tip you off that it is time to call the vet.
- Panting more excessively compared to their norm.
- Happens when the dog is in a cool environment and hasn’t been active.
- Your dog seems to be working harder to pant than it should be.
- The panting and breathing are louder and harsher than usual.
What Should You Do If Your Dog is Panting Too Much?
To reduce panting, you must first figure out what is causing the problem. With overheating being the main culprit, there are a few things you can do to cool them down.
- Keep cool, fresh water available at all times
- Move them out of the heat and only take them outside for short periods of time when the temperature is extremely hot or humid
- Place them in a well-ventilated area with a fan or air conditioning.
- Provide a pool on hot days or wipe them down occasionally
Other ways to keep your dog’s panting under control include:
- Maintain a stress-free environment and keep their anxiety levels low
- Maintain their coats by brushing them daily, especially dogs with thick fur
- Keep your eye out for other signs of illnesses, allergic reactions, side effects from medications, poisoning, etc.
If none of the suggestions above seem to provide your pup with any type of relief, you might have to seek out the advice of a professional to figure out exactly what the issue is.
Even though panting is a common occurrence in dogs, it doesn’t mean it should be ignored if it seems to happen a lot in inappropriate times. If you feel your dog is panting too much, you should listen to your gut and get in touch with the vet ASAP. As the old saying goes, “Better to be safe than sorry.”