Explained | Why Is My Dog Panting?

Everyone with a dog has seen this before, their dog panting uncontrollably hard, and you are left to wonder why.

Panting is considered normal behavior for dogs, but it is also a possible sign of underlying medical issues that you need to know about your dog panting.

What Is Causing My Dog To Pant?

These are some common reasons dogs pant, according to PetMD.

Your Dog Is Too Hot

The purpose of panting is to help the dogs cool down and is normal behavior for happy and healthy pets. Dogs pant because they cannot sweat as humans do, according to PetMD. Humidifies and exhales the air, which increases water evaporation from their nose and lungs. The evaporation of water cools the body from the inside out. Be sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh water on hot days. On hotter days, this type of normal panting can become more intense, and the level of heavy breathing should match the air temperature or amount of activity your dog is doing.

Your Dog Is Excited

Dogs also pant when they are excited, according to Pet MD. Panting is a normal behavioral response when the dog becomes excited, such as meeting new people, getting a treat, or seeing another animal. This type of painting can be rapid and shallow, often with whining.

Your Dog Is Stressed

Just like a dog panting brought on by excitement, dogs also commonly pant and whine when stressed. When your dog is panting, examine their body language. If their eyes are wide and weary or looking away and yawning? This body language tells you that your panting dog is stressed.

Analyze and determine how you can have your dog get more comfortable to prevent fearfulness and additional stress.

Your Dog Is In Pain

Keep that dog panting can indicate nausea, discomfort, and pain. Your veterinarian can assess whether your dog is panting because they are in pain by conducting a thorough examination and possibly diagnostic tests.

Your Dogs Medication

Medications such as prednisone or other steroids potentially cause increased panting even if your dog is not hot, excited, or stressed. Panting can be a common side effect of these medications. If your panting is excessive, you should contact your vet asap.

Your Dog Is Suffering Heatstroke

Overheating or heatstroke can cause heavy panting in dogs, possibly becoming dehydrated or even dead if untreated. Heatstroke requires emergency veterinary care. When your dog is overheating, it will pant very heavily, appearing uncomfortable in some way or another, leading to restlessness or them laying out flat and not responding to you because they are so focused on cooling themselves.

How To Prevent My Dog From Getting Heatstroke?

To prevent heatstroke during the hot weather or vigorous activity, take frequent breaks, seek shade, and offer your dog water to cool down. Do not expose your dog to high and extreme temperatures for long sessions. Dogs with shorter snouts cannot stay as cooled down as dogs with longer ones, so remember to keep them cool and hydrated to prevent heatstroke. Remember, never leave your dog in a hot car, as the interior can become ridiculously hot, even on days with mild weather. The temperature inside the car can kill or threaten your dog within 10 to 15 minutes. If you leave your dog inside the house, remember to leave the air conditioner on.

Pay Attention To A Change In Sound

Do not ignore your dog’s change in breathing and the sound of panting. Dogs such as labradors and Golden Retrievers are vulnerable to laryngeal paralysis, resulting in an inability to open their airways as wide as they should, causing the dog panting to sound abrasive. Also, short-snouted dogs like pugs and English bulldogs make unusual snorting sounds when panting because they have a long soft palate or excessive tissue in their throats, obstructing the airway. Heatstroke can occur more often in dogs with these conditions because they cannot efficiently pant to cool themselves.

If your dog is overheating:

According to PetMD:

  • Cool your dog by wetting them with a hose, and move them indoors or at least to the shade.
  • Offer them water to drink.
  • Call your veterinarian or a local emergency hospital for guidance.
  • If you bring your dog to the hospital, run the air conditioner in your car.

Consult a veterinarian right away to schedule an appointment. Your pet may need blood work or x-rays to clear the dog of other diseases.