Why does a dog pant?

Dogs do not sweat like humans do. They pant to keep themselves cool. If it’s very hot outside or if the dog is dehydrated, it can be much harder for them to breathe, thus they will pant heavily to cool down.

Dogs pant for many reasons, which can sometimes be difficult to determine. Panting is a dog’s primary way of cooling down, but panting can also be the result of a range of other factors, from excitement to illness. It is important to pay attention to your dog’s panting, as any sudden or excessive panting, or panting that lasts a long time, can be a sign of an underlying medical issue, such as a heart condition or an infection. In this blog post, we’ll discuss why a dog pants, the different types of panting, and what to look out for if your dog’s panting is concerning. We’ll also look at how you can help your dog cool down, and what to do if you believe your dog’s panting is a sign of a medical issue.

Many Dogs Pant When They Play

Your dog may simply be panting out of happiness. If so, your dog’s other body language will also be happy. The tail will usually be wagging in a happy way. Your dogs body and facial features will be somewhat relaxed. The eyes will appear bright and happy. The panting will lessen and eventually stop once things have calmed down. In a calm, content dog, persistent mild panting with an open mouth and bright eyes is typical. In fact, a lot of people think of this as a dog smile.

Dogs are generally good at concealing their suffering from humans. Some dogs try harder than others to hide their discomfort. But when they reach a certain point of discomfort, they frequently can’t help but exhibit signs, like panting. Other symptoms of illness or pain to watch out for include vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, limping, pacing, and changes in behavior. If you believe your dog may be ill or injured, call your veterinarian right away.

Here are just a few potential causes of your dog’s panting:

  • Dogs with a high fever may pant to help lower their body temperature.
  • Medications given by the veterinarian may increase respiration or prompt panting.
  • A very full stomach or bloat may also cause your dog to pant, sometimes in preparation for vomiting. This can be an emergency and your pet should be evaluated immediately if they are vomiting or dry heaving.
  • Cushings disease, a condition caused by excessive production of the stress hormone cortisol, can cause excessive panting.4
  • Laryngeal paralysis, a condition where the muscles that open and close the larynx at the back of the throat are weakened or paralyzed, is another cause of panting. This condition is more common in older medium to large breed dogs such as Labrador retrievers. The panting is often accompanied by a high-pitched wheezing noise known as stridor.
  • What Is Panting in Dogs?

    A typical dog and puppy behavior that lowers body temperature and introduces oxygen to the bloodstream is moderate to rapid open-mouthed respiration. The panting dog exhales while having its mouth open and its tongue sticking out slightly.

    Dogs lack an efficient system of sweat glands like humans do, so panting serves as a cooling mechanism. Instead, dogs use the evaporation of saliva and tongue moisture as well as the exchange of hot lungs’ air with cooler outside air to cool their bodies.

    Panting should not be confused with labored breathing. The hallmark of labored breathing is strained breathing, which may be accompanied by sounds of distress like crying or whining or whistles coming from the nose or windpipe as a result of obstruction.

    Why does a dog pant?

    The Spruce / Ashley Nicole DeLeon

    Why Dogs Pant Heavily: Common Causes and Treatments

    When dogs are overheated or engaged in vigorous exercise, panting aids in cooling them off.

    Depending on their size, dogs breathe between ten and thirty times per minute. Learn the appearance of your dog’s normal breathing and panting so you can spot suspicious changes more quickly.

    Some common reasons dogs pant heavily include:

    Heatstroke or poisoning. It’s normal for a dog to start breathing harder or panting after exertion. And some dogs, like Boston terriers, bulldogs, and pugs, are prone to heavier breathing than other dogs because of their short snouts. However, heavy panting is also a sign a dog may be suffering from heatstroke or may have consumed a toxic substance.

    Take your dog to the vet right away if you can’t determine an obvious cause for a sudden change in breathing in them. Follow the instructions at the end of this article to help cool your dog safely if you suspect heatstroke.

    Chronic illness. Dogs who exhibit excessive panting or heavy breathing may be suffering from respiratory conditions, Cushing’s syndrome, or heart failure.

  • Heart failure: Like people, dogs can suffer from heart failure. And just like people, dogs may show some of the same symptoms, including breathing difficulty, reduced exercise tolerance, and coughing. How your dog’s heart failure is treated depends on the cause. But treatment may include medications such as ACE inhibitors and diuretics.
  • Cushing’s syndrome. This occurs when a dog’s adrenal glands produce too much cortisol. Along with heavy panting, symptoms can include excessive hunger, thirst and urination, hair loss, and a pot-bellied appearance. Treatment varies but may include adrenal-suppressing drugs or surgery.
  • Respiratory disorders. Several respiratory disorders, such as laryngeal paralysis, pneumonia, and lung tumors, may all lead to heavy breathing or panting. Treatment depends on the condition and how far it’s progressed.
  • Injury and pain. Dogs can’t tell us with words when they’re in pain. So, it’s up to us to be aware of what to watch for. One indication that your dog may have sustained an injury is heavy panting.

    Other signs of pain or trauma in pets include enlarged pupils, reduced appetite, a reluctance to lie down, restlessness, anxiety, and licking or biting at the pain site.

    Dogs may exhibit common behaviors, like wagging their tails, to conceal their suffering. Additionally, a wound may be internal, such as from being struck by a car. So don’t wait if you think your pet might be in pain. Seek veterinary care right away.

    Medication. Some medications, such as prednisone, may also lead to heavy panting in dogs. Talk to your veterinarian if you think your dog’s medication is causing heavy panting.


    When should I worry about dog panting?

    Panting is normal for dogs. They need to pant to release excess heat because they only perspire through their paw pads. Panting that begins abruptly, persists irrationally, sounds harsh, or is accompanied by symptoms like shaking and pain is abnormal. If you observe this kind of panting, call a vet.

    Why does my dog pant a lot for no reason?

    How to Calm a Panting Dog
    1. Stay near the dog’s side. When dogs are anxious, they frequently pant; keeping you nearby can help them stay calm.
    2. Give the dog its own safe space. …
    3. Give the dog an anti-anxiety wrap. …
    4. Offer your dog appeasing pheromones. …
    5. Give your dog supplements.

    How do you calm a dog from panting?

    Some of the most typical causes of dogs panting at night are metabolic diseases like diabetes and Cushing’s disease. In fact, regardless of the time of day, excessive panting is one of the signs of Cushing’s disease in dogs.