Why Do Dogs Pant?

Golden retriever with tongue out sat on a bed under a grey blanket

Panting is a completely normal aspect of your pet’s behaviour. Simply put, it’s a cooling mechanism that your pet’s body uses when it’s hot or they have exerted themselves on a dog walk. If your dog’s panting becomes excessive or is unusual in any way, it could be a cause for concern. Here’s everything you need to know about panting.


Why is my dog panting a lot?

So, let’s look at the most common causes. Usually the cause of a dog panting is easily identified. On a hot day for example, it’s completely normal for your dog to display this behaviour because they are using this as a way to cool off. They can also display this behaviour if they are excited but there will be other clues such as a wagging tail. Often, panting or a dog breathing fast can be a result of stress and if this is case, learn about the situations and events that cause your dog to feel anxious and this will help you to pinpoint a pattern.


Why is my dog panting for no reason?

If your dog’s body language is giving no clues away as to how your dog is feeling and it isn’t a hot day and your dog is panting even though he or she hasn’t exerted itself, this behaviour could leave you dumbfounded. Panting can happen when your dog’s respiratory rate is increased which is a common symptom of illness such as lung ailments and heart disease.


Is it bad if a dog is panting?

Most causes of panting are easily identified and rectified and in most instances need no action. However, sometimes if your dog pants excessively, it is a result of pain and sickness and this will result in seeking advice from your vet and will need to be explored further. Panting can often be a side effect of taking a particular type of medicine so always think about the circumstances when your pet does this and if it can be connected with something new.


Why is my dog panting at night when it’s not hot?

If your dog is panting at night and the temperature isn’t a factor, it could be stress related, especially if this is a time when you are separated from your pet. You might find that your dog is experiencing separation anxiety. If panting is caused by anxiety, you can try to increase your dog’s activity during the daytime so they are more likely to sleep at night.

If there are no new factors that have been introduced recently and your dog isn’t sleeping somewhere new, it’s time to explore the possibility that it could be down to pain or anxiety. Is your pet whining, pacing or repetitively yawning? If this is the case, disease could be to blame.

If you are concerned about your dog’s panting, a vet can help you decipher whether or not it is related to sickness or disease. To avoid any costly vet bills should your pet need medication or surgery, you’ll need pet insurance. You can view our policies here.

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