Why Dogs Are Panting

Dogs don’t perspire like people do. In an effort to stay cool, they pant. The dog may have trouble breathing if it’s very hot outside or if they are dehydrated, so they may pant a lot to stay cool. By providing your dog with appropriate shade and cool drink, limiting their time outside, and NEVER leaving them in a closed car with the windows open, you can easily prevent heatstroke in the summer. Your dog won’t be able to breathe even with the windows cracked open, and death might happen in a matter of minutes.

Why does my dog suddenly start panting?

Dogs frequently pant, especially when they’re hot, ecstatic, or active. But excessive panting is a different story and could indicate that your dog is suffering from a chronic health condition, is dangerously hot, or has recently been through a traumatic event.

Here are the answers to three crucial queries any dog owner has to be aware of:

  • What are the typical reasons for dogs’ excessive panting?
  • How can I deal with them?
  • When should I take my pet to the vet?

When is dog panting a cause for concern?

Excessive panting is characterized by loud, open-mouth breathing, frequently with the tongue protruding. The breathing is shallower and faster than usual. Your dog’s gums may shift from a healthy pink to a pale or even blue tint if they are having trouble transferring adequate oxygen throughout their body.

How can panting be stopped in dogs?

Pet owners are aware that a dog’s panting is typical behavior. Similar to how regular dogs may breathe heavily when they are exhausted after exercise. Dog panting also lowers body temperature and prevents heat exhaustion and hyperthermia. Dogs pant a lot during hot days because of this. However, unusual panting may be a sign of anything wrong. Think about some methods for reducing excessive panting and soothing your dog.

  • Remain close to the dog’s side. When dogs are anxious, they frequently pant; keeping you nearby can help them stay calm.
  • 2. Create a private sanctuary for the dog. Allowing the dog to cool off in its own space is sometimes the best method to handle anxious panting. A white noise machine may be functioning in a dimly lit room in this scenario. It could also be the dog’s crate, which should have blankets with comforting scents inside.
  • 3. Give the dog a wrap that reduces anxiety. These wraps are applied similarly to swaddling a baby. They may calm an anxious dog because they give the impression of safety and security.
  • 4. Give your dog pheromones that are calming. Pheromones, especially those emitted by female dogs while they are feeding their pups, have a calming effect on many dogs. Pet retailers offer these pheromones in bottles.
  • 5. Give nutrients to your dog. A supplement that contains L-theanine, valerian, chamomile, and milk proteins should be discussed with your veterinarian. Cortisol levels and general stress can be reduced by these.


For happy, energetic dogs, panting is a typical characteristic. Dogs cannot sweat like people do, therefore it aids in their cooling down.

The rapid inhalation, humidification, and exhalation that occurs during panting helps your dog’s nose and lungs evaporate more water. The body cools down from the inside out as a result of water evaporation.

Make sure your dog always has access to plenty of fresh water on hot days because a dog’s panting can cause a significant volume of water to evaporate quickly.

However, the intensity of the heavy breathing should be correlated with the ambient temperature or the amount of activity your dog is engaging in. This form of normal panting can be pretty heavy.


In addition, when they are enthusiastic, dogs pant. When something exciting happens, like as meeting new people or receiving a treat, panting is a common behavioral reaction. This kind of panting frequently includes whining and might be quick and shallow.


Dogs frequently pant and whine when they are worried, which is similar to the panting that occurs when they are excited.

Observe your dog’s body language if you notice them panting. Are their eyes bleary and worn out? Do they turn their heads aside and snore? These are some typical signs in body language that stress is present in your panting dog.

In order to keep your dog from being anxious or stressed out more, evaluate the issue and figure out how to make them more comfortable.


It’s crucial to understand that a dog’s panting may signify pain, discomfort, or sickness. By performing a thorough examination and perhaps ordering certain diagnostic tests, your veterinarian can determine whether your dog is panting because they are in pain.


Even when your dog is not hot, excited, or stressed, medications, notably prednisone or other steroids, may induce increased panting in your dog. This is a typical side effect, so if your dog is panting excessively, consult your veterinarian.


Heavy panting is a sign of heatstroke or overheating in dogs, which if left untreated can swiftly result in dehydration and death. Emergency veterinary care is required to treat heatstroke.

Overheated dogs pant profusely and are likely to display other signs of discomfort. They could be agitated, flattened out, or even silent because they are so preoccupied on keeping themselves cool.

On hot summer days or while hiking and spending time outside, you can avoid heatstroke by stopping frequently, looking for shade, and giving your dog lots of water. Never leave your dog outside in the sun or for an extended amount of time. Short-snouted dogs should stay cool and drink plenty of water on hot days since they are more susceptible to heatstroke.

In a heated car, NEVER leave your dog. Even on moderate days, the interior of a car can get extremely hot and endanger your dog’s life in as little as 10-15 minutes. When going errands, turn on the air conditioner or leave your pal at home.

Why is my dog breathing rapidly while lying down?

Your dog may be suffering respiratory distress if you observe that they are breathing rapidly when resting or while sleeping. If you see any of the following symptoms, call your veterinarian right away:

  • breathing that is clearly labored (engaging stomach muscles to help breathe)
  • brick red, blue-tinged, or white gums
  • unwillingness to eat, drink, or move
  • breathing through the mouth while at rest
  • Drooling that is unusual
  • Heavy, rapid breathing that sounds louder or otherwise unusual from regular panting

How will the vet diagnose the cause of my dog’s fast breathing?

Your veterinarian will conduct a thorough physical examination to establish whether your dog’s breathing difficulty is caused by a problem with the heart, circulatory system, lungs, airway, neck, or another location. The general state of health of your pet could also be a problem.

Your dog’s previous medical history must be disclosed to your veterinarian, who may also advise diagnostic procedures like X-rays to check the heart, lungs, and abdomen for problems like lung tumors or broken ribs.

The vet will also keep an eye out for any indications of stress, worry, or other psychological issues that might be the source of your dog’s rapid breathing.

How is fast breathing in dogs treated?

In the end, the best course of action will depend on what is causing your dog’s respiratory problems. To help your dog get well again, your veterinarian might advise painkillers, intravenous fluids, or other treatments.

It may be advised to undergo specialized training with a licensed dog behaviorist if your dog is breathing rapidly as a result of stress or worry.

Your dog’s path to recovery will probably begin with rest and oxygen therapy. Although the majority of dogs will recover sufficiently to receive care at home, certain serious instances may necessitate hospitalization to monitor the dog’s breathing and to treat the underlying medical issue.

Please take note that the information in this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice for animals. Please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a precise diagnosis of your pet’s illness.

What are a dog’s initial indicators of stress?

The word “stress” is frequently used to refer to pressure or strained feelings. There are a wide variety of stress-related factors. Maybe your job is making you worried, maybe you get uncomfortable when you meet new people, or maybe you get anxious when your daily routine is interrupted.

You can find comfort in a number of methods to lower your stress levels. You might find comfort in the companionship of a reliable friend. Perhaps you get stress relief when engaged in common tasks like housecleaning. Or perhaps you work out to let off some steam.

Even our dogs are susceptible to stress. Since we are aware of how stress affects us, we undoubtedly want to assist in reducing stress in our pets. However, how can we tell when our dogs are stressed out when they don’t express their emotions, slam the phone down, or throw a fit? In dogs, worry frequently shows itself in subtle ways. In actuality, certain stress-related behaviors resemble those of unwinding.

What are some of the indicators of stress in dogs?

shaking or pacing After a bath or a roll in the grass, you’ve probably seen your dog shake. Except when it’s a reaction to stress, that whole-body trembling can be funny and quite acceptable. Dogs, for instance, frequently experience worry when visiting the vet. When they land on the ground after leaving the test table, many dogs “shake it off.” Dogs pace when disturbed, just like people do. While they wait for the vet to enter, some canines circle the examination room repeatedly.

barking or whining. In dogs, vocalization is a common form of self-expression, albeit it can become more intense under stress. Dogs who are anxious or fearful may whine or bark to attract your attention or to calm themselves.

licking, yawning, and drooling. Dogs yawn when they are exhausted, bored, or under stress. A strained yawn is longer and more powerful than a sleepy one. Additionally, anxious dogs may lick and drool excessively.

eyes and ears change. Like agitated individuals, stressed dogs may exhibit dilated pupils and fast blinking. They could appear shocked by opening their eyes extremely wide and exhibiting more sclera (white) than usual. Normal alert or relaxed ears are pressed back against the head.

alterations in posture. Dogs generally bear even weight on all four legs. A healthy dog that has no orthopedic issues may be showing signs of stress if he shifts his weight to his back legs or cowers. Dogs may tuck their tails or become very rigid when they are terrified.

Shedding. When show dogs get anxious in the ring, they frequently “blow their coat.” Dogs shed a lot while they are at the vet’s office. Even while it’s less obvious when the dog is outside, like when visiting a brand-new dog park, anxiety causes more shedding.

Panting. When they are hot, excited, or stressed, dogs pant. Even when he hasn’t exercised, your dog may be stressed if he is panting.

Changes in biological functioning. Like anxious individuals, anxious dogs may have an unexpected urge to use the restroom. Your dog may be claiming his territory and responding to the stress at the same time when he urinates quickly after meeting a new canine friend. Food refusal and gastrointestinal dysfunction are further signs of stress.

Displacement or avoidance behavior. Dogs may “leave” an unpleasant circumstance by concentrating on something else. They might sniff the earth, lick their private parts, or just walk away. Even though ignoring someone is not courteous, it is preferable to becoming aggressive. Do not push your dog to engage with people or other dogs if they avoid it. Observe his decision.

hiding or running away. Some anxious dogs literally move behind their owners to hide as an extension of avoidance. Even so, they might nudge their owners to get them to move on. They may dig, circle, hide behind a tree or a parked car, or engage in other diverting behaviors as a means of escaping.

How can I help my dog handle stressful situations?

You must be familiar with your dog’s typical behavior in order to distinguish stress symptoms from routine activity. Then you will be able to determine whether he is licking his lips out of anxiety or desire for a treat.

He will have semi-erect or looking forward ears, a soft mouth, and round eyes when at ease. He’ll balance himself equally on all four paws. You may alleviate an uncomfortable situation fast and efficiently by distinguishing between normal behavior and stress symptoms.

Remove the stressor from your dog if he’s stressed out. Find him a peaceful area to rest. Refrain from trying to soothe him too much. Make him work for the attention or rewards you wish to give him by engaging in an activity first (e.g., sitting). The dog is diverted and given a sense of normalcy when it responds to routine commands. Amazingly, the commands sit, down, and heel may sooth a distressed dog.

Visit your veterinarian if your dog exhibits signs of stress on a regular basis. Your veterinarian might suggest hiring a trainer or veterinary behaviorist to assess stress-related problems after making sure that your dog’s behavior is not caused by a medical condition. If necessary, they could also recommend anxiety drugs.

Just like with humans, exercise has a powerful calming effect. Walking or playing fetch are two exercises that might help you and your dog relax. It’s also a good idea to give your dog a secure area of the house where he may retreat from stressful events. A serene setting is appealing to everyone.

Finally, keep in mind that stress is not necessarily negative. Stress-related emotion called fear makes us steer clear of potentially unsafe circumstances. Therefore, stress might really be a safeguard. Whatever the case, stress is a normal part of life for both us and our dogs, therefore we should acquire effective coping mechanisms.

What level of panting is excessive for dogs?

Typically, abnormal panting happens when it is not acceptable. The easiest approach to determine whether your dog is panting excessively or abnormally is to note the usual resting breathing rate, which is typically between 10 and 40 breaths per minute. A dog typically takes 24 breaths per minute in terms of respiratory rate.

This is abnormal panting if their breathing pattern alters or becomes heavier than usual. It will have a rougher, louder, and raspier sound than usual. Your dog will need a lot of energy to pant. If so, you must take them as quickly as possible to the veterinarian.

How long before a dog pants excessively?

Due to their anatomy, brachycephalic breeds like Pugs and French Bulldogs pant more and are more likely to experience breathing issues. Because of their compressed faces, they are less effective at panting and cooling themselves off than other longer-nosed dog breeds.

Additionally, dogs of brachycephalic breeds may pant even when they aren’t heated or exercising because of their shorter respiratory tracts, which can make breathing harder.

Due to their diaphragm and all of their muscles being a little weaker than a young pup’s, older dogs tend to pant more than younger canines. Additionally, fibrotic tissue accumulation in the lungs of old dogs might result in a reduction in blood oxygen levels. Additionally, disorders like heatstroke or heart disease that can make older animals pant more are more likely to affect them.

Why does my dog pant so much?

Most dogs don’t pant for very long, and after a few minutes, their breathing returns to normal. However, if your dog pants for more than 10 minutes, it’s likely that they are overheated or ill with another condition.

An disease may be indicated by unusual panting. This comprises:

  • more panting than usual
  • There is no evident cause for their panting.
  • Continuous panting
  • making odd noises when panting
  • making an attempt to pant

What to do if your dog is panting heavily

Your dog is undoubtedly hot if they are panting a lot, so you should check them for heatstroke symptoms and try to cool them off.

The best way to accomplish this is to acquire a damp towel and cover your dog with it. You ought to offer them a drink as well. Never offer your dog frozen or cold water to cool off since it can shock them and make them warm instead. Your dog’s life is in danger if you don’t seek immediate medical attention if you think it’s heatstroke.

It may indicate breathing issues or conditions like a paralyzed larynx or tracheal collapse if your dog is panting more frequently or louder than usual. Try to capture your dog panting on camera while recording the sound so you can show your veterinarian and bring your dog in for additional testing.