Common Reasons for Dog Panting

Common Reasons For Dog Panting

Everyone is familiar with that tongue lolling expression and accompanying quick breathing, but do you know, what are the common reasons for dog panting?

Panting dog

What is Dog Panting?

Moderate and rapid open mouthed respiration is a normal dog and puppy behavior that lowers body temperature and also gets oxygen into dog’s blood stream. Panting should not be confused with labored breathing. Panting is a natural part of being a dog. Out of all quirky and sometimes weird things our dogs do, there is probably nothing more natural or dog-like than panting.

Here below are some possible reasons for Dog Panting.

Cooling Down

Panting is the primary way for dogs to cool themselves off because they don’t sweat the ways human do. Though dogs do sweat a little bit from their paw pads, but this cannot sufficiently cool them off. The hotter the dog becomes, the more intense the panting becomes. By panting, they quickly exchange hot air from their lungs with external cool air, thus cooling them down effectively.

Anxiety or Stress or Fear

Many dogs will pant when they experience fear, anxiety or stress. For example: car rides, fireworks, separation anxiety, vet visits and other stressful events. This can be determined by your dog’s body language. If panting seems to be related to fear or anxiety, it is best to remove your dog from that situation.

Excitement or Ready to Play

Dogs often pant when they are excited, happy or energetic. When you give your dog his favourite treat or ask them for a walk, their breathing will become heavier. The tail will be waging in a happy way. Dog’s body and facial features will be somewhat relaxed. Continued mild panting with an open mouth and bright eyes is considered to be a Doggie Smile by many people.

Physical Problems

If your dog is panting heavily and they are not warm and don’t need to cool their body down , it could indicate a larger problem. Noisy panting is not always a sign of happy dog. Loud, harsh panting can be a symptom of illness, so it is important to read your dog’s body language to judge the situation.You should visit your veterinary doctor immediately as it could be a sign of one of the following problems:

  • Heat Stroke: Heat Stroke in dogs can occur during summer months, especially if they are left in hot cars or some other hot area. A dog that is panting excessively and is also acting lethargic or confused, vomiting, drooling or showing reddened gums might be overheating. A dog should be moved to a cool place immediately and should be given water to drink and if severe, consult a veterinary as it can be fatal.
  • Heart Failure: Like people, dogs can suffer from heart failure and the heart failure can also cause your dog to pant a lot as they will struggle to catch their breath. They may also cough and display a general weakness and tiredness.
  • 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. This condition affects dogs when they reach middle age or their senior years.
  • Allergic Reaction: If you have recently started giving your dog a new medication, occasionally this can result in an allergic reaction. Along with panting, your dog may also be lethargic or vomit.

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