Why Do Dogs Pant? Dog Behavior Series 6

Do you want to know why Do Dogs Pant? Keep reading to determine if your dog is displaying normal or abnormal dog behavior when he pants.

It is normal for dogs to pant, to cool down, especially when they are hot, excited, or energetic. Panting is also the way dogs oxygenate their blood. When your dog pants, offer him water to make sure he is not thirsty. If your dog is over heated, give him water to help him cool down faster. However, if your dog pants for no obvious reason, the panting may indicate a health problem.

So Why Do Dogs Pant?

There are several reasons why your dog pants. Let’s find out what they are and what you need to understand in order to determine whether your dog is displaying normal or abnormal dog behavior. It is so important for you to know when to start worrying. If your dog is panting more heavily than usual, without an obvious reason, or while resting in a comfortable environment, he might be in trouble. Excessive or unexplained panting can be a symptom of a serious health issue.

  • Health Issue Number One – Heat-stroke or Poisoning

It is normal for a dog to pant heavily after exertion. Some dogs with short snouts tend to breath heavier than other dogs. However, heavy panting is also a sign a dog may be suffering from heat-stroke or may have consumed a toxic substance.

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Heat-stroke can be fatal. Walk your dog during the cooler times of the day, and never leave a dog in a car. Senior dogs are more prone to heat-stroke. Signs of a heat-stroke include excessive drooling, deep red gums and tongue, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, and seizure. If you cannot find any obvious reason for a sudden change in your dog’s normal behavior, in this case, heavy panting; take him to a vet immediately.

  • Health Issue Number Two – Illness

Heart failure, Cushing’s syndrome, or respiratory disorders such as pneumonia can all cause heavy panting in dogs. If you suspect your dog is ill, get him to the vet immediately.

  • Health Issue Number Three – Age, Injury, and/or Pain

Heavy panting is one sign your dog may have suffered an injury or is in pain. If you suspect your dog may be in pain, check his entire body for signs of pain or injury, including his teeth and gums. Signs of pain include heavy panting, trembling, restlessness or not wanting to move around.

Weight gain and arthritis can make it more difficult too as your dog ages. If your dog is having trouble breathing or has difficulty walking, ask your vet if a physical condition or the dog’s age is the cause. Any pain or discomfort is a reason to call your vet.

  • Health Issue Number Four – Lack of Oxygen or Shock
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An indicator is if your dog’s tongue or gums are not their normal moist pink color. If your dog’s mouth appears blue, white, or bluish purple; get your dog to an emergency room immediately!

  • Health Issue Number Five – Allergies or Medication

A variety of medications can cause panting. Ask your vet if your dog’s behavior is normal.

  • Health Issue Number Six – Fever or Infection

A dog will pant in an attempt to reduce his fever. If your dog has a fever, and is not simply overheated, it may be due to infection. See your vet right away.

  • Health Issue Number Seven – Hormonal Imbalance

Heavy panting can also be a sign of a hormonal disorder, such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease. Panting could be accompanied by other symptoms such as weight gain, excessive drinking, coat changes, changes in appetite, or behavioral changes.

  • Health Issue Number Eight – Obesity

When a dog is too fat, breathing is difficult and the result is discomfort and excessive panting. You need to help your dog lose weight.

Now let’s recap.

It is normal for dogs to pant, to cool down, especially when they are hot, excited, or energetic. Make sure your dog has access to fresh water at all times.

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Panting is the way dogs oxygenate their blood. A healthy dog will only pant for a short period of time before his breathing returns to normal.

Dogs also pant when they are stressed and anxious for whatever reason, like during a thunderstorm, during a fireworks display, or from the sound of gunshots in the distance. Comfort your dog during these times to let him know there is nothing to fear.

No one knows your dog better than you. Pay attention to your dog’s normal, everyday panting so you can recognize when your dog’s panting changes. If your dog is panting heavily for no obvious reason and you recognize that it is not his normal, everyday panting behavior, then your dog may have a health issue. It is time for a trip to the vet.

Hope you enjoyed this segment on Dog Behavior, specifically on the topic of Why Do Dogs Pant, and hope you walked away with something of value. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to my email list, Dog Behavior. Thank you so much for reading. I look forward to seeing you inside my next article. Please like, share, comment,.

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