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All About Panting in Dogs – Causes, Signs & Treatment

Are you a dog owner? If yes, then you come across various challenges while raising them. Be it regarding their health, vaccination or travel, etc. Most of the time, you will notice your dog panting. Do you ever wonder why these dogs pant? Let’s see what the possible explanation is.

Why Do Dogs Pant?

If you want to know what is normal dog panting like here is the answer. Painting is very common in dogs. It happens when your dog is excited, feeling heated, under stress, or if any heart condition. Panting is a process done by dogs to reduce heat. Unlike humans, canines don’t sweat through their bodies. They pant, but they sweat through their paws and nose. When your dog pants, the cold air around it absorbs the heat from the body, this lets the saliva inside the mouth evaporate and thus lowers the body temperature. Keeping your dog in a cold environment will help them with this panting.

Abnormal Panting in Dogs

Is it normal for your dog to pant even in the cold? There are certain other factors too that can cause a dog to pant. In most cases, we all see our pets pant normally. But some dogs pant abnormally too which is imperative for you to know as a responsible owner. The following are some of the reasons for you to understand what causes dog panting abnormal:

#1 Anxiety or Stress

This is very common in dogs to have anxiety or stress. Anxiety and stress can cause a state of breathlessness or increase body temperature. For that, panting is the only response. Furthermore, dog panting anxiety is behavioral.

#2 Pain or Fear

When is dog panting abnormal? A lot of discomfort or pain can also lead to abnormal panting. Along with pain, fear plays its role in the very same way and with the same outcome.

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#3 Lung/Breathing Issue

If your dog has any lung disease, the disease may prevent oxygen from passing through the lungs, which could cause breathlessness. In response to this, they start breathing abnormally which results to dog panting at night.

#4 Heart Disease

If the heart is pumping faster or beats unusually then it could lead to abnormal panting in dogs. Somewhat compared to high blood pressure in humans, it is similar. Lack of oxygen could cause it, and to recover that oxygen, they start panting abnormally.

As a dog owner, you must keep an eye on unusual and abnormal panting. Symptoms of dog in heat is very much different from other types, such as:

  • The sound of panting becomes noisy and loud.
  • Excretion could occur more often.
  • It occurs at any point in time, be it even in an AC room.

Why is My Dog Panting So Much?

We have understood how dog pants are and what abnormal panting is. So, now let’s take a closer look at the causes for dog’s excessive panting:

#1 Heat

Well, as we have seen, this is the most common reason behind a panting dog. Humans feel uncomfortable when their dog feels heated up or if the temperature is high and moist. So, in response to this dog’s pants which help them relax and feel chill. Along with the sweat around the paws and nose, they pant. Providing them with a cool atmosphere can relax them. Overheating or any heat stroke can cause dog heavy panting. Overheating is unbearable and very uncomfortable. In this case, taking them to the nearest vet becomes very urgent. If untreated, it could lead them to death.

#2 Excitement

Since panting is normal for dogs, they pant when they get excited. If you are giving them their treat, meeting guests, or in a playful mood, your pet dogs pant rapidly, along with whining. They move their tails rapidly too. This could also let you comprehend more about what is normal panting for a dog.

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#3 Stress/ Anxiety

Another common behavioral panting can be caused by stress or anxiety. Dogs even get anxiety attacks and experience panic situations at times. The reason could be anything, but these attacks can create breathlessness, leading them to pant. They yawn and whine more often. It becomes very important for an owner to look at their dog’s body language while experiencing such for future reference.

#4 Medicine and Pain

Medications or any steroid can be a crucial cause for dog panting alot. Side effects of medicines can encourage your dog to pant heavily, so it is advised to take medicines after consulting your vet. Dogs also pant when experiencing any pain or discomfort.

#5 Allergy or Breathing problem

Why is my dog panting so much? If your dog is experiencing any lung or breathing problems, it can pant. Also, if any allergy from a particular food, medicine, or product can cause dog breathing heavy.

What to Do if your Dog is Panting Heavily? 

Now the question arises of what to do if your dog is panting heavily. Well, if your dog is panting because of heat stroke or any overheating, then you need to follow these steps:

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  • Keep them in a cool place. Try an AC room.
  • Provide them with cold water to drink.
  • Wet them with a damp cloth.
  • Make sure to put them near the AC in a car if you take them to the vet.
  • If anxiety or any other such overwhelming situations are causing excessive panting in your dogs then give them any anxiety treats for dogs.

If excessive panting in dogs is caused by any other reason other than a heat stroke or overheating, it is advised to take them to a vet as soon as possible. There could be any reason, be it a breathing issue or stress. For the safer side, keep a list of other vets just in case your vet isn’t available.

When to Contact Vet?

Contacting a vet should only be done if you feel the situation is getting out of control. Keeping track of your dog’s behavior and reaction is recommended. This will help you with the reason for panting behind it. Dog panting at rest is very common due to heat that the vet can easily convey. Also, if the panting occurs regularly and gets intense time by time then it is advised to seek the vet asap.


Why do dogs pant? Hopefully, you now have learned everything regarding the painting of your dog. If your dog starts panting suddenly and heavily, you still have to keep calm, although it can be an emergency, as you will be the only one to help. Besides, understanding the difference between normal panting and abnormal panting can ensure the best care.