Dog Panting: What Does That Mean?

Does your dog pant constantly without prior effort and without the weather being particularly warm? This can be a sign that something is wrong with the four-legged friend. We’ll tell you here what causes can be behind excessive panting.

If it’s particularly warm or your dog has just been physically strenuous, his panting isn’t a cause for concern. Heavy breathing is typical for four-legged friends. But why is that?

Why Do Dogs Pant?

A dog will pant to lower its body temperature, especially on a hot day or if it has been physically active. The fact that a four-legged friend lets his tongue hang out of his mouth breathes in through his nose and out through his mouth is comparable to human sweating.

Because, unlike humans, dogs have no sweat glands except on their paws. Because of this, they have to get rid of excess heat in other ways, and they do that by panting. Fresh air circulates through their throats, helping them cool down from the inside out.

Dog is Constantly Panting: Possible Causes

But what does it mean when a dog pants constantly without effort and without warm weather? Excessive panting can have many causes. Therefore, panting must always be considered in connection with the situation and the overall condition of the animal:

  • Is the panting related to the weight of your pet or the breed? Overweight and short-headed dogs such as Pugs, Boxers, or Pekingese generally tend to have breathing problems and therefore pant more than their conspecifics.
  • Is your dog constantly panting and restless? This can be a sign of stress. This may be due to fear or nervousness, triggered for example by very loud noises.
  • Is your dog panting and yawning all the time? Then he may be exhausted or overwhelmed. The four-legged friend seems unconcentrated, breathes heavily, and drools if necessary.
  • Diseases and pain can also be the cause of panting. For example, poisoning or an organ injury such as torsion in the stomach can be the cause. If an old dog is constantly panting, joint pain or heart and lung diseases are often the cause.

Attention: Since extreme panting alone cannot tell where the dog is in pain or what exactly is wrong with it, you should consult a  veterinarian as soon as possible. He can get to the bottom of the exact cause and act accordingly.

Sometimes a cool pad to sleep on, a change in diet or a change in the daily routine is enough – for example no dog sport in the evening. In other situations, medication is needed to get the constant panting under control.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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