Why Is My Dog Panting So Much: All You Need To Know

Why is my Dog Panting

One of the most obvious ways dogs communicate is by panting. While panting is a natural physiological response for dogs, excessive or abnormal panting may suggest underlying health problems. Every dog owner should understand why dogs pant, what excessive panting means, and when to seek veterinary assistance.

In this blog, we’ll look at the reasons for dog panting, potential causes of excessive panting, and when it’s time to see a veterinarian.

Why Do Dogs Pant?

Dogs pant mostly to control their body temperature, as they lack sweat glands like humans. Panting allows canines to cool themselves down by expelling warm air and inhaling cooler air. This process is vital for preventing overheating, especially during physical activity or in hot environments.

Unlike humans, who sweat to cool down, dogs primarily regulate their body temperature through panting.

Panting vs. Labored Breathing

It’s critical to distinguish between regular panting and labored breathing in dogs. Normal panting consists of regular, open-mouthed breathing with a relaxed expression. On the other hand, laborious breathing appears strained and may be accompanied by additional symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, or shallow breathing. Labored breathing might suggest a variety of health difficulties, such as respiratory disorders, cardiac ailments, or pain.

Common Causes of Excessive Panting in Dogs

While occasional panting is normal, excessive panting may indicate underlying health issues or discomfort. Several factors can contribute to excessive panting in dogs:

Cooling Off:

  • Dogs may pant excessively after physical activity or exposure to high temperatures as a means of cooling down.
  • Unlike humans who can regulate their body temperature efficiently, dogs rely on panting to dissipate heat, especially during hard exercise.


  • Dogs often pant when they’re excited or stimulated. This could occur during playtime, mealtimes, or when anticipating a walk.
  • Excitement-induced panting is typically temporary and subsides once the excitement diminishes.

Stress or Anxiety:

  • Dogs may pant excessively when they’re stressed, anxious, or fearful. Common stressors include loud noises, unfamiliar environments, or separation from their owners.
  • Observing other signs of stress such as trembling, pacing, or hiding can help identify the underlying cause of excessive panting.


  • Pain can trigger panting in dogs as a response to discomfort or distress. Dogs may try to mask pain, but panting could be an indicator of an underlying health issue.
  • Monitoring for additional signs of pain such as limping, reluctance to move, or changes in behavior can help determine if pain is the cause of excessive panting.

Other Potential Causes of Excessive Panting:

While the above factors are common causes of excessive panting in dogs, several medical conditions may also contribute to this symptom:

Heart Disease:

  • Dogs with heart disease may pant excessively, especially after mild exertion or during rest.
  • Symptoms such as coughing, lethargy, or difficulty breathing may accompany panting in dogs with heart conditions.

Respiratory Diseases:

  • Conditions like tracheal collapse or laryngeal paralysis can lead to excessive panting, particularly in older dogs.
  • Tracheal collapse causes narrowing of the windpipe, resulting in panting and a distinctive cough, especially during excitement.
  • Laryngeal paralysis affects the larynx’s function, causing dogs to exhibit “roaring” breathing sounds and increased panting, especially in larger breeds.


  • Overweight dogs are at risk of excessive panting due to the added strain on their cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
  • Obesity can exacerbate existing health conditions such as heart disease, respiratory problems, and joint issues, leading to increased panting.


  • Heatstroke occurs when a dog’s body temperature rises dangerously high, often due to prolonged exposure to heat or strenuous activity in hot environments.
  • Panting, along with symptoms like rapid breathing, lethargy, drooling, and collapse, may indicate heatstroke, a life-threatening condition requiring immediate veterinary attention.

Cushing’s Disease:

  • Cushing’s disease, or hyperadrenocorticism, is a hormonal disorder that can affect dogs, particularly older individuals.
  • Excessive production of cortisol, a stress hormone, can lead to various symptoms, including increased thirst, urination, appetite, and panting.
  • Other signs of Cushing’s disease may include muscle weakness, lethargy, potbelly appearance, and changes in skin or coat.

Different Ways To Help Your Panting Dog At Home

Keep Your Dog Cool:

Make sure your dog always has a shady spot and fresh water, especially on hot days. Never leave your dog alone in a car because it can get dangerously hot very quickly.

Maintain a Healthy Weight:

Regular exercise and feeding your dog a balanced diet are important to keep them at a healthy weight. Talk to your vet about the right diet and exercise plan for your dog.

Manage Stress:

If your dog seems to pant more when they’re stressed, try to create a calm and predictable environment for them. Toys, diffusers that release calming scents, or soothing music can help reduce their anxiety.

Regular Vet Visits:

Taking your dog for regular check-ups with the vet can help catch any health problems early before they get serious.

Behavioral Training:

If your dog’s excessive panting is because they’re anxious or stressed, you can try training techniques to help them calm down. This might involve getting them used to things that stress them out or teaching them calming behaviors. A professional dog trainer or a vet who specializes in behavior can give you advice on this.

Regular Grooming:

If your dog has a thick coat, keeping them well-groomed, especially in warmer weather, can help prevent them from overheating. But always check with your vet before shaving your dog’s coat. Their fur helps protect them from both heat and cold, so shaving it off could cause problems.


Understanding why your dog pants, recognizing signs of excessive panting, and knowing how to help them at home are vital aspects of responsible pet care. By providing a cool and comfortable environment, maintaining their health through proper diet and exercise, managing stress, and attending regular veterinary check-ups, you can ensure your furry friend stays happy and healthy.

Additionally, behavioral training and grooming practices tailored to your dog’s needs can further support their well-being. Remember, your veterinarian is always available to provide guidance and support, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any concerns about your dog’s panting or overall health. With love, attention, and proper care, you can help your beloved companion lead a fulfilling and comfortable life.

Read Also:

What Causes Hot Spots In Dogs?

How Long Are Dogs Pregnant

Why Does My Dog Have Red Eyes


Hello there! I'm Madhav Mantri, the person behind this PetSavvy Solution blog. I'm a digital marketer and a pet enthusiast too! I spend my time making sure everything here is interesting and helpful for you and your pets. I love sharing cool stuff about pets, from the latest trends to heartwarming stories and useful tips to keep our furry friends happy and healthy.

2 thoughts on “Why Is My Dog Panting So Much: All You Need To Know

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