Panting in dogs is the same as sweating in humans – they pant to control their body temperature. However, some dogs seem to pant a lot, while others don’t. Why is that?
If your dog does not pant, they may not get hot enough to require cooling. Some dog breeds don’t need a lot of panting, while others do. In general, abnormal panting can be caused by a lack of exercise, stress, or pain the dog is experiencing.
The usual explanation is that your dog is too cold and doesn’t require panting, but if it seems unusual, it’s best to visit the vet and listen to their advice.
Is It Normal for a Dog to Pant for No Reason?
Dogs don’t have sweat glands, so they sweat through their paws and tongues, and they pant to cool off. They can, however, pant when excited or stressed.
If your dog pants for no reason, there could be many explanations:
- Something is causing the dog pain (see a vet)
- Problems with the heart, lungs, or circulation.
- More physical activity than accustomed to (unfit)
- The weather is warmer than usual
- Hard exercise in hot weather
One of my dogs used to pant much more than my other dogs. He’s highly fit and active, although he doesn’t pant as much during or after exercise. I assumed that was due to the breed, but the vet said it could also be due to anxiety. After a while, we managed to calm him down with training.
In rare cases, asthma may have contributed to the panting, as it reduces the effectiveness of the lungs. It doesn’t matter whether the dog breathes through the nose or mouth, as it is harmful either way.
Excessive panting in dogs is sometimes caused by obesity. In this case, panting indicates that the dog is suffering from the cardiovascular consequences of lugging excess body weight.
Dogs pant to cool themselves since, unlike humans, they do not sweat on the majority of their bodies. Panting forces a lot of cool air into their mouths and over their tongue, allowing all the blood circulating through the blood vessels in this area to lose heat, which helps regulate the dog’s overall temperature.
Why Do Some Dog Breeds Pant More Than Others?
Many breeds, including Collies and Pomeranians, frequently pant due to their thick coats. Some dogs pant a lot, which causes the “smile” in some breeds, such as Golden Retrievers and Samoyeds.
However, just because they have a long coat does not imply that panting is typical. When in doubt, consult a vet.
Some dog breeds are prone to brachycephalic problems. These dogs are purebred or mainly mixed brachycephalic breeds. Flat-faced dogs, such as Boxers, Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers, are adorable, but their small noses cause breathing issues.
Brachycephalic refers to dogs’ short snouts and flat faces, such as Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Chihuahuas. Several other brachycephalic breeds include Chow Chows, Pekingese, Lhasa Apsos, Bull Mastiffs, and English Toy Spaniels.
Because the flat face is so fashionable, these dogs have been bred for their appearance, yet many have breathing problems.
Airway obstruction symptoms include snoring, snorting, noisy breathing, and fatigue or fainting after activity. However, because these problems develop with time, they can have long-term consequences.
Why Would a Dog Pant at Night?
While dogs usually pant during the day, they sometimes pant during the night. Because of the air conditioning, your dog may be too cold at night. Another possibility is that the dog is scared or is not yet at ease. Finally, the dog could simply be dreaming.
My dog does this and even whimpers, but she’s only dreaming. I’d take the dog to the vet to ensure it’s not in pain. If it’s for a brief time (a minute or two), it’s most likely a dream, but you can never be too sure.
While sleeping, dogs usually breathe through their noses, but if your dog is panting, there may be something wrong. Excessive panting in dogs during the night can indicate underlying medical and emotional disorders such as stress, worry, fear, pain, or a disease.
Do Puppies Pant?
Some puppies don’t pant, while others do. It’s usually nothing to worry about, so don’t freak out if you see your puppy panting (or not panting at all). However, it can occasionally indicate something is bothering the puppy, such as stress or the environment.
My puppy didn’t start panting until she was around three months old. She now pants like a regular dog.
If your puppy pants frequently, it could be due to stress. If you’ve recently separated the puppy from its litter mates, stress may play a role because she’s been removed from the only home she’s ever known and separated from the litter mates.
Just make sure the puppy is getting enough water and that your apartment is at a comfortable temperature. It would be best if you took your dog to the veterinarian merely to have the puppy checked out because it is an excellent practice with a new dog.
Why would a dog pant in the car?
During a car ride, panting can indicate that they are hot, stressed, or anxious. Open the back window slightly and see if it helps. Before they get in the car, offer them a relaxing treat. If nothing else works, look for a trainer who uses counter-conditioning and give it a shot.
How much should a dog pant?
A good approach to tell if your dog’s panting is abnormal is to determine their usual resting breathing rate, which should be between 10 and 40 breaths per minute. If the dog is doing fast, shallow breathing or panting with the tongue curling upwards, this could indicate a problem.
Do dogs pant when they are happy?
Panting is normal for active and happy dogs. It allows dogs to chill down because they cannot sweat like humans, so panting on your dog could signify happiness. If this is the case, the remainder of your dog’s body language will reflect that.