Why is my Dog Panting?

Panting in Dogs is Normal if it is not Excessive

Discover the Reasons for Dog Panting

All of our dogs pant to some degree and it is perfectly normal for them. It is when dog panting is excessive and there is no real reason for it that we need to be concerned. It is not normal for our dog to be breathing heavily and appearing uncomfortable. This huffing and puffing with the tongue hanging out could mean an underlying condition that needs to be looked at.

The only sweat glands dogs have are on their feet so it is normal to pant as that is how they cool themselves off after a workout or if it is really hot outdoors. The brachycephalic breeds such as pugs, Boston terriers and bulldogs will always be more of a panting dog due to their short nasal passages and windpipes making them work harder for heat reduction. 

Dog panting is normal after a play session, exposure to a stressful situation, anxiety or in dealing with pain. There are other reasons they could be panting from and these need your prompt attention. Any of the following…


  • Heat Stroke – will cause panting in dogs to an excessive degree. If a dog is in a hot car or running around for a long time in hot weather, their body temperature can rise to over 104 degrees Fahrenheit and that is dangerous. This can lead to brain damage and death. Heat stroke can also be recognized by excessive drooling, deep red gums and tongue, weakness, and vomiting. You need to cool your dog off quickly.


  • Obesity – can bring about a panting dog. If they are overweight and cannot move freely without stress and strain, this will cause panting in dogs. Their weight needs to be controlled through proper nutrition and exercise or they could face a life threatening illness or condition. It is very uncomfortable for an obese dog to move around.


  • Congestive Heart Failure – can cause excessive panting in dogs. This is a serious condition and needs veterinary attention if the dog is displaying any symptoms of heart failure. Exercise intolerance, fatigue, bluish gums, and coughing can all be signs of this. Have your dog checked if you see any of these signs.


  • Dog Poisoning – can also cause a panting dog that is distressed. If they are drooling, vomiting, lethargic, have a high fever, or are having convulsions, chances are they ingested a substance and are poisoned. It is very important you call a veterinarian or poison control center immediately to save the life of your dog.


  • Hypothyroidism – can also cause excessive dog panting and needs to be monitored further. Other signs of this to watch for include lethargy, depression, hair or skin problems, cold intolerance, eye conditions, and cardiac abnormalities. All dog breeds are susceptible to this disease so seek the advice of a vet if you suspect your  dog is suffering from this condition.


  • Anemia – is another reason excessive dog panting needs to be checked out. This can be caused from flea or worm infestations, injuries, and trauma. Autoimmune disease and ulcers or cancer can be the by-product of anemia. It is important that this is looked into and ruled out.


  • Fevers – in dogs can have your dog panting. Normal body temperature for dogs ranges between 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 to 39.2 Celsius. From a holistic standpoint, a fever is the body’s natural way of fighting off the bugs by raising the temperature. A fever is a symptom not a disease. Conventional treatments usually suppress the fever and do not deal with the underlying condition. To help speed the healing process for your dog, vitamin C can be given and homeopathic remedies such as aconitum napellus, belladonna or sulphur, but it is best to check with your homeopathic vet first. Each remedy has its purpose and the fever needs to be treated correctly.Download the Ultimate Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Guide for Dogs


  • In my e-book “The Ultimate Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy Guide for Dogs” I list numerous methods on how you can help your dog with holistic remedies. In Chapter 2 I talk about some of the most common conditions and how we can help our pets without all the costly vet bills that come with it. We can help the excessive dog panting if we just know what the cause of it is. If the dog panting is from our companion being in pain, there are natural and effective ways we can help, but  first we need to know where the pain is originating from and if it needs medical attention. If it is a chronic pain issue, arthritis, soft tissue injury or post surgical pain, there are methods and supplements to help alleviate that.

A panting dog is breathing heavily for a reason. It could be just expelling body heat but it also could be something more serious. We need  to pay close attention to our companions and determine if it is normal behaviour or excessive and unusual. I love to see my happy dogs panting away with their tongues hanging out and grinning ear to ear if it is a normal situation of cooling off! Panting dogs that are distressed for some reason is a whole different story.

Share your comments and insights below on what you may have noticed in your own dogs!


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