Is Your Dog Panting Too Much?
28 July, 2016
dog panting

It’s normal for our dogs to pant  when they are thirsty or have finished exercise.   Our dogs pant when they exercise, when they are hot or excited.  Panting is a dog’s way to cool their body. Because dogs don’t sweat like we do the only effective way they can cool themselves is by panting.

With summer here, you can expect your dog to pant more than usual, but if your dog is panting excessively in conditions when he is relaxed and at a comfortable temperature,  he or might have some sort of illness or issue.   It’s important to be observant of excessive or unexplained panting because it could be a symptom of a health issue.

Obesity is a common cause of excessive panting

Obesity is a common cause of excessive panting in dogs. An obese dog is more likely to over heat. Activity is also more exhausting for an overweight dog. Please consider obesity a serious health risk and keep your dog slim for all obvious reasons.  (discussed in other articles).

Heatstroke is another cause of heavy panting

Heatstroke is another common cause of heavy panting. That doesn’t make it any less dangerous! Heatstroke can cause catastrophic damage to your dog’s body and can lead to brain damage and even death.  (see our other article :  Preventing Heatstroke in Dogs)

If your dog is panting heavily and if you think it might be heatstroke, check for other signs. If your dog’s gums and tongue are deep red, purple or blue with thick sticky saliva, move your dog to a cool place and spray your pup with cool water or place wet rags or towels over your dog, especially near the stomach and inside of legs.If your dog’s temperature is over 104 degrees, take your dog to a vet immediately.

Your dog might pant excessively due because he has a fever

Fever is caused by your dog’s immune response. Your dog might get a fever as a response to infection or other illness. Fever can be accompanied by loss of appetite, lethargy, changes in behavior and other signs. If your dog has a fever, make sure to see a veterinarian to determine the underlying cause. As with heatstroke, temperature over 104 degrees Fahrenheit is an emergency and needs immediate medical attention.

Respiratory or cardiovascular disorder are not uncommon when dogs pants a lot

There are a number or respiratory and cardiovascular disorders than can cause unexplained panting in your dog. If your dog is panting for no obvious reason, or continues to pant longer than ten minutes after exercise, talk to your veterinarian.

Pain  can cause your dog to pant excessively

Your dog can be panting because he is in pain. If your dog is panting and salivating excessively, retching and has a distended abdomen, he might be suffering from bloat. Bloat is a life-threatening condition and if this happens, you need to take your dog to a vet immediately!

There are many different outcomes of  heavy panting.  If your dog is panting excessively, or without an obvious reason, take him or her to the vet.  It’s always better to be safe and have your pup checked to make sure everything is alright with your dog.

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