Dog Panting

Dog Panting

It’s very natural for dogs to pant. Unlike humans, dogs don’t have the ability to sweat, forcing them to use other methods to cool themselves down when the sun is blazing. Their tongue provides the perfect surface area for cooling them down, with the air movement caused by panting removing heat from their body.

Dogs will also pant when they are stressed, have just done some heavy exercise, or if they have a condition like brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome. Dogs with squashed snouts, like bulldogs and boxers, will often pant a lot more than their counterparts, but their panting will also be less effective.

While panting is very normal for dogs of all shapes and sizes, it can be quite easy to tell when something is wrong. Panting that is heavier or raspier than usual should be cause for concern, and dogs that pant when they aren’t hot and haven’t exerted themselves need to be checked by a vet. But what sort of health issues can cause this sort of panting? Let’s find out.

Causes Of Dog Panting

Aside from the normal reasons your dog might pant, there are plenty of other causes of conditions like this that need to be considered when you’re trying to solve an issue like this. You can find some examples of these causes below.


Heatstroke occurs when a dog is exposed to high heat for long periods without sufficient shading or water. This sort of condition will cause them to pant, drink a lot of water, have a fast heartbeat, and will make their gums and nose look darker, making it fairly easy to spot compared to the other causes on this list. You can avoid canine heatstroke by simply limit your dog’s exposure to heat and sunlight.

Allergic Reactions

Much like humans, dogs can be allergic to just about anything. Allergic reactions will often lead to panting, with symptoms like lethargy and vomiting also being common. It’s worth thinking about any medication, new foods, or locations that your dog has been exposed to prior to their reaction to make sure that you don’t put them through it more.

Breathing Problems

Breathing problems are the first issue that people will assume when their dog is panting too much. Conditions like pneumonia can leave your dog struggling to breathe, with their lungs getting inflamed and being less effective when it comes to transferring oxygen into their blood.


Canine obesity is becoming an increasingly common issue for vets, with people giving their pets the same level of luxury that they enjoy themselves. Being overweight can make it harder for your dog to breathe, while also making them hotter and harder to cool down. This can be particularly bad for dogs with small snouts, as they will struggle to cool themselves down if they are fit, let alone if they are obese.

Heart Problems

Heart problems can be very serious for a dog, but it can often be hard to spot the signs of this sort of issue. Panting is a common symptom for dogs living with heart problems, with some animals panting near constantly when they have something like this. If you can’t find another cause for your dog’s panting, it could be worth taking them to the vet to make sure that they’re not experiencing something a lot more serious.


Dogs don’t like to show their pain and it can often be tricky for owners to tell when they’ve been injured. Heavy breathing when your dog is supposed to be relaxing, like at night or after walks, can be a sign that they are experiencing some sort of pain. Looking at their face should make it nice and easy to tell whether or not your dog is suffering, with most of these animals being very expressive with their emotions when you give them the chance.

Dealing with heavy panting in your dog can be stressful, with a lot of owners having no idea what could cause an issue like this. In reality, though, there are loads of problems that can make your dog pant and solving them is often as simple as identifying the cause and removing it from your dog’s life.

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