5 Common Reasons Why Dogs Pant
Usually, when a dog is unhappy, it will pant. You could wonder why it occurs or whether their panting is excessive or unusual. In truth, there are several reasons, some of which might surprise you.
What Does Panting on Dogs Mean?
Moderate to rapid open-mouthed breathing is a typical dog and puppy habit that lowers body temperature and adds oxygen to the dog’s bloodstream. When a dog is panting, the mouth will be open, and the tongue will be slightly protruding.
Since dogs lack an effective system of sweat glands as people do, panting is necessary as a cooling technique. Dogs instead cool their bodies by converting hot air from their lungs to colder outside air and draining moisture from their mouth and tongue.
Panting is not to be confused with laboured breathing. Forced breathing, a defining characteristic of laborious breathing, may also be accompanied by sounds of distress like whimpering, sobbing, or whistles that originate from the nose or windpipe due to obstruction.
Common reasons for panting
Your dog can exhibit one of these five reasons for panting in dogs or puppies.
Even if they are not overheating, dogs will pant after exercising. Similar to how people deepen their breathing during aerobic exercise. But because dogs don’t sweat as humans do, panting is the primary way they cool off. Even though dogs occasionally sweat from their paw pads, it is not enough to keep them cool. Dogs, on the other hand, utilize their mouths to cool off.
Dogs may expel heat through panting and replace it with colder air. As you can anticipate, this tactic is not very effective. It works even less well on dogs with short faces (like bulldogs or pugs). Even when they only become slightly heated, dogs start to pant. As the temperature rises, a dog’s panting gets worse. Sometimes severe panting, tongue and gum redness, and drooling coexist.
Other overheating warning signs include wide eyes, a bright red tongue and gums, weakness, and an elongated tongue, in addition to heavy panting. Prevent overheating by keeping your dog cool and reducing their exposure to the sun. You should always take safety precautions when it gets hot outside to keep your dog safe. Never leave a dog alone in a car since they can quickly get more desirable than the outside temperature. Take your dog to the veterinarian if you’re unsure of anything.
Stress or Nervousness
Body temperature may be unrelated to panting. Many dogs may pant when they experience fear, anxiety, or stress. Examples of stressful events include car journeys, pyrotechnics, separation anxiety, veterinary appointments, etc. Keep a dog in your dog’s body language to help you determine whether it is exhibiting symptoms of fear or any other kind of distress. By locating the cause of your dog’s anxiety or fear, you can lessen these occurrences. If your dog’s panting indicates stress, anxiety, or fear, the best course of action is to get him out of there as soon as possible.
Many dogs pant when they play.
Your dog’s panting can be an indication of joy. If this is the case, your dog’s other body language will reflect this happy attitude. The tail will usually wag comfortably. Your dog’s body and personality will be considerably relaxed. The eyes will appear bright and sunny. Once things settle down, the panting will lessen and eventually stop. An open mouth, sparkling eyes, and persistent mild panting are signs of a relaxed, content dog. Many people mistakenly interpret this as a dog smile.
Any pain or discomfort
Dogs are incredibly good at hiding their suffering from humans. The extent to which dogs attempt to conceal their distress varies. However, once they reach a certain level of discomfort, they typically can’t help but show signs like panting. Other symptoms of illness or pain to be on the lookout for include vomiting, appetite loss, diarrhoea, lethargy, limping, pacing, and behavioural changes. Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog may be injured or ill.
Just a few potential reasons for your dog’s panting are listed below:
- Canines with fevers may pant to lower their body temperature.
- Medications given by the veterinarian may cause panting or accelerate breathing.
- Your dog may pant due to being bloated or overstuffed, occasionally in anticipation of vomiting. Your pet needs to be examined immediately if it is dry heaving or vomiting, as this may be an emergency.
- Excessive panting could be a sign of Cushing’s disease, a condition brought on by an overproduction of the stress hormone cortisol.
- Laryngeal paralysis, a condition in which the muscles that open and close the larynx at the back of the throat are weak or paralyzed, is another cause of panting. This condition is more common in older medium- to large-breed dogs, such as Labrador retrievers. Frequently, the panting is accompanied by a high-pitched wheezing sound and stridor.