This is why one of the most common questions among pet parents is: why does my dog pant? If you’re curious about the same thing, then stick to the end to discover more.
How to Identify Panting?
So, how do you know that your dog is panting? You can identify ‘panting’ in your dog by observing its respiratory rate. If your dog is breathing rapidly, i.e., more than 40 breaths per minute, then it means your dog is panting.
Although it can be something normal, if your dog is panting heavily along with additional symptoms, it might mean there is something abnormal going on. Observe your dog for the whole day and watch out for every move to figure out if something is wrong with your big friend.
Reasons Behind Dog Panting Heavily
Wondering why dogs pant so much? Here are some of the common reasons that might interest you:
To Release Heat
Dogs cannot sweat similar to humans, so you could say panting is an alternative to sweating in dogs. Dogs pant during hot weather conditions, extremely sunny environments, and even from exercise. The main goal of this phenomenon is to let off the heat and cool the body.
Besides, this process also helps the dogs liberate additional heat within the body and take in the fresh air. During the hotter days, you will find dogs panting more than usual. You may even find dogs salivating more along with breathing heavily.
Another common reason why dogs pant is when they are playing with a lot of enthusiasm. Excitement leads to excessive panting in dogs, and it is perceived as a normal behavioral reaction.
This kind of panting increases when dogs are exposed to a fun playful environment, when they meet new canines, or when they receive something that they love. This is actually a very loving gesture on the part of your pets.
Just as they pant in excitement, dogs follow the same behavioral pattern during stressful conditions. A common way to differentiate whether the stress is due to anxiety or excitement is by looking at the body motion of the dog.
If you find them breathing heavily, whining, yawning, not meeting your eyes, or widening their eyes, it indicates that your dog is going through some kind of stress. In this situation, the best you can do is make them feel relaxed and calm.
To Show Pain
Since panting is a behavioral response for dogs, they use this method to show when they are experiencing pain. If your dog is panting constantly, whining, and limping, it indicates that your dog is going through something difficult. Other symptoms may include lethargy, pacing, and different behavioral changes.
Effect of Medications
Panting can also result as a side effect of certain medications prescribed to your dog. If your dog is panting more than normal, check whether it is due to any medication or not. Usually, a dog can experience heavy breathing when subjected to steroid medications.
Heatstroke is a serious matter, especially for your canine friends. Heatstroke, if left untreated, can cause death in dogs. If you think your dog is experiencing heatstroke, get your dog to the hospital immediately.
Under extremely hot conditions, dogs can get heatstroke, and as a response to this heat condition, they start breathing heavily. Other than panting, they appear restless and lie down flat on the ground. They may even lose consciousness at one point, which indicates emergency treatment.
Dogs panting uncontrollably can also indicate an underlying chronic disease condition. Abnormal breathing can occur in diseases like heart failure, respiratory disorder, Cushing’s disease, etc.
In heart failure and respiratory disorders, dogs can show symptoms like respiratory distress, coughing, severe pain, etc. In Cushing’s syndrome, dogs suffer from symptoms like severe hunger, hair loss, thirst, frequent urination, and weight gain.
These diseases can be treated with medications, but in severe cases, surgery may be required. Talk to your vet today if your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms to start treatment as early as possible.
What Would You Do if Your Dog Becomes Restless?
Now that you know about the situations where dogs pant excessively, let’s have a look at some of the ways you can manage your dog during panting:
If Your Dog Is Going Through a Heatstroke
This is an emergency condition and can be life-threatening for your puppy. So, the best you can do is take action without getting anxious.
Start by cooling your dog by splashing water on them with the help of buckets or hoses, whichever is convenient. If possible, take them inside and keep them in a shelter with minimum heat.
Next, observe your pet’s condition and try to stabilize him. Feed plenty of water to them as a heatstroke causes dehydration rapidly.
Take immediate action to transfer your dog to an emergency health care center as early as possible. Turn the air conditioner on all the way to the health care center. The goal is to cool your puppy’s body down as far as possible.
If Your Dog Shows Other Symptoms Along with Panting
Apart from a heatstroke, your dog can start panting heavily due to a side effect from medication, painful disease conditions, etc. In this situation, the best way you can handle the problem is by consulting your vet or taking your old dog to a health center.
The vet will most likely take a history of your dog’s physical condition and whether he was on any medication or not. Your pet may also need to undergo a few tests to diagnose the exact condition. Under proper guidance and treatment, your dog will be running in no time.
To wrap the discussion, it can be said that panting is a common behavioral phenomenon in your furry friends. Panting can occur as a response to heat, stress, emotion, painful stimulus, and so on. Therefore, it’s completely normal for your dog to pant unless there are other symptoms involved.
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