When you are a pet owner, you have undoubtedly seen your dog panting now and then. But, have you ever wondered why do dogs pant?
While a panting dog in cartoons is often one that is excitedly waiting for that gigantic size of the meat, there are various reasons why dogs pant in real life.
Why is My Dog Panting? – Expected Panting In Dogs
The sweat glands of dogs have two categories – the apocrine and merocrine sweat glands. Their merocrine sweat glands are located on their paws, and these are almost similar to human sweat glands. Whenever your dog feels hot, it cools down by sweating through his paws. However, this is not yet enough to reduce the temperature of your pet.
If you are wondering “why is my dog panting and restless,” this is actually for the purpose of evaporative cooling.
This means that if you take out your dog to exercise or he feels hot, he will pant to cool down. Every time your dog breathes hard, it promotes the evaporation of water from its nasal passages and tongue. It helps reduce its body temperature as a result.
The apocrine sweat glands, on the other hand, are located on the hair follicles of your dog. These sweat glands, in particular, produce sweat, but this is not for the purpose of cooling down. Instead, apocrine sweat glands produce pheromones so other dogs can smell them.
Another reason common reason behind dog panting and shaking is because of fear and excitement. These two particular emotions can increase the heart rate of your dog, and this is why you can hear and see him panting.
Many dogs also pant because of their fear of fireworks, thunderstorms or even visits to the vet. An anxious, fearful or stressed dog might pant heavily as his way of showing his worries. You can try to calm down your panicked dog. Remove them from the stressful or noisy situation and bring them somewhere they feel comforted and secure like their crate or bed. Reassurance can also work wonders so praise your dog and give him a treat. Hopefully, your dog will soon go back to his usual happy self.
And then, of course, dogs might also pant whey they are too happy. A dog panting a lot might be excited to play with you or other animals. This is what you call so glad panting that is often accompanied with happy and bright eyes and a wagging tail. For most dog parents, mild panting with glowing eyes is like their dog is smiling at them.
When things calm down, the panting is also expected to slow down and stop.
But, the question now is, when should you be alarmed about dog excessive panting?
My Dog is Panting a Lot – When is Dog Panting Considered Excessive Panting?
If your dog is panting heavily for no apparent or obvious reasons, it might be a telltale sign of a serious underlying health condition that requires a visit to the vet.
Dogs may pant a lot if they are suffering from poisoning. Dog poisoning is most likely to take place after they ingest a toxic substance. Make sure that you learn and know the specific plants and products that are toxic to canines. See to it that you keep these potential dangers out of your dog’s reach.
Heatstroke is another dangerous condition for canines, and one of its common signs is heavy panting. To prevent this from happening, avoid taking your dog out during extreme weather or don’t leave your pet locked inside the car. When the weather is too hot, be sure that there is fresh and cold water and shady areas available for your dog.
There are also chronic dog illnesses with heavy panting as among their typical symptoms. A canine that suffers from heart failure might find it hard to breathe so the dog will be panting in the attempt of taking in more oxygen.
Various respiratory disorders in canines like pneumonia might also make your dog pant and breathe heavily. Another chronic illness that can make a dog pant a lot is Cushing’s syndrome.
Excessive panting might also be an indication that your dog is in pain or injured. It may also be a side effect of medications that your pet is taking. When you notice heavy panting in your dog who is on a particular medicine, you might want to know the medication’s side effects and talk to your vet to make sure that the panting of your dog is just normal.
Deep panting and heavy breathing in female nursing dogs could also be a sign of eclampsia. A blockage in the airways or an allergic reaction to a certain substance might also present itself in the form of heavy panting and breathing.
Why Does My Dog Pant So Much? When to See the Vet?
Dogs, on average, can take around 15 to 30 breaths per minute depending on their size and age. You should know the normal panting and breathing patterns of your dog so you can notice and tell right away if there is something out of the ordinary.
If you think that the panting of your dog is unusual and might indicate something more critical, you need to visit the veterinarian at the soonest time possible. Remember that conditions such as bloat and heatstroke in dogs could be fatal while some other states might turn worse and result in more serious problems if you don’t act soon.
Wrapping It Up
It is just normal for a dog to pant as this is his way of cooling down. A dog may also pant a lot after heat exposure, exercise and physical activities or every time they feel excited or anxious. But, normal panting in dogs should never be always excessive or shouldn’t happen at random times or instances. For a dog panting a lot out of the ordinary, it is best to consult your vet to stay on the safe side.