If you own a pup, you may have noticed them panting frequently – especially when hot, excited, or after exercising. But excessive panting could be indicative of an underlying health issue which should never be overlooked. In this article we’ll look into some common reasons why dogs pant excessively and what you can do about it.
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What is panting in dogs?
Panting is a natural physiological response in dogs, where they breathe rapidly through their mouth and tongue to regulate body temperature. Since dogs don’t sweat to cool off, panting serves as an essential mechanism to avoid overheating.
Normal panting vs. Excessive Panting
Panting in dogs usually subsides once they have cooled off or rested. On the other hand, excessive panting can last long-term, be rapid and intense, even when your pup is at rest. If you observe your pup panting excessively, this could indicate an underlying health issue that requires further investigation.
Why Does My Dog Keep Panting Too Much?
Heatstroke is a serious medical condition that can develop when your dog’s body temperature rises too quickly, usually due to excessive exposure to high temperatures or humidity. Signs of heatstroke include excessive panting, rapid heartbeat, lethargy, vomiting and seizures – all potentially life-threatening and necessitating immediate veterinary attention for treatment.
Anxiety or Stress
Dogs may pant excessively when feeling anxious or stressed. This could be due to separation anxiety, fear of loud noises like thunderstorms or fireworks. Other signs of anxiety in dogs include trembling, pacing and restlessness.
Conditions such as asthma, allergies or infections in dogs may cause them to pant excessively. Dogs with respiratory issues may also exhibit signs of coughing, wheezing or difficulty breathing.
Pain or Discomfort
Dogs may pant excessively when in pain or discomfort. This could be due to an injury such as a fracture or sprain, or medical conditions like arthritis or cancer. Other signs of discomfort in dogs include limping, reluctance to move, and whining.
Heart issues, such as heart failure or arrhythmia, can cause dogs to pant excessively. Other signs of an underlying health issue in dogs include lethargy, coughing, and weakness.
Poisoning in dogs may cause them to pant excessively and display other symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and seizures. Common sources of poisoning in pets include household chemicals, medications and certain foods.
Overweight dogs may pant excessively, especially during exercise or when they feel hot. Overweight pups have an increased likelihood of developing health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and joint problems.
How to Help a Panting Dog?
If your pup is panting excessively, you can take these steps to provide them with comfort:
- Provide cool water: Make sure your pup has access to fresh, cool water at all times.
- Utilize fans or air conditioning: Utilize fans or air conditioning to help cool down their environment and lower their body temperature.
- Avoid Exercising in Hot Weather: Schedule exercise sessions for your dog during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening, to avoid exercising them in extreme heat.
- Provide Shaded Area: Make sure your pup has a cool place to rest when outdoors.
- Seek veterinary care: If your dog’s excessive panting persists or is associated with other symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy, seek immediate veterinary help.
Excessive panting in dogs can be indicative of an underlying health issue and should never be ignored. It’s essential to identify the source of your pup’s panting and provide appropriate care. By taking preventive measures like providing cool water and a shaded area for them to rest, as well as seeking veterinary help when necessary, you can help keep your furry friend healthy and contented.