Dogs pant mainly because it’s hot and it’s their way of cooling down. Since dogs don’t cool down the way we can, we often oversee if our dog may be panting excessively or not. Excessive panting can be a sign that a dog has underlying health issues that we may not notice.

Knowing what panting is normal or abnormal is important for us, dog owners, to determine what course of action we must perform.

Want to learn more? Stick around as we determine why dogs pant.

What Causes My Dog To Pant?

Panting in dogs can be caused by multiple reasons. Let’s go through a few reasons why dogs pant.

When It’s Hot

Dog pant to help regulate their body heat and oxygenate their blood. Panting can produce more saliva in your dog’s tongue which can help cool them down. Moisture will also evaporate in their respiratory tracts and cools their insides.

When They’re Tired

When you take your dog out for a walk, run, or after playtime, dogs pant as a sign of exhaustion, much like us humans. This is also a good time to give your dog some rest before they overexert themselves and cause fatigue.

When They’re In Pain

Excessive panting can be a sign that your dog is in pain. A lot of serious health problems can cause pain to your dog and excessive panting is one of the symptoms of those health problems. Whimpering, limping, and increased breathing and heart rate are also a few signs that your dog is in pain.

When They Overheat

One of the symptoms of heatstroke is when your dog is excessively panting. Dogs can cool down like we do when we feel overheated, so dogs would pant to help cool them down. Heatstroke, however, needs to be taken to the vet for professional and medical attention.

When They Are Intoxicated

Dehydration is one of the symptoms when dogs ingest food that is toxic to them like salt, grapes, and onions. Excessive panting is one of the indicators that your dog is dehydrated and would require immediate medical attention.

Heart And Respiratory Problems

Heavy panting might be caused by underlying heart and respiratory diseases in your dog. Heart ad respiratory diseases in dogs include cancer, heart failure, tumors, and more.

How Do I Know If My Dog Is Panting Abnormally?

Abnormal panting is usually accompanied by other factors such as temperature, environment, or any signs of pain. When it’s hot out and your dog is panting excessively, this might be due to overheating.

If your dog is panting and you can hear whimpering or you can see them limping, this may be a sign that your dog is in pain or overfatigue. They may be injured or they might have overexerted themselves with a prior physical activity.

If your dog is panting for no reason, it is usually because they are tired or they are trying to cool down or regulate their body temperature by panting. Excessive panting for no reason, however, may be dehydrated due to an underlying health problem like intoxication or heart and respiratory diseases. This is usually accompanied by lethargy, vomiting, and increased heart rate.

What Do I Do If My Dog Is Panting Too Much?

When your dog is panting too much, it could be a sign of health problems. Severe health problems that cause excessive panting might be fatal to your dog. So you should be attentive to your dog’s body language take immediate action.

Here are what you should do if your dog is excessively panting:

1. Hydrate Them

One of the reasons why your dog is panting too much is because they might be dehydrated because of overheating or underlying health. Make sure to always have cool, water available for them to drink.

2. Cool Them Down

One of the fastest ways to cool them down if they are overheating is by wetting them. Spray them with cool water using a spray bottle, wet them using a hose, or bathe them in a small pool or tub.

3. Contact Your Vet

You should contact your vet for professional advice on what you should do and to relay what other symptoms your dog might be displaying to have a better course of action. Bring them to the hospital immediately.

FAQs About Why Do Dogs Pant?

Why Is My Dog Panting For No Reason?

Your might be panting because they are tired or they are hot and they are trying to cool down by panting. If your dog is excessively panting for no reason, it could be a sign of a severe underlying health problem or intoxication which requires immediate medical attention.

When Should I Worry About My Dog Panting?

You should worry about your dog if they are panting heavily or excessively. This could be a sign of severe dehydration due to overheating or intoxication, or it could be a sign of a severe underlying health condition like heart or respiratory health problems which can be life-threatening without immediate attention.

Why Is My Dog Panting So Fast While Resting?

Your dog might be panting so fast while resting or sleeping because of an underlying respiratory disease. Lung cancer, lung tumors, and other respiratory diseases can cause your dog to have labored breathing can be fatal and would require immediate medical attention

Why Is My Dog Panting At Night When It’s Not Hot?

Your dog could be in pain, distressed, or having labored breathing due during cold temperatures due to an underlying health condition like heart or respiratory diseases. Observe any other signs and symptoms that your dog is displaying and contact your vet for an immediate course of action.

How Do You Calm A Dog From Panting?

The first thing you should do is to have cool water available for your dog at all times as heavy panting can be a sign of dehydration. Another way to quickly cool your dog when they are overheating is by wetting them with cool water in a spray can or a hose. Lastly, immediately bring them to the hospital for professional attention.

How Long Should It Take For My Dog To Stop Panting?

If your dog is in a healthy condition, it would usually take them about 10 minutes for them to calm down on their own and stop panting, given that you provide them with cool water. If your dog is still panting for more than that, contact your vet for a professional evaluation.

How Do You Know If Your Dog Is Breathing Normally?

Your dog is breathing normally if they are breathing in an easy and rhythmic pattern of 15-30 breaths a minute without any signs of pain, whimpering, or labored breathing. After a physical exercise like a walk or after playtime, your dog would pant more but should return to normal after 10 minutes.

What Causes Heavy Breathing In Dogs?

Heavy breathing in dogs normally means that they are trying to cool down or regulate their body temperature after a physical exercise, like walking or running, or if they are feeling hot. Excessive panting, however, requires medical attention as it can be a result of a serious health problem.


Panting is a normal thing for dogs to do since it helps them cool down during a hot day or when they are tired, but if you see your dog panting too much, it is then you seek medical attention for your dog as it can be a sign of dehydration or an underlying, severe health problem.

Learn more about the what’s and how’s about your dog at Doggos Daily, where we provide you with all the information that you’ll need.

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by Nicole Barnett

Nicole has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. She has three dogs, two of which she rescued from the streets. When not furiously typing away at her computer, you’d either find her chasing after her adorable dogs and kids, or volunteering at a local shelter.

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