Dogs pant and they pant for various reasons. While most of the time dog panting is a normal canine respiratory reaction, sometimes it could be a symptom of a health issue. Here are some of the reasons why dogs pant and what you need to know when you should take action to address your dog’s panting.
Why Dogs Pant?
What You Need To Know About Dog Panting
1. Dogs Pant To Cool Off
According to Dr. Zach Miller from Bayer For Animals, dogs have sweat glands, through the pads of their feet, but not enough to cool them down. Panting is a dog’s way to release heat and most efficient way to cool down their body temperature. While it looks like panting uses up a lot of your dog’s energy, that’s not the case.
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When dogs pant, air passes over and causes saliva and moisture to evaporate on their tongue, mouth, throats and even their lungs. This process eliminates a lot of heat relatively quickly and circulates cooler temperature through their body. From this, your dog will be thirsty, and it is important to provide your dog cool, not cold, water.
During the ‘Dog Days of Summer’, excessive panting is the first symptom to watch for heatstroke. Other signs of heatstroke in dogs are bright red tongue, pale gums, increased salivation – thick/sticky saliva, drooling, glassy eyes, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. Seek immediate veterinary care if your dog is showing any of these heatstroke symptoms.
2. Dogs Pant When Stressed
Dogs also pant when they are stressed. Thunderstorms and going to the vet can be stressful for some dogs. Dogs placed in a stressful situation will feel a rise in body temperature. It is through panting that helps calm your dog down.
3. Dogs Pant When In Pain
Dogs are very stoic and hide their pain very well. It is important to know when your dog’s panting may be a sign of a health issue. Watch for heavy or frequent panting especially for odd times when your dog is usually resting. Avoid prolonging your dog’s discomfort, be safe and seek immediate veterinary care.
4. Dogs Pant After Play
Panting after an intense fun play activity or a long walk is normal. A healthy dog will pant long enough to cool down their body then resume normal breathing.
5. Dogs Pant When HAPPY
Panting can also be a visual indicator of a happy dog. Happy panting is a relaxed dog with an open mouth, bright eyes plus a wagging tail. A happy panting is a smiling dog.
Get to know your dog’s everyday breathing and panting.