Why Do Dogs Pant?

We all have seen a dog pant before, but why exactly do they pant?

If you’ve owned a dog before then you know that they tend to pant quite frequently. In fact, your dog might seem like it’s panting all the time and you might be wondering why do dogs pant. Well, the answer isn’t as strange or as extreme as you might think.

Dogs pant for a multitude of different reasons and they are definitely not in danger when this happens, at least, not if they’re panting for short periods of time. It’s only if they’ve been panting for an extended period that you need to really get concerned.

Why Do Dogs Pant?

The short answer is that dogs pant because their body is getting overheated. When you go outside and you start getting too warm your body will start to sweat. This is the way that your body is able to remove and reduce some of that excess heat.

With your dog, however, that’s not possible. Dogs aren’t able to sweat in the same way that the rest of us do and that means they need to be able to get rid of some of that excess heat in different ways.

Panting is one of the ways that dogs actually get rid of the excess heat. The air that they need to start cooling down comes slightly through the pads of their paws, because there they can sweat. But the most air is going to come through their mouth.

As they pant they’re actually taking in even more oxygen and they’re getting a bit more air flow that can help to cool their body. Water is another way that they can start to cool down quickly and feel better. There are actually other reasons that your dog might start panting as well.

Extreme Overheating

Your dog pants when they’re getting warm, but that warm could mean that they’re extremely warm or just a little warm. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to what’s going on around them when you’re noticing it.

If the weather is very warm and your dog is panting a lot or seems to be tired or having other problems at the same time you may want to seek out professional help. Panting in these instances could be a sign of a heatstroke, which can be extremely serious for your dog. The best way to avoid this is to make sure that you always have plenty of water available to them.

Keeping water nearby when the weather is warm is going to make sure that they can keep cooling themselves down. After all, all that excess fur that they have is going to trap the heat in if they’re not careful and if you’re playing outside it gets even more extreme.

Allergic Reactions

Heat is not the only reason that your dog may pant. If they’re having an allergic reaction to something or if they’ve suffered from some type of poisoning they may also pant. Dogs who are suffering from these types of reactions are generally going to be panting as well as lethargic.

They may also be vomiting as a result of the poison that they’ve ingested. This means you’re going to want to seek out immediate medical attention for them. The best thing that you can do is make sure you keep an eye on them and watch for what’s going on alongside the panting.

Watch for trouble breathing or for dogs that seem to act differently after you’ve given them medication. You may not even see them ingest something that is poisonous, so it’s important to be aware of how they’re acting at any time.

Illness

Dogs may start to pant if they are suffering from some type of illness. The reason for this is that they are starting to have trouble catching their breath and they might have an increase in their heart rate. If this happens they pant to try and get even more oxygen and energy into their body.

Alongside this they might start to seem tired or they might be vomiting as well. Keep in mind that there are a number of different types of health conditions that could be shown through panting, and they could be related to respiratory problems or heart problems.

Electrical Storms

This one might seem strange, but dogs may actually start panting when they recognize that an electrical storm is coming. They tend to recognize the electricity in the air and they notice the sounds and flashes of lighting.

So, make sure that you’re seeking out cover if things are starting to get a little bit dicey in your area. You might be surprised, but you might also find that your dog is quite intelligent and is capable of finding a recognizing many things on their own.

Excitement

There is one positive reason that your dog could be panting and that’s the simple fact that they are extremely excited to see you. They want you to play. They want to spend time with you and they definitely want to be petted.

That excitement and the level of encouragement that they get from you will definitely cause them to pant with a little more excitement and this can happen no matter where they are or what the conditions are. So, if you’re indoors or if you’ve just let them out on a nice day they might pant just because they’re happy.

Wrap Up

There are a number of different reasons that your dog could be panting. You might find a number of positive times that your dog pants and there are definitely a number of different negative things you need to keep an eye on.

You’re going to want to be aware of what’s going on around you at the time of the panting. If they’re running a lot then they might need more air. If they are just around the house it could be a sign they’re excited or that they are sick. So keep track of all the symptoms at once and work from there to make a decision on your next steps.

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