Have you ever listened to your dog pant? They have a different kind of breath for every occasion. Sometimes they pant because they’re happy; sometimes because they’re hot. There are times, though, when they’re panting because something is sorely wrong. Luckily, you can learn to decipher your pooch’s panting patterns. Find out more below!
They’re panting because they’ve overheated
As dogs can only sweat through the paw pads on their feet, they depend on other methods to keep cool. This is where panting comes into play. By breathing heavily, your pooch can condense hot air to liquid in their mouth. As you might have guessed, this cooling method isn’t as effective as sweating. That’s why is crucial to monitor your furry friend if they’re panting excessively – especially on a hot day.
Of course, it’s normal for your pooch to pant after they’ve been for a run. In fact, if it’s happening while they’re walking, playing fetch, or otherwise moving around, it can simply mean they’re having fun. In many cases, however, panting can be a precursor to overheating – and, in extreme cases, heat stroke. To be sure, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the weather warm?
- Does my dog feel warmer than normal?
- Have they kept panting after they’ve stopped moving?
- Does their tongue look longer or more swollen than usual?
If the answer is “yes” to any of the above, give your dog access to as much water as they can drink. You’ll earn bonus points if you can crank the A/C until their body temperature stabilises.
They’re panting because they’re stressed
Has a thunderstorm just rolled in across the skies? Did your furbaby just pass the dog park bully? Have you just finished vacuuming? Any of the above could have triggered your pooch’s panting.
Much like humans, canines can breathe quickly when they’re feeling scared or stressed. In this case, simply give them a belly rub, remind them who’s a good dog, and put them at their ease.
If you’re not 100% sure they’re breathing heavily because they’re frightened, try looking out for their other signs of stress.
They’re panting because they’re sick
Is it a cool day outside? Have you not yet taken them for a walk? Is everything calm in your home environment? If so, your dog’s panting could be the result of an illness. Once you’ve cycled through all of the above tips, you should take your pup to the vet if their heavy breathing hasn’t subsided. This might seem excessive, but you don’t want to take any chances when it comes to your pet’s welfare.