We all know dogs pant when they’re hot, out of breath or excited but if they’re not feeling any of those things, why do they continue to pant day in and day out? The heavy breathing and the constant stress of a panting dog can cause anxiety and frustration. Why must you breath out of your mouth all day long little dog? Did you know that panting is the only way to cool a dog’s body down? If your dog has no reason to cool his body temperature down there could be a problem. What can you do and why is it happening? Well, there are several reasons your dog is panting and here’s why:
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Obesity: Obesity is a common cause for excessive panting in dogs. An overweight dog has a higher chance of overheating from mild exercise. If your dog doesn’t overheat easily and is still overweight be aware that obesity can lead to a number of health problems including heart and cardiovascular disorders, pancreatitis, joint disease, liver disease and other conditions. Please keep your dog’s life safe by keeping a healthy diet and plenty of exercise.
Heatstoke/hyperthermia: Heatstroke is a major cause of panting. Did you know a heatstroke can cause damage to your dog’s body and brain? It can lead to brain damage and possibly death. Keep your dog out of extreme weather conditions. They are sensitive creatures.
If you’re worried your dog is suffering from a heatstroke but have no idea how to spot the symptoms here they are: If your dog’s gums are deep red, purple or blue with thick sticky saliva, move your dog to a cool place and place water on his neck and back. A wet rap or towel over your dog will help as well. Do not put your dog in ice-cold water. Check your dog’s temperature. If it is over 104 it’s time to go to the hospital. Yes, dog’s have similar body temperatures as we do.
Fever: Usually dog’s have fevers from immune responses in their body, just like humans. Your dog could have an infection or some other serious or minor illness. Common symptoms of a fever are loss of appetite, tiredness, odd behavior and other signs. If your dog has a fever a veterinarian can help determine the causes of that fever. A hospital visit could also be an important next step for your dog.
Respiratory or cardiovascular disorders: There are many disorder that can cause unwanted or unnecessary panting in your dog. Visit your local vet for more information.
Pain: A very common symptom of pain in a dog is panting. Your dog could have pain for various reasons such as an animal or snake bite, abdominal issues, bloat, or joint pain. All of these conditions can be hereditary or from an unhealthy lifestyle.
Hormonal Imbalance: Just like humans, dogs can have hormonal imbalances too. Hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease can cause heavy panting and excessive salivating. Side effects of hormonal imbalances are weight gain, excessive water drinking, coat changes, or eating habits such as eating excessively or minimally.
What can you do? If your dog is panting excessively during abnormal times of the day visit your vet as soon as possible. Your dog needs medical help and needs you to take him/her to get it.