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How to Treat Dog Panting?

(November 3, 2011)

Why is my dog shaking and panting?

Chills and shivering are a natural reaction to cold in most mammals, and dogs will experience shivers and chills too. Even when a dog gets wet it may start to shiver and shake. However there are some smaller breeds of dogs that will shake and tremble for no apparent reason. Some of the main dog shaking and panting causes include the dog suffering from a fever or from an outer ear infection. Other causes of dog shaking and panting at night also include the dog suffering from food allergies, the dog getting scared or if it loses its balance.

A dog panting is not a sign of any illness as this a technique used by dogs to cool their bodies, since they do not sweat like humans do. Thus when a dog does a lot of running around or playing they will start to pant. This is normal. Sometimes excessive heat can also cause a dog to pant. There are some breeds of dogs that pant excessively like the bulldog and the pug. This is related to the dog’s physical structures. Golden retrievers also pant a lot and this is linked to their hair covering. However, an area of concern with even these dogs, is if they are sitting idle and they still appear to be panting and shaking.


Submitted by N on November 3, 2011 at 12:11


Why is my dog panting excessively?

First and foremost, dogs do not sweat. Hence the only way by which they can cool their bodies when it’s hot is by panting. Even when the dogs run around a lot or exert a lot, they tend to pant. This is normal, but some breeds of dogs do pant a lot more than others. Examples of dogs panting excessively include dog breeds like the pug or the bulldog. These dogs are shorter and thicker set and thus their physical structure is the main reason for which they pant a lot.

Golden retrievers are another kind of dog breed that pant excessively and this is because of their thick coat of hair which leads to them heating up faster. When a dog is thirsty, then it may start to pant. But if a dog seems lethargic or idle and still appears to be panting excessively then this may be an area of concern. Some reasons then for a dog panting excessively and shaking may be attributed to other causes including the dog suffering from a fever or it having an outer ear infection. A dog panting excessively at night or day may also be indicative of the dog suffering from some major illness like heart disease.
Submitted by N on October 17, 2011 at 04:53


What are the causes of heavy panting in dogs?

Heavy panting in dogs is not an unusual sight among certain breeds. Some of these dog breeds include the pug. Just like the bull dog, the pug’s physical structure may be a major reason why it pants heavily. Similarly, the Boston terriers and other brachycephalic breeds tend to pant excessively due to the structure of their nasal passages and also their shorter windpipes. These dog breeds tend to have to work harder to reduce heat and hence pant more heavily. Dogs also tend to pant heavily to cool their bodies, as dogs unlike humans are not able to sweat.

Heavy panting in older dogs can occur as a sign of their energy levels being lower and them getting tired faster. Generally when dogs run around a lot they tend to pant heavily. However, if a dog tends to pant heavily for no apparent reason, even when it is sitting idly for more than 10 minutes, then it is important to get a check up done with a veterinarian.  Some of the main causes of heavy panting in dogs other than these reasons can be linked to conditions like the dog suffering from a fever or a dog feeling cold. Some dogs that are suffering from an outer ear infection or from a cold also tend to pant heavily.
Submitted by N on October 7, 2011 at 06:17


Panting is the normal way in which dogs normalize or regulate their body temperature. The skin of dogs does not have any sweat glands, therefore the only way to dissipate the built up heat of the body is by panting. This is a normal cooling mechanism of the dog’s body. However, excessive dog panting can be a cause of concern. While it is normal to pant a little due to the heat, it is not normal to be doing it excessively. If the dog has been panting excessively, it simply means that the dog is not well.

When you see your dog panting unusually hard, observe the dog closely and see if there are any peripheral symptoms. If the dog is urinating or drinking excessively and if the dog seems to be nauseated, note down the behavioral changes. See if dog vomiting or passing loose stools. There may be several other situational symptoms such as unusual levels of activity while on a walk. These symptoms can provide vital information to your vet regarding the condition of your dog.  

A dog may pant excessively because it is dehydrated. Heat exhaustion is another possible reason for the dog to be panting heavily. As soon as you observe the panting, give your dog some water to drink. This should ease the panting and cool your dog. It there are observable changes in your dog’s behaviour after consuming the cool water, your dog may not need veterinary care. However, just to make sure that your dog is now alright, you should ideally give your vet a call.

There is a slight possibility that the dog may not cool off even after drinking water. The dog may refuse water altogether. If the dog refuses water, it may not be suffering from dehydration or exhaustion. The dog may be experiencing respiratory distress. This could also be a sign of an inflammatory disorder and the dog will have to be taken to the hospital immediately. The vet will check the dog panting and observe other symptoms. If the dog is suffering respiratory distress, it will be given oxygen. Meanwhile the doctor will take some additional tests and check for infections and inflammation. If the dog is suffering from an infection, antibiotics are the natural course of treatment.
While there is not much you can do to prevent infections that cause such symptoms, to prevent your dog from getting heat exhaustion, always make sure that the dog has access to clean, cool water, especially in summers.

Always remain calm when your dog is experiencing panting. Dogs are intuitive and can sense your emotions. If you become panicked, your dog may become worried. Speak to your dog in a calming voice and offer him comfort while seeking treatment.

Submitted by N M on May 27, 2010 at 12:48


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