Why Is My Dog Panting So Much?

You may have seen your dog pant from time to time after zooming around the garden, or when they’ve just come back from a walk – but did you know that if your dog is panting too much, it could be a sign that something is wrong?


Dogs pant to regulate their temperature. Unlike humans, dogs can't regulate their temperature using sweat. Instead, they pant to circulate cool air through their bodies and to evaporate water from the mouth and upper respiratory tract.


In the vast majority of cases, your dog panting is a normal sign of being excited, hot or just taking a breather from exercising. If you’re worried your dog is panting because they are too hot, check out our tips on how to keep your dog cool.


Why is my dog panting so much?


If your dog is panting and restless, panting abnormally, or is panting and shaking, it could be the first sign of something more serious. This is especially the case if they’re panting at a time that seems unusual, are in discomfort, or their panting sounds louder or harsher than normal.


If your dog seems to be struggling to get his breath or there is a change in the colour of his tongue or gums call your vet immediately.


Excessive panting is a common symptom of discomfort or pain. Some common reasons dogs pant heavily include:

  • Heat Stroke

  • Poisoning

  • Pain / Discomfort

  • Injury

  • Anxiety

  • Chronic illnesses like heart failure, Cushing’s syndrome, or respiratory disorders

When to See a Vet

Remember, panting is normal for a dog after exercise, excitement, or when it’s hot.

Call your vet immediately if any of the following applies:

  • Your dog’s panting starts suddenly

  • You think your dog may be in pain

  • The panting is constant and intense

  • Your dog’s tongue or gums appear blue, purple, or white -- a sign your pet isn’t getting enough oxygen