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Is your furry friend breathing a little harder than usual lately? It’s normal for dogs to pant, but heavy huffing can be a sign of something more serious.

More likely than not, your canine companion is just hot or excited. But it’s a good idea to read up on what their giant gasps of air might mean.

At a Glance

  • Panting is a normal behavior in dogs and is done in order for them to cool down their body temperature.
  • If your pup is still, their noisy breathing might pant due to pain, overheating, or another underlying cause.
  • The average canine takes 15 to 35 breaths a minute while at rest. Anything over 40 may be considered abnormal breathing.
  • To calm down a rapidly panting pup, be sure to stay by their side to reduce their stress.
  • Panting may signify difficulties breathing, and certain symptoms can be a cause for concern.

Keep reading to learn more.

See Related: What Kind Of Dog Are You? Your 2024 Dog Personality Assessment)

Why Is My Dog Excessively Panting?

Heavy breathing is a natural behavior for nearly all living things. After you finish your morning jog (hats off to you, by the way 👏), you are likely out of breath for a while. Your pup might be out of breath after enjoying a particularly lively session of tug-o-war.

It’s normal for dogs to pant excessively at times. It cools them down when hot or calms them down when overexcited.

There are a few reasons behind this behavior:

  • To cool down body temperature, especially in hot weather or after activity
  • From heatstroke or overheating
  • If they are excited, nervous, or anxious
  • To cope with pain or discomfort
  • Due to an underlying health condition
  • In response to an allergic reaction

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In some cases, your dog’s excessive panting can indicate that something is wrong. For example, panting heavily can be a sign of heart failure or respiratory distress.

If you suspect your dog has a chronic health problem, take it to the vet right away.

Why Is My Dog Panting While Doing Nothing?

If your pup lives a rather sedentary life, even mild physical activity can leave them breathless. Alternatively, their heavy panting might be a sign of overheating or pain.

When they feel nervous or anxious, their bodies rapidly produce cortisol, a stress hormone that can lead to excessive panting.

How Much Panting Is Too Much For A Dog?

Your dog obviously needs to breathe during the day, just like you. We doubt we need to tell you that. But you also might be curious as to how much panting is too much.

Your average healthy canine will take between 15 to 35 breaths each minute.

Obviously, that can depend on a few different factors. A crazed chihuahua might breathe more frantically than a laid-back labrador. Your furry friend might pant with excitement when it’s time to frolic.

In general, anything more than 40 breaths a minute when at rest can be considered abnormal. If that’s the case, you should take your four-legged friend to the vet immediately.

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How Do You Calm A Dog Down From Panting?

As a pet parent, you should know that panting is totally normal for your canine companion. Panting is something that normal dogs will do if they’re tired, excited, or anxious. It’s not just a way for pups to gulp down a bit more oxygen—it also helps lower body temperature to prevent overheating.

Here are some things to try to help calm your furry friend’s excessive panting.

  • Stay near their side. Your pup loves and adores you more than you may realize. Your presence will help to stifle their nerves and keep them calm.
  • Create a personal space for them. Sometimes, going to their own corner to cool off can help calm a crazed canine. Maybe it’s a darkened room with some fluffy blankets and squeaky toys. Try turning on a white noise machine, as well.
  • Try giving your pup pheromones. Dogs love to revert back to their natural instincts, even if that includes eating their own feces. (If you have that problem, be sure to set up a poop-scooping schedule.) Many dogs can be calmed down with the scent of pheromones, like those of female dogs when they nurse their pups. You can buy bottled pheromones at pet stores.
  • Give your furry friend an anti-anxiety wrap. These wraps are similar to swaddling a baby, as they create a feeling of safety and comfort for your pup. Alternatively, try giving your poor pooch some much-needed cuddles.

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Bonus: 5 Ways To Trick Your Dog Into Thinking His Food Is A Tasty Treat

Is My Dog Panting Out Of Pain?

Though panting is a very natural behavior for dogs, it can also signify that something is wrong. Unlike us humans, canines can’t voice any discomfort through the English language. Instead, they have to resort to certain behaviors in hopes of remedying the situation on their own.

It’s very possible that your dog’s panting is done out of pain. This warning sign can be their way of telling you that they need help. This is often one of the most overlooked signs of pain. If you think this might be the reason behind your dog’s excessive panting, it’s a good idea to bring them to the vet.

When Should I Be Concerned About My Dog’s Panting?

If your canine companion is panting excessively more than usual, it’s normal to feel some sort of concern. After all, you’re a devoted and caring pet parent!

So, when should your pup’s heavy breathing raise alarms?

Keep an eye out for these symptoms:

  • Heavy panting or fast breathing that sounds different from normal
  • Open-mouthed breathing while they’re at rest
  • Pale, blue-tinged, or bright-red gums
  • They avoid eating, drinking, or even moving
  • Drooling when they don’t normally drool
  • Noticeably labored breathing that starts suddenly

If you go to the vet or animal hospital because of your pup’s abnormal panting, they might run some tests. Maybe they’ll take X-rays of the heart and lungs to check for issues like broken ribs. They also might watch your furry friend’s behavior to see if they’re stressed or anxious – that could be another reason for their excessive panting.

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Final Thoughts

If your dog is panting heavier than usual, it’s okay to be concerned. You’re a loving pet parent who only wants the best for your four-legged friend. However, this behavior is normal and natural for canines.

More than likely, you have nothing to be concerned about. If you are a little worried about your pooch, just take them to the vet and see if they can figure out why your dog is panting excessively.

Keep Reading: Why Does My Dog Follow Me Everywhere? 10 Reasons Why

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