Walking dogs day in and day out, Paws to Consider works with a lot of panting dogs! There are many reasons that a dog pants, and unlike people, dogs have a warm fur coat on at all times which often requires that they find a way to stay cool!
Cooling down – Dogs don’t sweat through their skin to cool off, so panting is a means for dogs to circulate air through their bodies and help them cool down. Jumping into water is another means for a dog to regain their “cool.
Heatstroke – Panting can be a warning sign of a heat stroke or medical emergency. When playing in the heat or sun, be sure to to provide your dog with water, and a cool or shady area to relax in.
Allergic reaction – Panting can also be a sign of something that is physically wrong with your pup, this is particularly true if there is no discernible reason for panting. Often times panting in these situations is associated with lethargy and vomiting, and is an indicator your dog has ingested poison.
Illness – A sudden increase in heart rate and/or panting to catch a breath, can be a warning sign that your dog has a heart problem. Other illnesses can start your dogs panting and might include respiratory problems such as pneumonia and even Cushing’s syndrome.
Electrical Storm – Oddly enough, it has been shown that a dog may suddenly start panting if an electrical storm passes by. For dogs this is a normal fear response, as many times dogs are easily startled by loud noises and bright flashes.
It’s important to understand the reasons your dog is panting, as mentioned above it could range from something as simple as hot weather or being spooked, to something more serious such as letting you know he/she is in distress!