Why do dogs pant? Vet Vs The Net

We’ve all seen it, we’ve all heard it…but why do they do it? 1,300 people ask Google every month why dogs pant; luckily, Dave the vet has some answers…

So, why do dogs pant?

Usually, they do it to cool down. Because they’re covered in fur, dogs don’t have normal sweat glands and can’t sweat in the way us humans can. They can only sweat through the bottoms of their footpads and through their noses. In absence of this, their chosen method of cooling themselves down is to pant.

How it works: how does panting cool a dog down?

Having their mouth wide open and their tongue hanging out lets the air circulate in the dog’s mouth: the cold air gets in and the warm air gets out.

Your dog could be anxious

Excessive panting can be a sign of stress or anxiety in your dog. How is your dog’s environment? Have you had a lot of people over lately or has there been a lot going on in your house? Changes in their environment can cause anxiety in your dog and the best way of preventing anxiety is to remove the source of it.

Click here to read more about stress and anxiety in dogs.

What’s the weather like?

If your dog is panting excessively and it happens to be a scorching hot summer’s day, this is likely a sign of heatstroke or dehydration. It’s important during periods of hot weather to keep your dog nice and cool. Click here to read more.

If your dog is panting excessively, you can’t think of any environmental factors that could be causing it, it’s not to do with the weather and you’re strapped for ideas, contact your vet. Panting can also be a sign of other illnesses, which your vet will be able to diagnose and treat. To find your nearest recommended vet or pet clinic, use our Find a Vet page.