A lot of new dog parents get worried when they observe their puppy pant for the first time. If you are also one of them, I must tell you that Puppy Panting is quite normal and common. Panting helps dogs control their body temperature. Panting is a phenomenon when a dog breathes quickly resulting in taking minimum air into their lungs and breathing through their chest.
Puppies mostly pant with their mouth open, which causes the water to evaporate from their tongue and upper respiratory tract. This helps your dog to regulate his body temperature. Puppy panting is normal but consistent heavy panting may be something that needs your attention.
Many dog parents visit a Vet when they hear their puppy pant. It is important to be aware of some of the prominent reasons which may cause this kind of behaviour in your puppy before you visit a vet. Most of the time, you would not even need to visit your vet if you figure out the reason for puppy panting and fix it.
Is Panting Normal for Dogs?
Not only panting is quite normal in dogs, in certain situations, it’s also necessary as well. Dogs of all ages pant to cool down. While the human body sweats to remove the impure water and excess heat out through the small holes present at our skin, the skin of most of the dogs is covered by fur, which doesn’t let them sweat and push the unwanted heat out of the body.
That’s why dogs hang their mouth and pant to regulate their body temperature using their tongues. Dogs also sweat through the bottom of their paws.
A normal dog in a normal situation takes about 30 to 40 inhalations and exhalations per minute, but a panting dog inhales and exhales nearly 10 times faster. Average breathing rate recorded is about 250-270 breathes a minute. What’s more interesting is dogs don’t use much of their energy in panting, thanks to the elasticity and strength of their lungs.
What’s Normal and Abnormal Panting?
There are two types of panting in dogs and it’s important that as an intelligent dog owner, you must understand the difference between those two and then take any further action. Normal panting occurs when your dog is exposed to a very hot place and his body wants to throw out the excess heat. This is normal and healthy panting.
Abnormal panting is a situation when your dog pants even when the surroundings are cooler. This may be due to something physical or mental factors like stress or nighttime anxiety.
How to Spot the Difference between Normal and Abnormal Panting
You can tell the difference between the two kinds of panting if you keep in mind the following points:
- Your dog makes more noise in abnormal panting as compared to the normal panting behaviour.
- Abnormal panting occurs even when the atmosphere is normal and not too hot.
- Your dog is exerting more effort and breathing faster than normal panting.
If your dog starts to pant consistently and at inappropriate times and panting seems to be heavier than usual, this may be a sign of abnormal panting due to something. You should read the prominent reasons for abnormal panting and if you are still getting difficulty in guessing the reason for abnormal panting in your dog, you should visit a vet.
Causes of Abnormal Panting in your Dog
Sometimes, your dog can pant heavier than usual due to some factors that make him feel stressed and nervous. Is there something new in your house that makes him feel uneasy? Is he afraid of someone or any stranger? There can be many factors behind your dog feeling stressed out.
Just like humans breathe heavier when they feel stressed, dogs breathe heavier as well. As the heart rate increases along with body temperature, breathing rate increases as well which leads to panting. If you notice that your puppy pants only at night, this may be due to nighttime anxiety.
There are a lot of reasons your dog might be panting during the night. If you do not share the same room with your puppy or elder dog, he may feel separation anxiety which leads to abnormal panting. There might be any shadow in the room which spooks him or any sounds outside which makes him nervous.
Mostly puppies pant at night due to nighttime anxiety or stress as they are young and are not used to hearing sounds or surroundings. Monitor your puppy’s behaviour during the night to find out the exact reason of panting in your dog.
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Sudden Changes in Room Temperature
Your puppy may pant heavier during some periods of the day. This is due to the fact that the room temperature fluctuates between the day and the night. If you turn off your Air Conditioner and the room temperature rises, your puppy may pant to regulate his body’s temperature.
Take note of such changes in your house and in your room to find out the primary reason for your dog panting.
Other Reasons for Panting
- Brachycephalic Breeds( Bulldogs, Boston, Terriers, Boxers and Pugs) face more difficulty in breathing due to their faces pushed inside. It is noticed that dogs belonging to these breeds face increased difficulty in breathing when they are travelling. The situation worsens on air travel.
- Pain: Panting is one of the signs of your puppy feeling pain or any kind of discomfort. If you don’t find any external wound, you should visit a vet as there might be an internal pain.
- Heart Disease: One of the symptoms of heart disease in dogs is excessive panting. Dilated Cardiomyopathy in dogs is an example of heart disease in dogs.
If you notice abnormal panting in your dog and cannot figure out the reason behind it, I would highly recommend you to visit your vet. If there’s any problem, it’s better that it gets diagnosed at the earliest.