Most of us know that our dog’s regulate their body temperature with their mouths, but how much panting is normal?
Our dog’s explore the world and express feelings with their mouths so there’s a lot to read from a pant. Let’s assess the expanse of dog panting to determine what's normal and what should be a cause for concern..
The average number of breaths your dog should be taking each minute is from between 10 to 36 inhalations and exhalations at rest; naturally this number will increase when they’ve been exercising.A panting dog (breathing at an increased rate) can experience anywhere between 100 and 360 inhalations and exhalations per minute. It usually shouldn’t take more than a few minutes for the excessive panting to subside but if it doesn’t there are a couple of things it could be.
Check Your Breed
Pugs and other brachycephalic dogs tend to be on the pantier side so they will err on the upper end of the normal breathing rate for dogs thanks to some unfortunate breeding side effects. The short noses and narrow wind pipes of these dogs make them prone to breathing difficulties so do expect a “pantier” pup.
It's Hot Out
If it’s a hot day then consistent panting is very normal and in fact healthier for your dog as they’re regulating their body temperature to a safer level. Make sure to offer them plenty of water as they lose much of it through the process of panting increasing the risk of heat stroke, a rather deadly side-effect of a summer’s day.
Panting accompanied by excessive vocalisation and plenty of licking in a localised area could be an indication that your dog is in pain. This means a trip to the vet is a must to make sure there’s nothing serious going on.
Heart disease means that the heart is failing to pump blood around the body effectively so ultimately your dog isn’t receiving the oxygen to its muscles and organs that it needs with an average breathing rate so they begin to pant. To determine whether or not your dog is suffering from heart disease check for an enlarged abdomen, decreased appetite, coughing and a dog that tires easily.
A reduced lung capacity as with lung disease would mean that your dog has to overcompensate by breathing quickly. Lung disease is by no means a neutral affair so be sure to look out for coughing, wheezing or coughing up any blood or mucus to assess the cause of action.
Arguably one of the most common causes for panting is to help the dog cope with any stress or anxiety they may be feeling. If your dog is panting in a novel situation then they’re likely doing it to calm themselves down. This kind of panting should subside as soon as the dog becomes accustomed to the situation but should it not it’s best to seek veterinary advice.
Panting can be due to a myriad of things, some benign and some more insidious. We hope that this guide can help you keep your pup safe and your mind at ease!