Panting is usually good news – dogs do it as a way of regulating their body temperature and keeping themselves cool. We’ve seen our dogs pant after a walk, when they’re hot, excited or thirsty.
If you find yourself asking, “Why is my dog panting and restless?” you’ve probably noticed something is off. The panting might probably be heavier than normal, or excessive for no reason.
If you’re starting to notice your dog panting abnormally, it could be the first sign of something more serious. There’s a couple of reasons that could cause your pup to breathe harder.
Let’s look into them…
Figuring out what might be causing your dog to pant to no end requires a bit of focus. You need to look for clues and more signs, as there is more than one reason which could be triggering such behavior. Of the most common are:
If your dog has separation anxiety, is sensitive to noise, or is generally scared these could be reasons your dog could start exhibiting anxious behavior including excessive panting, according to the Journal of Veterinary Behavior.
If they really are panting because of anxiety, look for other signs: trembling, whining, barking, and increased drooling.
If something’s wrong with your pooch’s heart, the oxygen circulation in their bodies is compromised, which could explain why they started heavy panting behavior out of nowhere.
You’ve probably seen this with breeds like the Yorkshire terrier and other smaller breeds like the pug. There are breed-specific respiratory diseases like tracheal collapse and laryngeal paralysis which make it difficult for dogs to be able to get enough oxygen into their bloodstream.
Injury or Chronic Pain
You could be thinking that if your dog had an injury or was in pain, you’d know – they’d probably be showing clear signs, like limping or whimpering. But some tells are just subtle: panting and restlessness.
If that’s the case, your dog could be suffering from something with chronic pain that you might have missed in the past, like arthritis or an old injury.
Whichever reason is making your dog pant heavily, they all need to be addressed. But understanding which reason will make it easier for you to know how to treat it.
Before taking any further steps, consult your vet. They will be able to pinpoint whether the problem is medical or behavioral, and you can take it from there. Thankfully, ever cause has its possible treatments.
Whether the right course of action for your dog’s excessive panting or its underlying cause is behavior modification exercises or prescription medication, you’ll hopefully be able to get your dog back to their normal panting pace in due time.
So, there you have it! These are the causes to look out for if you find your dog is panting more than usual or is restless. And as a rule of thumb, unless it’s occasional, it’s not normal.
If your dog’s pants start suddenly, are constant and intense, the most important first step is to call your vet. But we hope this article has given you enough information in terms of what to look for when you start noticing this behavior.