Why Is My Dog Panting So Much

dog panting

It is pretty normal for dogs to pant, especially when they’re feeling energetic or happy. Dogs are playful pets who are known to show their expressions better than many other animals. Panting is considered one of their emotional expressions, generally linked to excitement. 

However, if your dog is panting heavily and rapidly, it may be something to take a closer look at. There’s a chance your dog might be suffering from a poor health condition or is dealing with a large amount of stress.

So, let’s quickly jump into several potential reasons to answer the question of: “why is my dog panting so much?”

Reasons Why Your Dog is Panting So Much

Heat and Overexertion

Is the weather hot outside? If yes, there’s a chance your dog might be panting to regulate his body temperature. Dogs don’t sweat like humans do – instead, they pant as a way to cool their body off.

Stress and Excitement

Dogs also pant when they are either very excited, overly stressed, or anxious. These emotional conditions may be due to a number of reasons, such as traffic noises, unfamiliar surroundings, the presence of an intruder, seeing their owner after a long time, etc. 

Pain or Discomfort

If your dog is feeling pain or discomfort, perhaps due to an injury, upset stomach, muscle strain or other similar reasons, he may pant rapidly. Dogs usually pant in pain as a natural response to an increased heart rate. In many cases, panting may also be a way to communicate that something’s wrong.

Heart or Lung Issues

Talking specifically about pain, your dog can be suffering from a heart or lung issue if you see him panting uncontrollably. Lung issues such as pneumonia, asthma, or allergies can cause congestion and difficulty in breathing. Heart issues such as high blood pressure can also lead to heavy panting. In these scenarios, it is crucial to take your dog to the vet.


If left unchecked, the effects of hot weather may escalate into a complete medical emergency for your dog’s health. If your dog has been overly-involved in intense physical activity in hot weather, he may display symptoms such as drooling, high blood pressure, vomiting and lethargy, along with heavy panting. These could be signs of a heat-stroke, which needs immediate medical attention!


Excessive panting may also be one of the many side effects of obesity. Overweight dogs find it difficult to undergo any physical activity. This is due to the excess strain on the body and low endurance. As a result, your dog may pant due to shortness of breath after doing more physical activity than usual.

Medication Side Effects

Medications can sometimes leave some pretty notable side effects. If your dog is taking any medications, you may need to check with your vet to see if there may be any potential side effects to take note of. Some medicines can cause nausea or disturb blood pressure, further leading to excessive panting.

Age-Related Issues

Old age may cause several issues, similar to obesity. This happens because dogs, at older ages, generally lack the energy and endurance they used to have. In addition to that, their muscle strength reduces too. As a result, even when old dogs do minor physical activity, they can experience shortness of breath and a notably elevated heartbeat. 

When to See a Vet

A dog’s panting is usually nothing to worry about. However, if the panting becomes excessive, or if you notice the following symptoms, it’s recommended that you call your vet for a better consultation:

  • Your dog suddenly starts to pant.
  • You see any sign of injury or other sources of pain.
  • Your dog’s panting is rapid and intense.
  • Your dog’s tongue or gums turn blue, white or purple. This could be a sign that your dog is not getting enough oxygen and is most likely experiencing a respiratory issue

Other Causes of Heavy Panting

Some other reasons linked to heavy panting in dogs include eclampsia, also known as milk fever. This condition is dangerous and is more common in nursing mothers. It leads to low calcium in the body, causing the dog to have difficulty standing or moving. 

Besides that, infections, allergies, or irritation in the nasal passage can cause your dog to pant a lot. In any case, visiting the vet is usually necessary for a proper diagnosis. 


Just like a cat’s purring, a dog’s panting is mostly associated with excitement and happiness. Dogs are beautiful and emotional creatures who display their moods in different ways, and panting is one such expression. However, when your dog is panting abnormally, you should check if something’s wrong. 

When in doubt, trusting your instincts and seeking veterinary advice is the best course of action. Timely intervention can help identify and address any health problems, ensuring that your lovely dog receives the necessary care and attention to lead a happy and healthy life. Remember that as a responsible pet owner, your vigilance and proactive approach are key to ensuring the well-being of your furry friend.