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Lesstress for Dogs

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Panting: Why Do Dogs Pant?

Pet Care Tips 3 min read
While panting in dogs can be a totally normal thing, panting can also be a sign of serious health conditions in your furkiddo. Here are some things to look out for!

Panting is the mechanism dogs use that allows them to cool down when exposed to heat and exercise. When panting, they breathe out the hot air and breathe in cool air, while allowing water to evaporate from their tongue and mouth. This helps to bring their body temperature down since they don’t sweat like humans do. Brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs and pugs are more prone to panting due to their short snouts, as well as pets who are overweight.

Healthy dogs usually don’t need to pant in the absence of exercise or excitement. So, if your pooch starts panting suddenly, if they pant during rest or sleep, or if the panting is constant and intense, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition. In these cases, it is highly recommended to seek veterinary advice.

Possible Reasons for Panting

Here are some conditions that can be related to excessive panting and require treatment prescribed by a veterinarian:

  • Heat stroke: This can happen especially on hot days and can result in a life-threatening emergency. If your dog is suffering from heatstroke, you may notice excessive panting, lethargy, and distress, which can quickly lead to dehydration, unconsciousness and even death.
  • Discomfort: Panting can also indicate nausea and discomfort.
  • Stress or anxiety: If this is the case, normally other signs are present besides panting, such as pacing, hiding, yawning, lack of eye contact, and tucking the tail underneath the body. It’s important to keep an eye on this to help determine what could be triggering these symptoms when this behavior happens.
  • Medications: Some medications like steroids can cause increased panting as a side effect.
  • Hypocalcemia: Low calcium levels are associated with many serious conditions including poisoning and disorders in organs like the pancreas and kidneys. In nursing female dogs, heavy milk production can lead to hypocalcemia as well. This condition can lead to convulsions, seizures, high fever and sudden death.
  • Respiratory disorders: Conditions like laryngeal paralysis, lung tumors, pneumonia, heart conditions and Cushing’s disease can also cause panting, so it’s extremely important to rule out these conditions with your veterinarian.
Excessive panting could be a sign that your furkiddo is dealing with a serious health condition. Seek veterinary assistance if you notice excessive panting in your pup.

What can you do to prevent excessive panting?

  • A large amount of water can evaporate in a very short period of time when your dog is panting, so make sure that she has access to lots of fresh water at all times, during and after exercises, and especially on hot days.
  • Avoid exercising your pooch during the hottest times of the day and provide a suitable amount of exercise for her breed, age and condition.
  • Never leave your pet in a hot car or in areas that might heat up quickly.
  • If you see your dog panting, give them the time and space to calm and cool down, preferably in the shade.
  • Keep your pooch fit.
  • Maintain regular veterinary visits and always seek professional advice if you notice something that’s not quite right with your little one.

Natural Support

There are some natural supplements that can also be beneficial for panting, such as:

Lesstress: If your dog pants due to anxiety, Lesstress can be very helpful. This is an herbal formulation that acts on the nervous and immune systems, calming anxiety. Lesstress can help to reduce hyperactivity, relieve anxiety caused by separation, improve disposition, decrease destructive behavior, and balance the immune system.

Resp-Aid: This is our main support for the lungs and respiratory tract. The herbs found in Resp-Aid have anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing properties that can help with upper respiratory congestion, fight off infections, and relieve shortness of breath.

Hearty-Heart: If your pooch is dealing with heart conditions, you could add Hearty-Heart to your little one’s regimen. This supplement acts as a cardiovascular tonic that promotes heart health and helps relieve symptoms such as coughing and difficulty breathing.

If you have any questions, do get in touch. Our pet experts are always here for you!

Dr. Aline Dias DVM

Dr. Aline Dias DVM

Dr. Aline Dias is a veterinary graduate from the Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil. She worked for five years with research in Bacteriology and Virology fields, but she found her true passion in feline medicine. As soon as Dr. Aline immigrated to Canada, she adopted two kittens: Chilli and Keke. Dr. Aline is now a full-time crazy cat lady and when she’s not working at NHV she spends her time spoiling her furbabies or going for walks at the beach.

Published: November 24, 2021

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