Dogs typically pant to cool themselves, but they can also pant for a variety of other causes, such as excitement or stress. While some of these reasons are very reasonable, others may be cause for alarm. If the panting is intense and/or accompanied by other symptoms, the latter is more probable. Here are six typical causes of a dog’s panting.

The 6 Causes of Excessive Panting in Dogs

  1. Excitement

A dog might immediately begin panting to release their excitement. Short bursts of panting are a common characteristic of excited dogs, which may also whine or yap, wag their tails, and even leap. Excited panting can occur when your dog welcomes you home, when they meet a new person, and when they play with children in the yard. Once you know what gets your dog enthusiastic, it tends to be simple to identify this form of panting because it only lasts as long as the excitement persists.

What to Do: You don’t need to take any action in response to your dog panting while they are excited. It won’t hurt your dog and is a natural way for them to express their emotions.

  1. Stress

When a dog feels anxious, regardless of the cause, it’s typical for them to pant. Numerous factors can contribute to stress, which can either be short-term or persistent. For instance, your dog may become anxious if a stranger knocks on your door and exhibit signs of stress like panting and barking.

As a result of being alone at home all day while its family members are away at school or work, a dog may also experience stress. They will continue to experience stress until their loneliness is resolved, and if they choose to express their tension by excessive panting, they will continue to do so until that time.

Other symptoms of stress in dogs typically include:

  • extreme yawning
  • Stepping 
  • Hiding
  • adopting an anxious attitude
  • avoiding eye contact

What to Do: To start, you must identify the original source of your dog’s stress. If your dog pants frequently and not simply in response to stressful events, this task may be difficult. However, there are times when you can easily link a circumstance to the panting because it will probably start and stop as the situation does. Once you’ve identified the source of your dog’s stress, you must take action to get rid of it or reduce it as much as you can.

  1. Heatstroke

A dog will pant to attempt and cool off when they become overheated. When a dog plays or spends time outside on a hot day, this is typical. Dogs don’t sweat like people do, thus they must pant. However, dogs can have heatstroke, which can be fatal, if their body temperature goes above healthy ranges. A dog will pant faster and heavier, as if pushed, if heatstroke has set in.

Other symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • thick, drooling saliva
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • movement tremors
  • bright red gums
  • Ineffective coordination
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

What to Do: It’s crucial to take precautions against heatstroke. Only take your dog for walks when it’s cool outside, and make sure they have access to water and shade at all times. Watch out for dogs with thick coats and brachycephalic (flat-faced) faces.

As soon as your dog displays symptoms of heatstroke, take immediate action. Pour cool (not ice cold) water on them and move them to a cool, shaded area. Then, call your veterinarian right away.

  1. Chronic Disease

Dogs who suffer from some chronic conditions may pant excessively. Panting is frequently brought on by respiratory conditions including pneumonia and laryngeal paralysis, which make it difficult to breathe normally. Cushing’s syndrome, a condition that affects the adrenal glands, is another ailment that can lead to excessive and frequent panting. Coughing and heavy panting are classic symptoms of heart disease, which is a prevalent ailment. When a chronic condition is the cause of panting, it is likely to be frequent and excessive until therapy (if possible) is given.

What to Do: Make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as you can if your animal family member is panting frequently or excessively. Make a list of the symptoms your dog is exhibiting so that your veterinarian will understand exactly what is wrong. From there, they can perform testing to see if a disease is present. If an issue is discovered, action can be made to address it and alleviate the clinical symptoms.

  1. Pain

An animal under pain may pant excessively or heavily.

There are several things that can hurt a dog, including:

  • Injury
  • gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Infected ears
  • aching muscles
  • Arthritis

Lethargy, a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities, a resistance to lying down or getting up, and a loss of appetite are some additional symptoms of pain that may go along with panting. These might aid in identifying the pain’s primary cause.

What to Do: If your dog is in pain, it’s crucial to identify the source of the discomfort so that it may be properly treated. Make an appointment with your veterinarian for an inspection to look for any underlying issues that may be causing the discomfort.

  1. Poisoning

An allergic reaction or poisoning may be indicated by excessive panting. Dogs can become poisoned by eating chocolate or chewing on poisonous plants, for instance, or by licking antifreeze-laced puddles on the sidewalk. Other typical hazardous substances that can poison a dog are rat poison and snail bait. This is why it’s crucial to watch your dog at all times, whether at home or in public.

What to Do: Take your dog to an emergency vet as soon as you suspect that they may have been poisoned in any way. If you’re not sure if poisoning has occurred but cannot think of another cause for your dog’s excessive panting, call your veterinarian right once for advice.


Although dogs typically pant to attempt and cool down when they are overheated, there are other reasons why your dog might be panting. If it’s short-lived, it’s probably for a good reason, like excitement. If the panting persists and is accompanied by further indications of distress, there may be a more serious cause. Always call or see your veterinarian if you have concerns about your pet because they are a trusted source of care and direction.