It’s normal for your dog to pant. If they’re energetic, excited, or getting too warm, you typically don’t need to worry.
However, heavy panting is different and can mean something is wrong — overheating, anxiety, pain, or a chronic health problem.
Learn about why your dog pants, when it’s serious, and different techniques on how to calm a panting dog.
Related: How to Calm a Hyper Dog
Why Is My Dog Panting?
Dogs pant for various reasons, but you can usually figure out what’s going on with your pup and take steps to help them. While it’s not usually serious, it’s never bad to check in with your vet if your furry friend has you worried.
That said, there are three primary reasons why your dog might seem to be panting more than usual:
Dogs often pant to cool themselves down, whether it’s hot outside, they’re tired from a long play session, or they are going for a car ride without proper airflow.
So, make sure they have shady spots to lie in during hot days (or even better, keep them inside until it cools down.), give them access to plenty of water, and keep the AC on or windows down during drives with your pup.
Your dog may also pant excessively if they are in pain. In addition, some health conditions can cause your dog to pant more than usual.
If you think your furry friend might be in pain or have something unusual going on, stop reading and head to your vet immediately.
Anxiety and Stress
Dogs experience stress and anxiety just like people. It’s not uncommon to mistake anxiety panting for excited panting (which is completely normal), so reading your dog’s body language is crucial.
If their panting is due to anxiety or stress, you might notice other symptoms, including:
- Loss of appetite
- Shaking or trembling
Is your dog panting due to anxiety and stress? Try our pet CBD products and see how they can help calm your panting pup.
How to Calm a Panting Dog When Nothing Else Works
Once you determine why your companion is panting, the first thing to do is keep yourself calm while you try to help them. Your dog can sense your stress, and it can stress them out even more if you can’t remain cool and calm.
You can try offering them some water, frozen treats, or ice cubes to keep them hydrated. If you think your poor pup is in pain, has a fever, or shows signs of heat stroke, err on the cautious side and go visit your vet.
If nothing serious is going on, you can try one (or more.) of these seven tips to calm a panting dog:
Anxiety and stress are common reasons for panting in dogs, and one of the best things to do now is distract them.
You can whip out their favorite dog treats, go for a relaxing walk, or grab one of their favorite toys to get their mind off of whatever is bothering them.
Related: How to Calm Dogs During Storms
Review Their Diet
A poor doggy diet can also cause excessive panting, especially if it’s low in animal protein — they may lack some of the nutrients their body needs. This lack of nutrients can lead to anemia, causing excessive panting and other health issues.
Whether it’s wet food, dry food, or a mixture, ensure that you feed your pup high-quality food with plenty of iron and animal protein.
Keep Them Cool
First, make sure your pup has access to cool drinking water.
During the hot summer months, it can be challenging to keep your dog cool, but we have some tips for you:
- Keep them inside as much as possible
- Save walks for dawn and dusk when the pavement is cool
- Stock up on frozen treats for the summer
- Wet their coat when going outside
- Ensure they have a comfy, shady spot to relax in
You know how you get sleepy after eating lots of turkey around the holidays? You can thank L-Tryptophan — a natural amino acid.
This amino acid can help your dog’s brain produce more serotonin, a chemical that can reduce stress and anxiety.
You can find calming treats and dog food toppers that contain turkey or L-Tryptophan to help calm your doggy down if their panting is due to stress.
Another amino acid that can help your pup relax is L-theanine, found naturally in green tea — that’s why many people drink green tea for stress and anxiety relief. It can also help calm your dog’s panting.
L-theanine increases their GABA levels, helping regulate anxiety. You can find supplements with L-theanine added or get tablets to give your dog orally or mix into their food.
Give CBD a Shot
CBD is huge in the health and wellness space for humans, but it also has numerous benefits for dogs, including:
- Pain management: Over 80% of dogs experienced less pain with CBD
- Reducing seizures: 89% of dogs had fewer seizures when taking CBD
- Decreasing stress: 83% of dogs showed less stress and anxiety while using CBD
While more research still needs to happen on the full effects of CBD on dogs, the results from current studies are phenomenal. CBD supplements may help dogs that pant due to pain or stress/anxiety and are believed to be safe for human and animal consumption.
Want to reduce your pet’s stress the natural way? Try one of our CBD calming and wellness chews.
Check With Your Vet
If none of these solutions help, or if you can’t determine why your dog is panting, don’t fret about going to the vet. When it comes to our best friends, we’d rather be safe than sorry.
It’s important to call your vet right away if you notice:
- Your dog suddenly panting out of nowhere
- You believe your pup is in pain
- Their panting is intense and constant
- Their tongue or gums are turning white, purple, or blue
If there is an underlying condition, you want to find out ASAP. Your vet can help figure out why your pup won’t stop panting and give you additional tips based on their specific situation.
Dr Powers the Founder of Beaver Island Hemp Company is always available to answer your questions regarding the use of CBD products in your pets. (Link to blog or to messages on website?)
Related: Hemp vs. CBD for Dogs