Dog Panting Symptoms

Dog panting can occur when the dog is exposed to excessive heat, after exercising or it can be due to several other diseases or injuries. When your dog is panting, you need to assess his condition and determine if he needs to visit the vet, or you only need to decrease his temperature and calm him down. The symptoms of your dog will help you decide.

Symptoms of Dog Panting

Some breeds are more exposed to panting, due to the anatomy of their head. These breeds include dogs with a short neck or nose, the so-called brachycephalic breeds, such as bulldogs or pugs. These breeds easily develop respiratory problems due to the length of the respiratory tract and nasal passages. This will make the dog pant more when he needs to regulate his temperature. Obese dogs are also more prone to panting.

When your pet is panting, you will notice a change in the breathing pattern. He will breathe more frequently or more intensively. The dog may also salivate or hold his tongue out, so as to be able to decrease his body temperature more efficiently.  

If the dog’s gums are pale, he may be suffering from an internal injury or internal bleeding.

Causes of Panting

Panting in dogs can occur due to:

  • Heat stroke, if the dog is left in the sun or in a heated room or car
  • Exercise that heats up the dog and makes it difficult to breathe
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Obesity
  • Pain
  • Anemia
  • Fever above 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which can indicate an infection
  • Heartworms
  • Poisoning
  • The swallowing of a foreign object that got stuck in the airway of the dog
  • Injuries

If the panting starts all of a sudden with no reason, this can mean that it's caused by a more severe condition than exposure to heat or intensive exercise. If the dog continues panting 10 minutes after he stopped exercising or after being exposed to heat, you need to take him to the vet for evaluation.

Diagnosing Panting

You must take a look at your dog and see if he has any injuries. Think back to see what your dog has been doing before the panting occurred. If he has exercised or stayed in the sun, he may have a heat stroke. If the dog’s gums are blue or pale, he may have internal hemorrhaging. If the panting is present during nighttime, this can indicate congestive heart failure, which is more common in elderly or obese dogs. The vet may be able to establish the cause by running some tests if the dog’s condition is more serious. X-rays are needed to detect any foreign objects that your dog may have ingested.


Most of the time, dog panting can be treated by cooling down your dog with cold compresses. If the panting is caused by a more serious illness, the vet will establish a suitable treatment.