Coming home from work to your fur friend is the best part of your pooch’s day. They’re always so excited when you stroll through the door, jumping around and heavily panting in excitement. This type of panting is a normal part of being a pooch, but what about when the panting is more frequent and heavier than normal?
Today we’re going to discuss the possible causes of your pooch panting more than normal, and how to calm a panting dog.
Is Panting Normal?
There’s nothing more normal than a panting pooch. Dogs sweat a little bit through their paws but not as much as we do. So they have to use a different method to lower their body temperature when they get hot.
Panting is a natural pooch bodily function that helps them reduce their body temp. By panting, which is basically just fast shallow breathing, the moisture on their tongues and in their lungs evaporates. This provides a cooling sensation throughout their body, but also dehydrates them. This is why it's so important to make sure they have plenty of water in Summer or after they’ve hit the park.
What Causes Dogs To Pant More Than Normal?
As we just found out, panting is a natural doggy process to cool their body. But when they pant more heavily or often than normal, it can be a sign of something else happening in their body.
Here are a few reasons why our pooches can pant more than normal:
Because They’re Excited
When dogs are happy or excited, such as when you’re playing with them or when they see their best friend Rex at the park, they pant more than normal. Sometimes this can be accompanied by grunting, which is essentially doggy laughing.
Because They’re Anxious
It’s important to read your dog’s body language as this can be the difference between thinking your dog is excited or anxious. Anxious dogs pant more than normal, usually when they’re in a stressful environment or situation.
Some telltale signs of dogxiety are shaking or trembling, obsessive licking, drooling, loss of appetite and lethargy. If you notice any of these signs accompanied by excessive panting your dog is probably stressed, so use some of the techniques that we’ll discuss in a bit on how to calm a panting dog to help them through it.
Because They’re In The Car
This is a tricky one. Most dogs pant when they’re in the car and this can be because they’re either too hot, they’re excited, or they’re stressed. Cars can be hot and poorly ventilated, by pumping the air conditioning or cracking open the window you can prevent overheating. You should also always have a portable doggy water bowl to hand.
Again, if your dog is displaying any of those anxious signs we discussed above they might be finding the car journey stressful. Especially if you’re taking the same route that you do to go to the vet! So make sure you calm your panting dog with some loving cuddles or a Calming Dog Treat to keep them zen.
Because They’re Sick or in Pain
Many health conditions can also cause excessive panting such as Cushing’s Disease and Anaemia. Dogs can also pant excessively if they’re in pain. So if your pup is panting more than normal and there’s no definable cause, be sure to have a check-up with your Vet to rule out anything sinister.
How to Calm a Panting Dog
If you’ve had your panting dog checked out by your Vet and there’s no underlying health condition causing the extra panting, here’s a few of our top tips on how to calm a panting dog.
If your dog is anxious or stressed, one of the best ways to calm a panting dog is to distract them. This might be going for a walk through the park or the woods or playing with some fun new toys. Whipping out their favourite dog treats to do some training is also a great way to take their mind off their stresses.
Calming Dog Treats
Another great tip on how to calm a panting dog is using a calming dog treat such as our Nibbles Dog Calming Treats. With naturally calming ingredients such as chamomile and L-Tryptophan from Turkey, they’re perfect for stressful situations like long car journeys or fireworks season.
Cool Them Down if They’re Too Hot
If you have another scorching summer like the one we just had, make sure your pooch is cool. Investing in a portable air conditioning unit, wrapping them in cool towels or feeding them frozen treats are great ways to reduce panting and keep them cool in the summer months.
Feed Them a High Protein Nutritious Diet
Sometimes excessive panting can be due to a poor doggy diet. If your dog’s diet is low in high-quality animal protein they can lack the nutrients they need to live a long and healthy life. This can lead to anaemia and excessive panting.
Ensure your dog gets enough iron through meal time by feeding them a complete dog food with high levels of animal protein. This may be a complete wet dog food, complete dry dog food, or a mixture of the two.
How To Calm a Panting Dog With L-Tryptophan
Have you ever had that food coma feeling after a big roast turkey dinner on Christmas? Well, L -Tryptophan is a naturally occurring amino acid found in Turkey that helps you and your dog’s brain produce serotonin, an important chemical that reduces stress and anxiety whilst also promoting a restful sleep. Therefore, turkey can be a great way to help calm your panting dog!
Dog Calming Treats like our Nibbles or Turkey Wet Dog Foods are loaded with L-Tryptophan and are a great (and tasty) tip on how to calm a panting dog if they are stressed or anxious. All of our dog foods are proper animal protein to keep your pooch healthy and thriving, as well as containing either pre or probiotics to support healthy doggy digestion.
These are only a few reasons why your dog may be panting more than normal. If you think your dog is excessively panting, always get this checked out by your vet ASAP to make sure there is no dangerous underlying condition.