Dogs can come across as strange to the average human mind as they have many seemingly weird behaviors. Panting is just one of them, but the only time it seems normal is after exercise. Considering how often dogs pant, is there such a thing as too much, even after physical activity?
A dog should pant 10 minutes after exercise, but it could be longer if your dog is heavier or unfit. Consider your dog’s age, breed, weight, and fitness level when determining if there is something wrong with your dog. Some dogs pant more than others.
There are two primary questions we’ll answer in this article: “why do dogs pant” and “is my dog panting too much after exercise?” We have a lot to cover, so let’s get to it.
Is My Dog Panting Too Much After Exercise?
How much panting is too much after a workout? Dogs need to pant to cool off, of course, but your pet may be receiving too much physical stimulation. It’s essential to monitor their breathing and seek medical help if needed.
Your dog is panting too much after exercise if it pants longer than 10 minutes. A dog pants for about 10 minutes after exertion. However, this might not be as much of a problem, as some dogs just pant more than others due to factors like their age, weight, fitness level, and breed.
There are four contributing factors to how much canines pant after exercise, and we’re going to discuss each one.
Older dogs are liable to pant more than younger ones. Like with older people, the respiratory system cannot keep up with the body’s physicality anymore. Puppies, however, pant faster than older dogs. They take about 15 to 40 breaths per minute and pant about 200 times per minute.
Overweight dogs will have a harder time breathing than canines at a healthier weight. I would also like to advise that you speak to a vet if you have an overweight dog or pet in general. Obesity in canines can result in diabetes if you don’t handle the situation quickly.
Level of Fitness
If your dog isn’t used to rigorous activity, then it makes sense they’re going to pant more after a run or game of frisbee. You have to build up their fitness level slowly at first. The more activity you and your dog, the easier time they’ll have, and they should eventually begin to recover faster.
Many dogs are brachycephalic or have short noses. Their nose length is because of their odd skull shape. Boxers and Pugs are examples of these breeds. These dogs’ short noses mean that they have narrower airways, have an abnormally small amount of nasal tissues, and often develop breathing issues.
Why Do Dogs Pant?
One primary reason dogs pant is because they can’t sweat as humans do. Sweating is when your excess body heat vaporizes the fluid off your skin, and the act of evaporation results in your body losing heat and thus cooling down. But dogs have a small number of terrible sweat glands.
Dogs pant because, unlike humans, they can’t sweat to keep cool. Dogs may also pant when they’re in pain or have overexerted themselves. Panting can be a sign of heart and respiratory issues as well. Your dog also pants if they’re anxious or happy.
Your dog’s poor sweat glands mean that they have to resort to thermoregulation to keep cool. Thermoregulation in a dog’s case is expelling heat from their bodies via their mouths, or through panting. The moistened air evaporates around your pup, which cools them down.
Other Reasons Dogs Pant
Dogs pant for other reasons, including pain, anxiety, and happiness. Let’s take a closer look at these reasons.
Panting can be an indication that your dog is hurting and needs medical attention. Other signs your dog is in pain are restlessness, limping, and picking (biting or licking) at the injured spot. Panting can also indicate nausea and discomfort.
Proper veterinary diagnostic tests can provide exact answers whether your dog is in pain and the cause.
Heavy physical activity makes dogs pant also. We’ll talk more about this subject later, but dogs can run out of breath if they’ve been pushing their bodies particularly hard. You may see your dog lay down to rest a minute.
When this happens, take a few moments to give your pup a break. Make sure to have cool water on hand, too, as hydration is important after vigorous activity.
Heart and Respiratory Issues
Like in humans, heart and respiratory issues can make breathing difficult for dogs. Panting in a dog, especially in older canines, can mean choking, heart failure, or lung tumors. If you think that your dog has any heart problems, you’ll need to take it to the vet to diagnose these or other issues.
Panting is also a physical manifestation of anxiousness in canines. More specifically, it’s when a dog’s body is preparing its flight or fight response. Panting provides the blood with extra oxygen, which travels to the lungs and enables the dog to run in an emergency.
Stress, in general, will make a dog pant, however. Signs that your dog is stressed also include barking, whining, freezing, and pacing.
Dogs pant when they’re happy and excited, too. Happy panting is said to be noisy, almost like the dog is laughing. It can be easy to confuse happy panting with “illness panting,” however. To be sure, keep on the lookout for specific body language.
If you see your doggie looking tense or restless, it could be a sign of illness.
The most common reason dogs pant is because they’re hot.
Dogs don’t have many sweat glands, so they cool off by exhaling warm air from their bodies which cools their surroundings. Dogs may also pant due to health complications like obesity, lung tumors, or heart and respiratory disease.
Happiness and anxiety are other reasons dogs pant.
If your dog is unused to exercise, they probably need more time to catch their breath, which could explain the excessive panting. If you suspect that your dog is panting due to pain or any other health-related issue, call your veterinarian immediately.
And as always, Live, Love, Laugh, and Scratch our bellies often!
Love you guys,
P.S. If you’re new to this world, you may want to check out my Ultimate Guide for First Time Dog Parents. It’s a great reference to get you started on this journey.
This article has been reviewed by our Editorial Board and has been approved for publication in accordance with our Editorial Policies.
- AKC: Healthy Temperature Setting For Dogs In The Winter
- Cuteness: Why Do Puppies Pant So Much?
- Purina: Diabetes in Dogs: Cause and Symptoms
- Wag Walking: Brachycephalic Syndrome in Dogs
- Hill’s Pet: Is Your Dog Panting Too Excessively? Understanding Dog Panting
- Pure Pet Food: Why Do Dogs Pant?
- AKC: Why Do Dogs Pant?
- Quality Dog Resources: How Long Should A Dog Pant After Exercise?