Insight into dog panting

Your dog's panting could be normal or a sign of illness.

Your dog's panting could be normal or a sign of illness.

Dogs pant for numerous reasons, so it can be difficult to tell what this behavior means. Depending on the situation, your dog could be blowing off some steam or experiencing symptoms of a real issue. Here are three things to know about panting:

Signs of a problem
If your dog has been panting excessively, you should pay attention. Panting after a run or in hot weather probably means your dog is hot or tired. But when it pants at inappropriate times (when the weather isn't hot or it's been laying down for a while), there could be something else happening. If you notice your animal panting when it shouldn't be, call your vet right away.

Bigger issues
Excessive and inappropriate panting could be a sign of heart problems, lung disease, obesity, laryngeal paralysis or canine cognitive dysfunction. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you what issue is causing the panting, which is why it's important to get your dog to the doc right away.

How to tell
So how do you know if the panting is excessive or not? Start by checking the temperature in your home. Has it been hot out lately? Does your dog frequently look for cool places to lay, such as tile or stone floor? If yes, then your dog might be perpetually hot thanks to a thick coat or the environment. Turn up your air conditioning and make sure the dog gets plenty of water. 

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