Why do Dogs Pant?

Dogs often pant in warm weather, while exercising, or during an exciting or stressful episode.  Sometimes, a panting dog looks like he is grinning from ear to ear!  However, dogs don’t pant to show that they’re happy.  It’s an essential ability which helps to keep us alive.

A Way to Keep Cool

Dogs only sweat from their paw pads.  With such small places to issue sweat, dogs would quickly become overheated without the aid of panting.  When panting, air circulates through a dog’s body, cooling him off.

Excessive Panting

Too much panting could be a sign that your dog is sick or suffering heatstroke.  He could have a heart problem, pneumonia, or been poisoned.  Excessive panting means that your dog needs to visit the vet, possibly immediately.  In the case of heatstroke, cover your dog with a wet towel, put the car A/C on, and rush him to the vet.

Stay out of the Sun

Even with the amazing ability to circulate air through our bodies, dogs should never be out in the heat for prolonged periods.  Too much heat can overwhelm us, which leads to heatstroke.  Provide an outdoor dog with cool water, shade, and even a fan, and avoid exercising during the hottest parts of the day or on asphalt.