Should I Be Worried that My Dog is Panting in Santa Clarita, CA?

dog panting in santa clarita, ca

Everyone who owns a dog knows that dogs pant frequently. This can be due to them being hot, exerting, or just due to anxiety. It can be easy to disregard panting as a serious problem since dogs tend to do it frequently. There are many instances when panting is of no concern but knowing the difference between panting the indicates a health problem and panting that is normal is important for dog owners.

Dog owners always need to consider the situation that their dog is in to determine if there is a need to worry about their dog’s panting. Owners need to also be paying attention to their dog’s overall health to look for warning signs of other health conditions that might be related to the panting. While panting can be quite normal, it is often easy to recognize panting that is not. The overall behavior of a dog in distress is quite recognizable as well, and often accompanies panting in dogs that are sick or injured.

If you are ready to learn some more about whether you should be worried about your dog’s panting, you keep reading.

When Is It Normal for Dogs to Pant?


Dogs can pant for a variety of reasons that are completely normal. Dogs pant to cool themselves off and to recover when they have been exerting. Panting can also be a sign of anxiety or fear and dogs that are stressed might pant to help them cope with their concerns. Dogs can also pant as they age because it is harder for them to do normal things or to get around.

You should be concerned however, if your dog is panting very heavily or if their breathing is very rapid. These are usually signs that your dog is in distress. Dogs that are panting heavily or for prolonged periods of time can be showing signs of significant health concerns that might need to be addressed right away. Due to the serious nature of some of the health conditions that can be associated with heavy panting, you will want to take this symptom seriously when you see it.

What Are the Reasons for Heavy Panting in Dogs?

There are different reasons that could cause a dog to be heavily panting. Here’s what to watch for:


Dogs that have become too hot can pant very heavily to try and cool their body off. This panting will not help them once their temperature is too high and this is a sign that your dog must get to the veterinarian right away. Dogs that are too hot for more than a half an hour can die due to heatstroke. This is one of the most serious health issues that can be related to heavy panting, and you need to be aware of this potential health issue if your dog has been outside in the sun for too long.

Heart Failure

Heart failure can impact both young and old dogs and when the heart is not working at its best, panting can be a common symptom of this condition. Heart failure can be treated in the earlier stages but when dogs are heading into the later stages of the disease, there is little that can be done to help them, and they might pant all the time due to the poor performance of their heart.

Respiratory Issues

Allergies as well as pneumonia, lung tumors, and various other breathing disorders can all lead to panting that is constant. This is something that you should still head to the vet to have checked out, especially if you see a change in your dog’s panting behavior. Increased panting, even in dogs who have been diagnosed with a condition that impacts the lungs, deserves a visit to the vet.

Poisoning or Shock

Poisoning or shock can lead to very rapid panting. This is often accompanied by other symptoms like pale gums, vomiting and diarrhea, or collapse. The panting symptom might be the least of your concerns if your dog has been poisoned or has gone into shock, but this might be one of the first signs that there is something going on that is not okay.

Cushing’s Syndrome

This condition is related to malfunctioning adrenal glands that make too much cortisol. This can lead to other symptoms along with heavy panting like excessive thirst and hunger and frequent urination, hair-loss, and a pot-bellied body condition. This is a condition that can be treated in a variety of ways, so you should take your dog to the vet if their panting is accompanied by any of these other symptoms.

Injury or Pain

Another common reason for excessive panting is that your dog might be in pain or be injured. Sometimes owners are not aware that they dog have hurt themselves and panting might be the only symptom of the discomfort that they are feeling. You should make sure to take your dog to the veterinarian if they are panting or pacing around in discomfort or lying flat on the ground and breathing rapidly. There are many kinds of injuries that could lead to panting and not all of them can be diagnosed or treated without the help of a vet.

Panting Can be a Sign of Many Serious Conditions

Remember to trust your gut when it comes to panting behavior in your dog. While it is normal for dogs to pant when they need to cool off or when they have been playing hard, excessive panting is rarely normal. You should always be suspicious of heavy panting behavior and consider it a sign of something being wrong with your dog. Many of the conditions that are associated with heavy panting require immediate attention from a vet, so you will want to make sure not to ignore this behavior when it shows up. Even if you take your dog to the vet and there is nothing wrong with them, this is far better than accidentally ignoring a serious problem.

Panting in dogs can indicate many health concerns and it is sometimes the earliest symptom of distress in injured or sick animals. Taking heavy panting seriously can save your dog’s life.

Do you have questions about if your dog’s panting is normal in Santa Clarita, CA? Call Stevenson Ranch Veterinary Center at (661) 799-0655 or book an appointment online!

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