Dog panting is normal, especially after a long walk or when it’s too hot and needs to cool off.
However, you might notice abnormal panting of your dog at night, which might make you worry.
It even gets worse when the panting is accompanied by other symptoms.
As a dog owner, you should be attentive to your pet’s behavior all the time.
That makes it easy to know when they are not feeling well so that you can take the necessary steps.
Why Do Dogs Pant Normally?
When it’s hot, such as in summer, your dog needs to cool off.
Although they do this by releasing sweat through the paw pads, that is not enough to get rid of too much heat from their body.
They combine this by panting since they can’t lose heat through their skin since they have fur.
That’s why you’ll also find your dog panting after a long walk.
Just like humans, dogs get stressed, too, at times.
They try to cool down by panting and may even gasp for air.
This kind of panting doesn’t last for long, and mostly it’s not a sign of anything abnormal.
Other signs that could show your dog is stressed include avoiding people and wanting to escape.
Why Would a Dog Pant at Night?
Although dog panting is something normal, it could also be a symptom of something unpleasant, mostly when it’s associated with harsher sounds.
Some of the reasons why dogs pant at night include:
Allergic reactions are a common reason for dogs panting at night.
It might be difficult to identify the allergen, especially if your dog has never had the reactions before.
If it has eaten new food or medication, that could be a cause for reaction.
Bites by bees or ticks can also cause these reactions, making them pant.
Heatstroke is a very dangerous condition and normally causes death if a dog is not treated promptly.
If a dog has heatstroke, it pants heavily and can even get dehydrated.
Short-nosed dog breeds tend to be more affected by the condition.
Basically, if the temperature is more than 41°c, it puts your dog at more risk of developing heatstroke.
Other symptoms of heatstroke include increased heart rate and glazed eyes.
Respiratory issues can interfere with the normal breathing of a dog, making it difficult for the system to get sufficient oxygen.
The dog might pant as they attempt to get more oxygen.
If you notice a color change in their tongue, such as purple or pink, it’s an indication that they are not getting sufficient oxygen and need to be taken to the vet immediately.
If a dog is suffering from a condition that causes pain or has been injured, it may pant heavily at night.
If the dog is older, it might have joint pain that worsens at night due to inactivity.
Be attentive and examine them and if you’re not sure they are fine, take them to the vet for more examination.
When a dog has anemia, they have fewer red blood cells, which means there is no sufficient hemoglobin to transport oxygen to the tissues.
The oxygen deprivation causes panting as the dog attempts to gasp for more air.
Other notable signs of anemia include lethargy, body weakness, increased heart rate, mental confusion, loss of appetite, and collapsing.
Cushing’s disease is characterized by enhanced cortisol levels and may also make a dog pant at night.
This disease also has other symptoms like excess weight, hair and skin deviation, and abnormal thirst.
Heavy panting accompanied with other symptoms such as coughing could be an indication of a heart problem.
When the heart has a problem, it might not pump blood throughout the body effectively, which leads to oxygen deviation, which makes the dog pant.
The symptoms may also be accompanied by general body weakness and tiredness.
Canine Cognitive Disorder
The canine cognitive disorder mostly affects older dogs.
It also causes sleeplessness, and you might find your dog walking around when it’s supposed to be sleeping.
This condition also presents itself with other symptoms such as forgetting their surroundings,
If your dog is new to your home, it might develop anxiety due to unfamiliar surroundings.
It might take them time to get used to your home and start relaxing.
Having a walk with them before the night might ease the anxiety and make them relax.
Keeping them comfortable helps in calming them too.
What To Do When a Dog Pants at Night
If your dog’s panting is causing a lot of concern, you can try out some home remedies to see if they get better.
Give Them Water
Give the dog water to drink and splash some on their skin if you suspect there is too much heat.
If this doesn’t solve their problem or they seem dehydrated, take them to the vet immediately.
Take Them to A Cool Place
If it’s very hot, put them in an air-conditioned place or put a fan near where they sleep.
Calm Them Down
If you have a new puppy or even an adult dog, try to calm them down as it helps them feel safe in new surroundings.
Talk to them in a soft voice, and massage them.
If the panting doesn’t go away after trying the home remedies or is associated with other symptoms, it’s time to see the vet.
They will conduct an examination to identify the cause of the panting and offer the right treatment.
Some conditions might need an emergency visit.
Be very attentive to your dog’s behavior, as it could save their life.
If you have had a dog for a long time, you could be familiar with their panting, which, in most cases, is not a cause for concern.
However, if the panting occurs more frequently at night or starts all of a sudden, that’s an indication that something is not right.
In such a case, you need to keep an eye on your fur friend and take the necessary actions to help them feel better.