Why do dogs pant in the car? Dogs are great traveling companions, and it is always fun to take them everywhere with you. However, not all dogs love car rides. There are some dogs that pant when you take them in the car.
There are several reasons why your dog may pant in the car. It could be dehydration or overheating. Your dog might also pant due to car sickness or motion sickness. Suppose you notice your dog panting while in the car; try to lower the temperature in the vehicle. Also, make sure your dog gets adequate water intake.
Fortunately, this behavior is not an emergency, and you can make it less stressful by keeping the windows down or using a plastic dog kennel to create a dark, secure environment. Despite your efforts, your dog may still not be comfortable in the backseat.
In this article, we are going to discuss the reasons dogs pant in the car.
What Is Dog Panting?
Panting is a common dog behavior during which your dog might open its mouth and start breathing at a fast pace to lower its body temperature. As dogs don’t have sweat glands, they use panting to regulate their body temperature.
Many dogs pant for a variety of reasons. These include hot weather, exercise, excitement, and stress. Excessive panting should be investigated by a veterinarian. It can be a sign of a medical emergency, such as a heat stroke.
Another common cause of excessive panting is fear or anxiety. During stressful events, dogs are prone to overheating or heatstroke. In these instances, the best way to treat your dog’s overheating is to provide relief from their fear by keeping them in a cool place.
Why Do Dogs Pant in the Car?
If you’ve ever wondered why your dog pants in the car, here are some answers.
- They Are Scared Of Car Rides
Suppose you’ve ever noticed that your dog pants in the car; it may be because it’s scared of car rides. This is a normal reaction. But it can also be a sign of something more serious, like a medical condition.
One way to overcome your dog’s fear of car rides is counterconditioning. This means re-training your dog’s mind to associate the car with positive things, such as toys and treats.
- They Are Uncomfortable
Dogs often pant in the car when they are nervous or uncomfortable. This is a natural cooling mechanism, but it may also indicate that your pet is suffering from travel anxiety.
Travel anxiety is common in dogs and may be caused by past trauma or a lack of desensitization. However, you can change your dog’s perspective on car rides with the proper training.
- Motion Sickness
When your dog is suffering from motion sickness, it may pant and show other symptoms. While the exact cause of dog motion sickness is unknown, it is likely related to inner ear problems. Young dogs are at a greater risk of experiencing motion sickness than older dogs. This is due to the fact that their ear structures are not fully developed.
Overheating is a serious problem for dogs, especially in the spring and summer. Unlike humans, dogs have glands associated with every hair follicle that release pheromones to cool their body temperatures. If your dog is panting excessively, make sure you immediately bring them inside or into the shade if you can. If the panting continues for a long time, visit your veterinarian.
There are a few reasons your dog might be panting while you’re driving. Your dog may be feeling hot, thirsty, or need a bathroom break. These reasons could all be completely harmless, but if your dog is showing symptoms of dehydration or anxiety, consult a vet immediately. Besides excessive panting, dehydration can cause a host of other signs, including sunken eyes, dry noses, and excessive drooling.
Exciting trips for dogs often lead to excessive panting. The excitement will stop when your dog begins to relax. To reduce the amount of panting, make your car trips more routine. This will make the car ride less of a novelty for your dog.
- Pain or Anxiety
While panting is a natural cooling process, it can also be a sign of pain or an underlying condition. If you notice your dog panting excessively, it’s time to contact your vet. Often, panting in the car is a symptom of anxiety or a traumatic event in your dog’s life.
- Medical Reasons
Your dog may be panting in the car for a number of reasons, from anxiety to overheating. This is why you should always check your pup out and seek advice from a vet if you notice excessive panting. Dogs can suffer from heat stroke and heat exhaustion, and the extra panting could be a sign of an underlying medical problem.
How to Stop Your Dog from Panting in the Car
Despite the annoying habit of panting in the car, dogs are usually happy and enjoy the ride. They are excited about going on an adventure with their owners.
However, there are certain precautions you need to take to stop your dog from panting in the car.
- Comfort Your Dog
When your dog starts panting in the car, there are several things you can do to make him more comfortable. Make sure your car is well-ventilated, and turn on the air conditioning to help keep him comfortable.
You should also try to bring plenty of water with you on your trip. This will also help keep your pet hydrated during long car rides.
- Provide Water
While car panting in dogs may be unavoidable due to a variety of factors, the most common reason is motion sickness. The excitement of a car ride often causes dogs to pant excessively, which can lead to an increased risk of car sickness and dehydration. If your dog is panting, you should give them water to cool down.
- Use Dog Pheromones
A dog’s panting in the car can signal a variety of emotions, including anxiety, overheating, fear, and thirst. Knowing the causes of your dog’s panting can help you identify the best way to address this issue.
A dog pheromone spray (affiliate link) can help counteract this reaction by mimicking the smell of a nursing mother dog. It will help you to calm down the dog.
- Calm an Excited Dog
There are a few easy ways to calm an overly-excited dog in the car, whether it’s for a long drive or a short trip. The first is to remain calm. This is important because your dog closely watches your mood. You can also delay opening the front door for about 10 seconds. This will give your dog time to calm down.
- Train Your Anxious Dog
The first step to stopping your dog’s panting in the car is to teach it not to be anxious. To do this, you should give your dog treats when she approaches the car. You can also offer her treats when she gets in and out of the car and then reaffirms her praise for her good behavior. Repeat this process as often as necessary.
- Give Them New Experiences
You can help your dog to stop panting by de-sensitizing him to car rides. Start by giving him positive experiences, such as a trip to the park or a playdate, before taking him on long car rides. To make the process of car training easier, try giving your dog treats when he gets into the car.
Dogs often start panting in the car when they are dehydrated, feeling hot, anxious, motion-sick, or uncomfortable. So, when you travel with your dog, make sure the temperature of the car is normal.
You also need to take water with you to prevent dehydration. Make sure your dog is comfortable in the car to avoid excessive panting.
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