Why Does My Dog Pant When I Pet Him

Why Does My Dog Pant When I Pet Him? 7 Common Reasons

Dogs don’t have the ability to talk, which is why they communicate with us in several ways, be it through barking, panting, or whining. In return, humans tend to express their affection by petting their dogs. But at times, you may notice your dog pant while petting him, and you might be curious about it. Do you know why?

It’s normal behavior in dogs to pant when being pet, and they do so when they’re excited, happy, nervous, dehydrated, or when exhausted after a walk or playing around. But you should be worried when your dog pants heavily as it could signify some severe underlying health issues.

Keep reading to know more about why your dog pants when you pet him and when to worry.

7 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Panting

Why Does My Dog Pant When I Pet Him
Reasons Why Your Dog Is Panting

Your dog could be panting for several reasons, and it can be either positive or negative, depending on the situation. But knowing the reason behind it can help you learn more about your dog’s behavior.

  1. Your Dog Is Happy Or Excited

Maybe your dog is panting because he’s happy or excited. As you may have noticed, dogs pant more often when excited. Like during the early morning when they see you, meeting with their friends, going to the park, getting a treat, when it’s time for a meal, and so on.

Or it could also be because you took your dog out for a brisk run or played fetch in the backyard. When your dog pants for these reasons, it’s not something you should worry about because they’re having a good time. Also, if your dog wags its tail and pants while you’re petting, it’s simply because they’re enjoying being petted.

  1. It Could Be Due To Stress Or Anxiety

Another reason your dog is panting could be because of stress or anxiety. As such, it can happen due to separation, fireworks, sudden loud noise, or other incidents. In such situations, it’s best to take note of their body language to help calm your dog down.

If you notice that your dog is yawning, looking away, or that your dog’s eyes are weary, it could indicate that your four-legged friend is stressed or showing signs of fright. The best way to help your dog feel comfortable is to keep him away from situations that are causing stress to the dog.

  1. Panting Because Of Heat

In most cases, dogs pant to calm themselves down from the heat. Your dog is also likely to pant more often if active. Dogs pant to cool themselves down because they don’t have enough sweat glands like humans.

They sweat through their nose and paw pads, but it does not help much in keeping them cool. Hence, they breathe through their mouth, in exchange for releasing heat and breathing in cool air.

As a result, even with a slight temperature rise, dogs start to pant. The warmer the weather, the more intense their panting becomes. It’s often accompanied by drooling.

However, you should be worried when your dog’s panting shows signs of overheating, such as a blood-red tongue or wide eyes. It will help if you try to cool down your dog by keeping it away from heat and ensuring it can access drinking water when the temperature is high.

  1. Panting Caused By Pain

Unlike humans, dogs usually don’t show their pain and can hide it pretty well. But when it reaches a point where they can no longer hide it, they’re most likely to show signs like panting, whimpering, and shaking. It can indicate discomfort, extreme pain, or signs of injury.

To identify the cause, look for behavioral changes or signs of nausea, diarrhea, or pacing. Also, try petting your dog softly around its body if there are any changes. If the panting persists, you should take your dog to the vet for a proper examination.

  1. Dogs Pant While Playing

It’s considered normal for dogs to pant while playing, which can signify happiness. In such a situation, your dog’s body will likely be relaxed, with its tail wagging as a reflection of its emotion. Also, your dog will seem happy with a big smile.

Mild panting in dogs is not something to be worried about; it’ll stop when your dog starts to calm down.

  1. It Could Be Due To Heatstroke

Dogs panting after some physical exercise does not pose any significant threat, and short-nose breeds tend to breathe heavily. But if there’s heavy abnormal panting, it could be a sign of heatstroke. This condition is fatal and requires medical attention as it can cause death.

The most obvious sign of a heatstroke would be noticing your dog feeling uncomfortable and panting heavily. Your dog can either be restless or won’t respond to your call, as it’ll be entirely focused on calming down.

To prevent such dangers, especially during warm summers, avoid taking your dog out for a prolonged period, and never leave them alone in the car as it can quickly lead to heatstroke. Also, ensure that your dog takes frequent breaks during its daily activities.

  1. Panting Related To Chronic Illness

If your dog has an illness like heart failure or respiratory problems, it can cause your dog to pant heavily and will have difficulty breathing normally. Another condition is Cushing’s disease, which will cause your dog to pant excessively, accompanied by frequent urination, thirst, and hunger.

Likewise, there could be several reasons your dog is panting heavier than usual. If you’re unsure about your dog’s health, don’t delay getting your dog examined by a vet to avoid the worst-case scenario.

Conclusion on Why Does My Dog Pant When I Pet Him?

Dog owners love petting their dogs, and it dramatically helps strengthen the bond. Also, spending time with them will enable you to understand their behaviors.

Similarly, you can quickly notice when your dog is showing unusual physical problems or understand when something is abnormal. Hence, building a solid bond with your four-legged friend can prove beneficial in the long run.

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