Why is My Pregnant Dog Panting

Why Is My Pregnant Dog Panting – And How To Help Her

Dogs, just like us, have their ways of communicating. With a wagging tail, playful bark, or a nuzzle on your lap, they’re talking to us in their language. But what does it mean when your pregnant dog starts panting heavily?

Your pregnant dog may be panting due to increased body temperature, discomfort, stress, abdominal pressure, or labor. Help her by ensuring a cool environment, regular vet visits, ample hydration, gentle massages, and careful observation. Recognizing pre-labor signs can also help you prepare for the arrival of her puppies.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the question, “Why is my pregnant dog panting – and how to help her?”

Why Is My Pregnant Dog Panting – And How To Help Her

Panting in dogs is pretty standard – it’s how they cool down and deal with stress. However, when your dog is pregnant, the causes of panting can be different, and the frequency of this behavior can increase.

In this section, we’ll dig into the reasons behind this and ways to provide relief.

Possible Causes of Panting in Pregnant Dogs

Pregnancy is a strenuous phase in a dog’s life, and panting can be one of the ways her body responds to the changes happening within.

Here are some of the most common reasons why your pregnant dog might be panting:

  • Increased Body Temperature

As your dog’s body works hard to support her growing litter, her metabolic rate increases, often leading to a rise in body temperature.

This situation can make your pregnant dog feel warmer than usual, causing her to pant as a way of cooling down.

Keeping her in a cool environment, providing plenty of water, and avoiding strenuous exercise can help manage this type of panting.

  • Discomfort or Pain

As your dog’s body changes and expands to accommodate her growing puppies, she may experience discomfort or even pain. This discomfort can lead to increased panting.

Providing a soft bed, avoiding unnecessary physical strain, and scheduling regular vet check-ups can help ensure her comfort and well-being during pregnancy.

  • Anxiety or Stress

Pregnancy can be a stressful time for dogs, just as it can be for humans.

Hormonal changes, the physical discomfort of carrying puppies, and even sensing their human’s anxiety can all lead to increased stress levels in your dog, often manifesting as panting.

A calming environment, gentle massage, and lots of affection can help ease your pet’s stress and reduce panting.

  • Labored Breathing due to Increased Abdominal Size

As the pregnancy progresses and the puppies grow, your dog’s abdomen will enlarge, putting pressure on her diaphragm. This pressure can make breathing more laborious, leading to increased panting.

Ensuring she is not overweight, providing comfortable resting positions, and keeping her calm can help manage this.

  • Pre-labor or Labor Stage

Panting can often be a sign that your dog is entering the pre-labor or labor stage. This is a natural part of the birthing process and can start hours or even days before she gives birth.

If your dog’s panting is accompanied by other signs of labor, such as restlessness or nesting behaviors, it might be time to prepare for the arrival of her puppies!

How to Help Your Panting Pregnant Dog

Once you’ve determined the likely cause of your dog’s panting, here are a few ways you can help her:

  • Ensure a Comfortable Environment

Making sure that your furry friend has a cool, well-ventilated environment is one of the best ways to help her if she’s panting due to increased body temperature.

You might want to keep her in an air-conditioned room or provide her with a cooling mat, especially during hot weather.

A calm, quiet space can also minimize anxiety-induced panting, providing a sanctuary away from loud noises and other stressors.

  • Regular Vet Check-ups

Routine vet check-ups are an essential part of a healthy pregnancy for your dog. Vets can monitor your dog’s health, provide advice on diet and exercise, and potentially spot any complications early.

If your dog’s panting is due to discomfort or pain, your vet can identify the problem and suggest appropriate remedies or interventions.

Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to your pet’s health.

  • Maintain Hydration

Panting can lead to a dry mouth and increased water intake. Therefore, ensure your pregnant dog has access to fresh, clean water at all times.

Dehydration can exacerbate panting and lead to other health complications. You might also consider adding moisture-rich foods to her diet to help maintain proper hydration.

  • Gentle Massage

When conducted correctly, a gentle massage can be a great stress reliever for your pregnant dog. Not only does it help relax her physically, but the bonding time can also provide emotional comfort.

It’s worth consulting with your vet or a professional pet masseuse to learn the correct techniques, focusing on areas such as the neck and shoulders, where dogs often hold tension.

  • Mindful Observation

Finally, keeping a close eye on your pet can help you pick up on any changes in her behavior or panting patterns.

Is she panting more at certain times of the day? Does it get worse after meals or certain activities? Is there a change in the sound of her panting?

Detailed observation will help you understand her needs better and provide useful information for your vet during check-ups.


Why is My Pregnant Dog Panting
How to Help Your Panting Pregnant Dog

It’s natural to worry when you see your pregnant dog panting.

However, understanding the reasons behind it and knowing when to seek veterinary help can give you peace of mind.

Remember, a healthy, stress-free pregnancy is possible with your loving care and timely medical intervention.


  1. The American Kennel Club (AKC): AKC’s Dog Pregnancy Guide
  2. PetMD: PetMD’s Guide to Panting in Dogs
  3. VCA Hospitals: VCA Hospitals’ Guide to Dog Pregnancy

Some of My Favorite Products For Dog Owners

I hope this article has helped you just a bit in everyday life as a dog owner. Being a dog owner for more than 25 years, I’ve tried many different products with varying success, but these products below are some that I can highly recommend to every dog and their owner without hesitation!

These links are affiliate links, so if you do end up using the links, I will earn a commission. But it’s products that I use daily myself, and I have the utmost praise for.

Dog Food: Every dog needs to eat correctly, and finding the best food for your dog can be challenging, as the market is absolutely flooded with products. But since 2015 when the company was founded, I’ve been using Ollie Petfood. With their product being tailor-made to suit every dog’s specific needs, and as my dogs love the product, I’m pretty sure I’ve found a product I will continue to use for many years more. If you use my link you can get 50% off your first order.

Dog Training: If you’ve ever owned a puppy, you know that it requires a lot of training to grow into a well-behaved adult. Brain Training for Dogs has helped me immensely with the mental training part of raising a dog, and it’s something I strongly recommend you consider.

Grooming: If you have a dog in your home, you’re going to need a brush, and for this, I recommend a Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. For that price, you simply can’t beat this brush for everyday grooming.

If you’re looking for the most up-to-date recommendations, check out my recommended products section that I’ve created to help every dog owner!