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We all love our dogs and want the very best for them. If you have noticed your dog panting excessively at night, you shouldn’t brush it off. When it is not hot, excessive panting could be a sign of a very serious issue with your pet. There are multiple reasons your dog may be experiencing this, and in this article, we cover the top 7 reasons why your dog pants at night.

Heat

Panting is a normal bodily function for dogs. They use panting to cool down their body temperature since they do not have sweat glands as humans do. If you have just gone for a long walk or you are lounging in the hot sun, then it is normal and healthy for your dog to pant.

However, it is concerning when you are winding down for bed, and your dog won’t stop panting. If your dog is overheating, it can lead to heatstroke, which rapidly damages body cells. It can also cause seizures when the brain overheats and swells up. What might feel like a cool room to you might feel like an oven to a thickly-coated dog.

What Can You Do?

If your dog is panting at night, the most likely reason is that he is trying to cool himself off, which is easy to fix. Make sure that your dog is sleeping in a well ventilated, cool room. Keep the air conditioning on throughout the night, or place a fan close to your dog’s bed. Make sure your dog always has access to a full bowl of water every night.

Stress

If your dog is nice and cool, stress and anxiety are usually the cause of excessive dog panting. When it gets dark and quiet at night, and dogs are on their own, they can get very anxious. It may be due to various things, some of which we might not even understand.

Separation anxiety, a lot of commotion, loud noises, a change in their usual daily routine, an unhappy home, or a change in the environment could be potential causes of your dog’s anxiety. If you notice your dog pacing around, constantly repositioning themselves, hiding, attempting to leave the house or the room, or avoiding people, then your dog is likely stressed out.

What Can You Do?

Stress and anxiety are more common in older dogs, and they can develop over time. To avoid stressing your dog out, be consistent and attentive with your dog. Make sure they get plenty of attention and exercise throughout the day. Create a safe and calming space for them at night, so they feel secure. Also, consider using stress-reducing supplements such as CBD oil to help your pup relax.

Pain

Physical pain is another common reason that dogs pant at night. Many different things could be causing them pain, such as a hidden injury, a tooth or earache, a pulled muscle, an infection, or chronic pain like arthritis.

If you notice your dog showing other signs of discomfort, pain is likely the cause. Other symptoms might include excessive whining or whimpering, limping or licking a particular spot on their body, a change in their gait or activity levels, sluggish behavior, or refusal to eat.

What Can You Do?

To avoid injury in the first place, always keep an eye on your dog and keep them out of danger. Do not leave your dog unattended in unsafe environments. Also, regularly check your puppy to make sure there are no cuts or injuries. Check under fur often.

If your dog does show symptoms of being in pain, take them to a vet immediately to find out what is wrong with them. Your vet will recommend what you need to do to fix the injury or what supplements or medication you can give your dog to relieve the pain.

Sickness

Another reason why your dog may be panting heavily at night is because of an illness. Like humans, dogs can get sick and not feel well. Dogs can develop a cold or a fever, and oftentimes it can go away on its own with over the counter antihistamines. However, it could be an indicator of much more severe disease as well.

Heart or lung disease are two serious conditions that can be a cause of night panting. With heart disease, blood pumping throughout the body does not run not effectively, leading to a panting pup. Fluid accumulating in the lungs due to lung disease can lead to a lack of oxygen getting through the lungs, causing excessive panting.

Anemia and other health conditions are possible in dogs as well, and it needs immediate treatment.

What Can You Do?

If you have any suspicion at all that your dog might be sick, take him to the vet immediately. They can check for any signs of illness and begin doing a treatment.

You can also take your dog’s temperature at home to see if they have a fever. If they do have a fever, they are probably panting to cool themselves up. You can take temperature with a rectal thermometer, and it should read between 100.5 to 102.5 for a healthy dog.

Reaction

It is possible that your dog may be having an adverse reaction to something, causing it discomfort. If you have recently switched its food, it could be experiencing stomach cramps or an allergic reaction to it. Also, if you have fed your dog any human food, it may be reacting adversely to that as well.

Just like humans, dogs have allergies. Environmental allergies and food allergies may cause your dog to pant heavily.

What Can You Do?

If you have recently changed your dog’s diet or added a new type of treat into it, then go back to your old routine and see if it takes care of the panting.

If your dog has seasonal allergies, they may also show signs of itchy skin, runny nose, or watery eyes. A vet can perform tests to determine if your dog is experiencing allergies by microdosing different allergens into the skin to see if there is a reaction.

If your dog has allergies, the vet will recommend a serum that you inject into your dog or over the counter antihistamines. You can also limit the number of allergens they are exposed to by bathing your dog frequently and wiping off their paws and fir after playing outside.

Trouble Breathing

If your dog is panting a lot, all of the time, then it could be a breathing issue. Some dogs are predisposed to breathing problems, such as Boston Terriers, Shih Tzu, and Pugs have breathing difficulties due to the upper airway’s constriction.

Dogs that are obese or highly overweight may experience breathing issues, too, since the extra weight causes strain.

What Can You Do?

If your dog is overweight, it is best to give them lots of exercises and switch them to low-calorie dog food with few treats. This simple change can help their breathing and prolong their life.

If they are predisposed to breathing issues, there is not much that you can do to change it. However, it is crucial to be aware of their breathing patterns and take them to the vet if they begin panting or breathing heavier than usual. It takes short snout dogs a lot more effort and energy to cool their body down, and they have a much higher likelihood of overheating and getting heatstroke.

Diet

The things that you feed your dog will directly affect every aspect of their lives. If your dog is panting heavily at night, it may have an imbalanced diet. People underestimate the nutrition that dogs require, and, like humans, they cannot live a healthy life on dry kibble.

What Can You Do?

Treat your dog like a member of the family. It should be eating natural raw food or cooked meals. All dogs should be taking nutritional supplements and receive a balanced diet. Do your research on what nutrients your dog requires.

Additionally, it is not recommended to feed dogs red meat from large animals, such as bison or beef. These meats, along with fatty foods, tend to cause heat production in the stomach and lead to panting.

Another thing that you can try is to feed your dog earlier in the day. Your dog’s metabolic activity will be lowered throughout the night and help them get a better night’s sleep.

Conclusion

If you find yourself up at night listening to your dog panting through the night, you need to take care of the issue immediately. Assess your dog, the environment, and any changes that you may have recently made. Ensure your dog is relaxed and comfortable, do your best to keep him calm, and contact your veterinarian right away if it continues.

Dogs are man’s best friend, and we need to treat them as such. Keep a close eye on your furry friend and make sure he is happy and healthy.

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