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Help! My Senior Dog is Panting

Old black dog with greying face, panting outside in grass

Panting is one of your dog’s techniques of controlling his body temperature, and the good news is that it’s usually perfectly typical canine behavior. Excessive panting, on the other hand, might suggest something more serious. That is especially true if they’re panting at an odd time, they’re in pain, or if their panting sounds louder or rougher than usual. Keep reading to find out the reasons for senior dog excessive panting and its possible solutions.

Why is My Senior Dog Panting?

It’s important to remember that dogs can’t sweat to get rid of excess heat. Panting is the most common mechanism for dogs to control their body temperature. Toe Grips explains that the steamy air from the lungs is exchanged for cooler air, resulting in evaporative cooling. A dog who is panting, pacing, and restless, on the other hand, may be suffering from something else. The following are some of the most prevalent explanations of senior dog excessive panting .


Redish brown dog laying on its side on grass outdoors

Hot weather can induce heatstroke in dogs, which could explain why your senior dog is panting. When a dog’s temperature climbs to unsafe levels, it suffers from heatstroke, which can be deadly. One of the first and most noticeable indicators of heatstroke in dogs is faster, heavier panting. Heat-related diseases may kill dogs in as little as 15 minutes. Quick action is necessary to cure this condition. To avoid heatstroke, keep your dog well-hydrated and out of the sun during the day.

Respiratory problems

2 hands wearing medical gloves listening to a golden retirever's heart as it laying on its side in grass outdoors

Breathing difficulties in dogs are due to the problems with any part of the respiratory system. Panting is one of the most common symptoms of respiratory issues. Laryngeal paralysis, lung tumors, and pneumonia are examples of these conditions. They affect the ability of a body to obtain adequate oxygen and eliminate sufficient amount of waste products, such as carbon dioxide.

Heart Diseases

German Shepherd being examined by a vet

When it comes to supplying oxygen to the rest of the body, the heart is crucial. Your dog’s heart becomes unable to pump adequately, denying his body the oxygen it requires to accomplish everyday tasks. Valve problems, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathies, and heartworm disease in dogs are just a few of the ailments that may wreak havoc on the heart’s capacity to function correctly.

Excessive panting is a sign that your dog’s organ system is malfunctioning with a casual stroll or workout. You may observe him coughing or breathing excessively.

Cushing’s Disease

Black and white dog being consoled by its owner while at the vet on the exam table

Cushing’s disease can occur for a variety of reasons. The secretion of ACTH increases by a tumor on the pituitary gland. The adrenals are continually prompt to generate more cortisol. Tumors can form on the adrenal glands themselves, causing excessive cortisol production. Additionally, long-term usage of an oral steroid like prednisone, which mimics cortisol, can cause Cushing’s disease.

Excessive panting, increased thirst, and urination increased hunger, and a potbellied look is the most prevalent clinical indications of Cushing’s illness.


Old dog with head laying between its paws on carpet

Anemia is a condition in which a dog’s circulation is hampered due to the depletion of red blood cells. The internal organs don’t get enough oxygen, and your dog can become drowsy, lose their appetite, and feel sick. It can also lead to excessive panting in senior dogs.

Several different causes can result in anemia. For example, blood loss through external or internal bleeding and disorders, like hemolytic anemia, are a couple of common reasons. In this condition, red blood cells burst after being assaulted by the immune system. Likewise, diseases of the bone marrow, such as hereditary illnesses or cancer, all contribute to anemia.

Restlessness or Pain

Brown dog with head laying on the arm rest of a blue chair

Pain in dogs is due to various things, including arthritis, surgery, and injury. Some indicators are evident (limping, for example), while others are more subtle (panting, restlessness, and concealing). A dog that leaps down from a deck or porch and immediately begins to limp is showing signs of acute (sudden onset) pain, but dogs with arthritis or previous injuries might have chronic pain that affects them regularly.

It’s critical to recognize the indications of discomfort in dogs and get assistance for your dog if you notice them. The traditional and objective indicators of pain in dogs are a raised heart rate and an elevated breathing rate (panting).

What to Do if My Senior Dog is Panting?

Close up of the head of a brown and tan shaggy dog, panting with its tongue hanging out one side of its mouth

It’s crucial to understand that there are two forms of panting: normal and aberrant. When your dog’s body is overheated, normal panting occurs. It is a healthy and natural response to cope with extreme heat. On the other hand, bbbnormal panting indicate that your dog has emotional or physical issues that need to be addressed. The following are some methods to cope up with the excessive panting of your senior dog


Boston terrier with tennis ball in its mouth running on a beach.

Panting caused by stress, worry, or pent-up irritation is reduced with regular exercise. To offer your aging pet an outlet for all that additional energy, take him on long walks, boost his playtime, and purchase more dog toys. In addition to physical exercise, make sure you have enough cerebral stimulation. Allowing him to sniff and explore on walks, using puzzle toys, or teaching him new tasks are all ways to provide excitement.

Providing a Serene Environment

Golden retriever sitting in tall grass panting.

By actively establishing a tranquil atmosphere, you may reduce tension and anxiety. As senior dogs grow older, their demands vary, and you must modify them to keep them as comfortable and calm as possible. If your senior dog is uneasy, make sure he has a secure place to go when he is worried or upset.

Maintenance of Body Temperature

Brindle colored dog asleep on a couch with a thermometer sticking out from its mouth

To keep cool, dogs pant. If your dog pants at night, check sure he isn’t overheating and relocate his bed to a cool spot. Give your elderly dog an ice cube filled with their favorite treat, a moist towel to lie on, and access to cool water to further lessen the danger of heatstroke.

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