Dog Panting in Pasadena, CA: When is it Normal and When is it Too Much?

Dog panting is normal behavior for dogs. However, if your dog is panting excessively or sounds like they are struggling while panting, then there may be a condition that you need to be aware of in your dog.

It is normal when your dog is exercising or excited, and they are panting. However, it is not routine if your dog is panting because of heat stroke or other conditions.

You should know the normal breath rate for dogs. You can compare it to how much your pup is panting. If their breathing pattern changes or becomes unusual, it may be time to get a vet involved.

Why Does My Dog Pant?

There could be a plethora of explanations why your dog pants. Panting is expected in a dog, but it could also signify a health issue if they are panting excessively. The following are the main reasons why dogs pant:

Dog Panting in Pasadena, CA


Panting helps cool dogs down when they play or exercise in the heat. It is the equivalent of a human being sweating when it is hot outside. Panting allows the evaporation of water and heat across the surfaces of the lungs, tongue, and top of the mouth.

Dogs have sweat glands on the bottom side of their paws and within their ears, but they only go so far as to cool down a hot pup. This type of panting can be heavy, but it should relate to the air temperature and activity when they breathe heavily.


Panting is an everyday occurrence in a dog when they meet new people or dogs and when they are about to get a treat. Your dog may also pant when you come home from work, and they are seeing you for the first time in hours. Some dogs who pant for this reason will also whine during their panting.

Panting is generally a sign of excitement in a dog. You need to monitor your dog’s body language to ensure they are not panting out of fear or anxiety. If that is the case, remove your dog from the stressful situation.


Dogs will sometimes try to hide their pain from their humans. However, once they come to an extreme level of discomfort, they will often pant. There could be other signs of illness or pain, such as vomiting or diarrhea. Excessive panting, accompanied by trembling, can be a sign that your dog is in pain.

If your dog is panting throughout the night, you should look for other warning signs that your dog is in pain. Other signs of pain in dogs include enlarged pupils, decreased appetite, a reluctance to lie down, and restlessness.


Heatstroke can trigger heavy panting in dogs. They can become dehydrated and even die if it goes untreated. Dogs that are overheated will become noticeably uncomfortable. They may be twitchy, anxious, laying down flat, and not responding to you because they are so busy concentrating on trying to cool themselves down.

Never leave your pup in a hot car. The inside of the car will get too hot for them, and they will not be able to cool themselves. It only takes only 10 or 15 minutes for your dog to experience heatstroke. It is best to leave them home on sweltering days. If you take them along, make sure you run the air conditioner during the time you are away from the car.

Toxic or Allergic Reaction

If your dog has ingested something poisonous, they may pant heavily. The panting may also be accompanied by drooling and vomiting. They may also become lethargic.

If you believe your canine is at risk due to panting, check their gums. If they are pale, white, or blue, your dog is not getting enough oxygen. This situation requires immediate medical attention. You should keep toxic products, such as household cleaners, away from your pets as a general rule.

Physical Problems

Your dog may also pant when they are having physical problems. These issues can cause extreme stress and anxiety. Some of these problems include:

  • Your dog may pant if they have a high fever in an attempt to cool themselves down.
  • Your dog may be on a medication that increases their panting
  • If your dog is bloated, it may cause them to pant. If your pet starts to dry heave or vomit, it can be an emergency, and they need to see a veterinarian immediately.
  • Cushing’s disease elevates cortisol in the blood, which can make your dog pant excessively
  • Laryngeal paralysis is when the muscles that open and close the larynx at the back of the throat are weakened. A high-pitched wheezing sound usually accompanies the panting.
  • Heart or respiratory problems can cause excessive panting, breathing difficulty, and coughing. This scenario is often observed in older dogs.

It is perfectly normal for your dog to pant while exercising. However, if you see them heavily panting because they have been in a hot car, you should seek medical treatment right away. Your dog may also be panting because they are in pain, which could be another emergency.

When is Dog Panting Not Normal?

Abnormal panting typically occurs at inappropriate times. The best way to know if your dog’s panting is abnormal or excessive is to identify the average breathing rate at rest between 10 to 40 breaths per minute. The typical respiratory rate for a dog is 24 breaths per minute.

If their breathing pattern changes or gets heavier than usual, this is abnormal panting. It will sound raspier, louder, and harsher than normal. It will take a lot of energy for your dog to pant. If this is the case, you need to take them to see the vet as soon as possible.


When your dog is panting, and it seems very rapid or harsh, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian. While panting can be brought on by heat exhaustion, it can also be precipitated by a wide array of issues.

Your dog could be having a physical problem that needs to be addressed right away. The sooner you figure out the cause of the panting, the better the outcome will be.

Need to talk with a veterinarian about your dog’s panting in Pasadena, CA? Call Altadena Pet Hospital at (626) 798-0738 or book an appointment online!