Dogs pant for the same reasons humans sweat; it permits them to shed bodily heat. Dogs, like humans, perspire via their paw pads, however in a somewhat different manner. There are a variety of causes for a dog’s panting, including but not limited to heat exhaustion and nervousness. In the end, when your dog pants, it’s to help them feel more comfortable. It might be a sign of something else, however, if your dog is panting significantly in the middle of the night despite the fact that the room is not very warm. Your dog can be panting at night for various reasons.
To be a responsible dog owner means knowing all there is to know about your pet, even when anything is wrong. Read on to find out the causes of your dog’s nighttime panting and the signs that something is wrong.
When a dog pants, what causes it?
For your dog, panting is the principal means of self-cooling. By rapidly inhaling air via open lips, they achieve a cooling effect similar to that of perspiring humans. Many dogs pant for reasons other than temperature regulation, such as signs of illness or excess weight. To chill off or relieve tension, though, are the two most common reasons why dogs pant. Keep reading as we delve further into the many causes of your dog’s nighttime panting.
Causes of Your Dog’s Nighttime Panting
Even though it’s chilly at night, your dog may start panting for a variety of reasons. There are a number of causes for a dog to pant, and it is vital for dog owners to recognize the signs that indicate they need to be concerned about their dog’s breathing. Why is my dog panting at night? Common causes are listed below.
1. Metabolic Disorders
There are a number of metabolic illnesses that may cause a dog to pant throughout the night, including diabetes and Cushing’s disease. Excessive sneezing or drooling at odd hours of the day is another typical sign of Cushing’s disease in dogs. Overproduction of the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) causes Cushing’s disease in dogs. This causes the body to create an abundance of the stress hormone cortisol (also known as the stress hormone).
Other symptoms of Cushing’s disease include:
- Increased appetite and thirst
- Increased urination
- Hair loss
- Skin infections
- Abdomen enlargement
Cushing’s disease causes panting in dogs for a number of reasons, including stress because the dog doesn’t feel well. If you notice excessive panting at night, it’s always best to schedule a visit with your veterinarian.
There is a hereditary susceptibility to respiratory difficulties in several dog breeds. It may not be an issue if your dog pants at night; it might be normal behavior for their breed. The brachycephalic condition is common in dogs with short muzzles and throats, making them more susceptible to airway obstruction.
Common breeds with breathing problems are:
- French bulldog
- English bulldog
- Boston terrier
Because of their short muzzles, these breeds have shorter or flattened throats and breathing passages, which can make them have breathing problems, including excessive panting at night. While breathing issues may be a familiar problem with these breeds, it’s extremely important to keep an eye on your pet when you notice that they’re having trouble breathing. Check for signs of inadequate oxygen, like turning blue or purple (cyanosis) as this constitutes a veterinary emergency.
Panting at night is just one of the many signs of anxiety in dogs. This type of behavioral panting has nothing to do with feeling overheated; it’s just how their body is reacting to a stressful situation if your dog has anxiety. These are the common causes of anxiety in dogs:
- Noises: Dogs’ hearing is significantly more acute than yours. Even if you don’t think something is too loud, your dog could find it terrifying. If you’ve ever burnt anything in the oven and set off the smoke alarm, your dog may associate the sound of the cooking process with anxiety. Storms and fireworks may terrify your dog since they are so loud, and it will be difficult for him to figure out where the noise is coming from or how to avoid it. Fortunately, there are products available that may help calm your pet down when they’re feeling anxious. A visit to the veterinarian might also be in order if you’re considering the use of medication to help your pet cope with anxiety.
- Separation anxiety: Leaving your dog alone at home for long periods of time, especially if he or she is accustomed to having constant human company, may cause separation anxiety. The majority of dogs suffer from separation anxiety, but with little behavioral training, you can help your dog learn to relax even when you’re not there. With the aid of a home surveillance camera, you can keep tabs on your pet even when you’re not there, and watch for symptoms of separation anxiety like excessive panting at night.
- Changes to the home environment: Dogs, being creatures of habit that they are, might experience anxiety when introduced to a new environment. For a while, your dog may be stressed out by the move, but gradually, he or she will adjust. Adopted dogs may exhibit higher levels of anxiety than those that have lived with the same family since they were puppies. Dogs who have been abandoned or adopted several times often don’t settle in with their new owners unless they are shown they are loved and cared for. When introduced to a new home and family, a dog may experience anxiety.
Anemia is a frequent cause of nighttime panting in dogs. As a result of their death, their loss, or their inability to reproduce, a reduction in the number of red blood cells causes anemia. Because of its elevated heart rate, anemia might cause your dog to begin panting. Your dog’s breathing will become more labored as your own do when you get them working out and their heart rate rises. Anemia causes fatigue, weakness, and lack of appetite in dogs, as well as excessive panting and a racing heart.
Conditions like as anemia and Cushing’s syndrome are only two of the many causes of nighttime panting in elderly dogs. Cognitive impairment is another common problem in geriatric dogs; it may cause them to have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. They may then get agitated or fearful, start panting, and wander aimlessly about the home at night due to dementia.
In addition, older dogs tend to have weaker muscles, so even simple motions might cause them to overheat and wake them up panting. Anxiety may increase in older dogs because they are less mobile and more likely to endure discomfort while walking or standing. An aging dog’s increased susceptibility to the effects of stress brought on by changes in their routine and environment may lead to increased panting.
6. Heart Disease
Because the heart has to work harder to circulate oxygen throughout the body, dogs with heart disease or heart failure pant more. Fluid accumulation in the lungs is a symptom of heart failure in dogs, and rapid breathing is another sign. Heartworms and heartworm disease are both serious threats to a dog’s heart health, so it’s crucial that you give your dog preventative medication against these parasites. It’s good news that heartworm can be prevented and treated if caught early.
Obesity in dogs, like obesity in people, may cause a variety of health problems, including increased respiratory effort during exercise. Dogs with excessive body fat often have health issues such as arthritis, heart disease, and joint pain. When your dog is overweight, they have to work harder to do simple tasks, which causes them to breathe more heavily than usual and raises their heart rate.
The health of your dog depends on the balanced nutrition you provide and the regular activity you provide. Many dog owners have no idea what a healthy weight is for their dog, despite the fact that it’s typically easy to notice whether their pet has gained a little weight. A veterinarian may help you determine the ideal weight for your pet and provide a diet to assist you to achieve that goal weight or maintaining the weight you’ve already achieved.
Dogs in pain have a higher heart rate, which can lead to faster, heavier breathing and panting at night. Pain can come from internal problems, such as a disease or illness, or external problems, like a hurt paw from jumping off the couch. If you notice your dog is in pain, seek the help of a veterinarian immediately. For example, if your dog is limping and panting, it may require a trip to the emergency vet for a potential sprain or broken bone. Unfortunately, you can’t see every injury, but your dog can be in pain whether it’s visible or not.
Clear indications your dog is in pain is panting accompanied by yelping or avoidance when you try to touch them in a certain area or reluctance to move.
How to Handle Your Dog’s Nighttime Panting
If you can identify the root reason of your dog’s nighttime panting, you may take steps to alleviate the problem. If your dog suffers from allergies, your veterinarian may recommend an antihistamine, and if your cat or dog is anxious, you may want to consider behavioral training or antianxiety medication. If your dog is overheated and panting, try giving them a cool drink of water or an ice cube, or running the air conditioner for a while.
Talk to your vet if the problem persists or if you suspect a more severe cause for your dog’s nighttime panting. Treatment and medicines may help your dog whose excessive panting is the result of a medical condition like heart disease or discomfort.
There are a number of potential causes for your dog’s nighttime panting. A state of calm composure is always the best response. Your dog is probably overheating or experiencing anxiety if they are panting, unless a medical ailment has been identified. Whether your dog is panting because of heatstroke or heredity can usually be ruled out quickly and simply. However, nighttime panting may sometimes be a sign of a more significant underlying medical issue.
Keep in mind that you are the expert on your dog. When deciding whether and when to take them to the vet, use your best judgment. A vet may be able to detect whether your dog has a significant physical medical problem based on symptoms, such as nighttime panting and a cold house. Fortunately, you may obtain high-caliber assistance from a specialist without ever leaving your house.