Panting is how our dogs cool themselves down, and it is normal to hear them panting during exercise, play, when they are excited, or when it’s hot outside. However, there is no hard or set time limit for how long your dog should be panting, and there are many factors that will affect how long your dog pants.
Dogs tend to take between 10 to 30 breaths a minute, depending on how big they are. So for a healthy, medium-sized adult dog, after a high-energy walk, when the weather isn’t too hot, then a 5 to 10 minute cool down pant is to be expected.
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Age of Dog
An older dog will take longer to regulate their body temperature so that it wouldn’t be unusual to pant for up to 15 minutes after exercise.
Although a puppy may also take a bit longer to cool down, puppies tend to be bundles of energy, full of excitement, and run around until they completely wear themselves out. For these reasons, it’s not unusual to see puppies panting more than older dogs.
An adult dog with no medical conditions and a good fitness level will usually only take about 5 to 10 minutes of panting to cool itself down.
It is essential to consider your dog’s age for how much exercise it needs. Puppies only need 5 minutes of exercise for every month-old that they are. An older dog may be happier with a much-reduced exercise time too.
Breed of Dog
Your dog’s breed will make a difference in their exercise needs and subsequent panting. For example, working breed dogs will need more exercise than companion breed dogs.
Brachycephalic breeds, short-nosed dogs, will pant more than other breeds, as they generally tend to have breathing problems.
Long-haired dogs and dogs with a double coat will also pant more than short-haired dogs to cool themselves down.
Dogs Fitness Level
An overweight dog will pant more than an ideal weight dog. This is because their system has to work harder to deal with the exercise and regulate their temperature. Therefore, an overweight dog will pant more than an ideal weight dog in warmer weather, even without exercising.
Panting can also be a sign of a medical problem in your dog. I will cover this later in the article.
Intensity of Exercise
It isn’t unusual for your dog to pant throughout the exercise routine, the same way that we may sweat and breathe heavier during our exercise routine. Therefore, it is good to take water breaks and allow your dog to slow down and sniff throughout your walk, run or hike. It gives them the chance to cool down and regulate their breathing.
The more intense your exercise, the more your dog will pant. Therefore, near the end of the exercise routine, it is good to slow down and allow your dog’s heartrate and breathing to return to normal. The cool-down period in our exercise routines has also been proven to be just as necessary for our dogs.
Since panting is how our dogs regulate their body temperature, it isn’t unusual to see them panting more in warmer weather. This is perfectly normal. It is also good to ensure they have access to a shady cooler spot to lay in and fresh water to drink.
It is also wiser to exercise them early in the morning or wait until the cooler evening. Heatstroke and overheating are real possibilities for our dogs and should be taken seriously.
When Panting Is a Problem
Heavy panting can indicate that your dog is unwell or in pain, especially if your dog starts panting heavily out of the blue. Some causes of heavy panting include:
- Heart failure
- Respiratory problem
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Upset stomach
Our dog panted heavily when she had glaucoma. Her eye pressure was very high, and she had severe headaches, causing her to pant heavily when she was in pain. The heavy panting was the reason that we took her to our vet. We subsequently discovered that she had primary glaucoma. The heavy panting was her signal to us that she was in a lot of pain.
If your dog suddenly starts heavy panting, you should make an appointment at your vet straight away.
If your dog’s gums or tongue appear blue, purple, or white, you need an emergency appointment at your vet, as this is a sign that your dog isn’t getting enough oxygen.
For a healthy adult dog, you can expect between 5 to 10 minutes of panting while it cools itself down after exercise. A puppy or an older dog will pant for longer than 10 minutes, which is also normal.
If your dog suddenly starts panting heavily or you are worried about how much your dog is panting, then make an appointment at your vet. It is better to be safe than sorry, and your vet is the best person to make sure that there are no underlying health conditions. Your vet will also be able to treat your dog if there is an issue.
I hope that you found this article helpful.