Ordinary panting enables a dog to release heat from its body as dogs are not like humans who able to release heat through their sweat glands. But if your dog continues to pant too much for longer than a day, it could be a sign of sickness, heat stroke or even undue stress.
All dogs vary in how much they pant during and after exercising. If your dog has been exercising in the heat of day and continues to pant heavily for longer than 10 minutes after exercising, you should immediately contact your veterinarian. Your dog could be suffering from heat stroke which often follows a long workout or heavy exercise in hot weather.
Heat stroke can cause excessive drooling, vomiting, lethargy, dizziness, and occasionally a seizure. A dog may appear to be panting too much if it’s suffering from heat stroke. If you suspect heat stroke, give your dog plenty of water. Spray or splash cool water on the dog’s feet, stomach, and face but don’t use ice water as this can cause the dog to go into shock.
Dogs pant heavily when they’re stressed, anxious, or afraid and this bears no relationship to a dog’s hyperactivity level. If your dog is afraid of noises, begin desensitizing it to any noises that seem to be disturbing it. First expose the dog to the noises at a very low level, rewarding with treats each time it remains calm. Gradually begin making the noises progressively louder until the dog no longer responds distressingly to the noise.
Obesity can also cause a dog to pant too much. Overweight dogs have a harder time breathing, just as an overweight adult human does. If weight gain is a problem for your dog you should cut down on the amount of food you feed the dog each day.
If your dog is panting too much it’s best to assume the cause is serious and proceed from that premise. Hopefully the panting is a minor problem that clears itself up in a short period of time.