My westie, Baxter, had a very thick coat (two coats, actually), so in the summer months I needed to keep his hair cut short and the air conditioning up high (and keep myself braced for the electric bills). As soon as the apartment got the tiniest bit warmer, he’d start to pant–at which point I knew to turn up the air conditioning again. Forget about opening the windows and relying on natural air! That would only make him pant and pace.
Baxter also panted when he was thirsty or after a round of play. As soon as he took a good, long drink he’d stop panting.
These were typical behaviors for him, and I knew he was in good health, so I always knew to expect it.
But I noticed that when he was diagnosed with a very serious illness, he’d often pant–and since I didn’t want him to suffer for even a second, I watched it very closely. Baxter had the type of personality where he’d never let on to any discomfort or complain in any way–so I always needed to be two steps ahead of him in finding out what was going on.
I called the vet about it who agreed he was most likely in pain.
Here’s the point: All dogs will pant at times. If you think yours is starting to pant excessively, please don’t panic–but do discuss it with your vet. Here is a very good article from a newsletter I received today from PetMD/Fully Vetted.
Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP is an animal lover, certified nutrition and wellness coach for the two-legged, and author of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways To Fire Up Your Day: Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life.