How To Calm A Panting Dog: Causes and Treatment

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Tetiana Zhudyk

Have you ever seen your pup panting heavily after a walk or when it's hot out? As a dog owner, a panting dog can be concerning, but don't worry!

Sometimes, our furry friends may become stressed, anxious, or overheated, leading to excessive panting. You, as a pet owner, need to know how to recognize when your dog is panting excessively and how to calm a panting dog.

In this article, we’ll explore the causes of panting in dogs and provide 11 effective ways to comfort and calm a panting dog.

Need professional advice? Install the Woofz app to ask for help from a Woofz dog assistant to dive deep into the problem and get instructions to follow.


What Causes Panting in Dogs?

Panting is a natural physiologic response in dogs who use it for body temperature regulation. But too much panting is a sign of discomfort, anxiety, or an underlying health problem. Let’s talk about a few common reasons behind panting in dogs.


Too much panting is a signal of overheating in your dog. Their body temperature goes up very high, thus heavy panting is the only way to cool down.

Anxiety or stress

Panting is a common way for dogs to display anxiety or stress. Things like loud noises, unfamiliar environments, or encounters with stimuli that typically induce fear can trigger anxious panting in dogs.

Pain or medical issue

If panting continues for more than a few hours, it's best to have your dog checked out by a vet. They can examine your dog, run tests if needed, and determine if there are any underlying issues that need treatment.

How To Calm A Panting Dog: 11 Working Tips

Panting is a normal way for dogs to regulate their body temperature and breathe more easily. However, excessive or abnormal panting can be a signal your dog is feeling anxious, stressed, or overheated. Let’s discuss how to calm a panting dog if your dog is panting excessively to help them feel more relaxed.

1. Provide fresh water

If your dog is breathing hard, ensure they have lots of water to keep them hydrated.

  • Renew the water in your dog’s bowl with cool water.
  • Put in some ice to help them bring down their body temperature faster.
  • You can also make ice treats with their favorite flavors for hydration and fun.

2. Provide a cool environment

If your dog keeps panting because of overheating, move your dog to a cooler area immediately.

  • If you’re outside, find a shady spot.
  • If you’re inside, turning on an air-conditioned room is perfect.
  • You may also give your dog a cooling mat that can also offer relief.

3. Give your safe space

If strangers or other pets are around, causing stress on the dog, take them to another place so that your dog can be alone for a while.

You should eliminate the cause of stress or anxiety, which may help a panting dog. Also, try not to speak loudly and whisper calmly to help your dog unwind.

4. Massage Your Dog

A soft massage can calm a nervous dog. You should softly and slowly stroke the dog’s ears, chest, and back in a slow and determined move. The physical contact and massage actions release endorphins that naturally calm and comfort your dog.

5. Play relaxing music

Put on some soft, calming music to help relax your dog. Music, especially classical music, with a slow tempo, helps to calm dogs. You can find special calming music for dogs on music streaming services, YouTube, or just use the Wellbeing section in the Woofz app to find relaxing music for your pup.

6. Practice relaxation exercises

From early on, teach your dog commands like ‘settle’ or ‘relax’ to help them calm down on cue.

7. Provide mental stimulation

Engage your dog in mentally stimulating activities like puzzle toys, interactive games, or training exercises. This can help distract them from their panting and relieve boredom or anxiety.

8. Use calming products

There are various calming products available for dogs, such as calming vests, pheromone diffusers, and herbal supplements. These products can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation in dogs.

9. Exercise your dog regularly

Lack of exercise or pent-up energy can lead to anxiety, stress, and excessive panting in dogs. Walk your dog or play with them in order to burn energy and provide mental stimulus. Just 15-20 minutes of daily activity can help reduce a dog’s panting.

10. Remain calm

You must remain calm and relaxed as well, not to trigger your pup. Dogs have a great sense of human emotions and will feel your stress or fear. Breathe deeply to maintain your stillness, and keep on speaking in a soft and comforting voice. Your stability will make your dog relax.

Through patience and practice of these techniques, you will learn to notice the signs of anxiety in your dog and react by helping them remain calm and relaxed. Self-control is one of the best ways to calm a dog that is panting with anxiety.

11. Consult a vet

If your dog pants too much and the cause of their panting isn’t clear, or you think that their panting is excessive, then you should take them to your vet for a checkup. This way, your vet will be able to examine your dog and determine if there are any medical reasons for their panting and panting behavior. It’s always a good practice to first exclude medical issues before attributing the panting to anxiety or the environment.

This could be due to a fear of something, insufficient exercise or mental stimulation, spending too much time in isolation, separation anxiety, or other behavioral issues.

If the root cause is not dealt with properly, your dog can continue to show anxious behaviors even when you try to calm them down.

When to Seek Emergency Care for Excessive Panting

Does your dog seem to be panting constantly? While some panting is normal for dogs, excessive panting can be a sign of an underlying health issue and requires immediate veterinary attention.


When your dog’s panting is associated with such symptoms as excessive drooling, extremely red gums, vomiting, or diarrhea, it can be a sign of heatstroke, which is a life-threatening condition. Take your dog to an air-conditioned place and use cool and wet towels to help reduce their body temperature until you can take them to the vet.

Heart or respiratory problems

Excessive panting in dogs can also be a sign of a heart or respiratory problem. If your dog appears to be panting for no reason, has a pale or bluish tint to the gums, or is coughing, the best option is to take them to the vet for examination as soon as possible.

Pain or stress

Dogs sometimes pant too much because of pain, anxiety, or stress. Excessive panting in dogs can be a result of recent changes in the environment, schedule, or diet of the dog or if the dog is in pain when touched or moving. Attempt to make your dog comfortable and relaxed, and see your vet if panting lasts for more than a day.


Panting is a natural way of temperature regulation in dogs, but too much panting is usually a sign of distress, anxiety, or an underlying health condition. Pet owners should realize when their dog is panting excessively and how to calm them down. Always keep an eye on your dog’s panting and see a vet if needed.

The health and condition of your dog should always be a top priority.

Written by

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Tetiana Zhudyk

Woofz Content Manager with a deep passion for dogs and a strong affinity for positive reinforcement training methods.

Reviewed by

Frederica Caneiro

Certified dog trainer, exclusive positive reinforcement methods & tackling aggression problems.