Features January 2012 Issue

Determining the Cause of Your Dog's Panting

You have to know your dog and be observant in order to know why he might be panting. For example, this dog was habitually anxious, had a thick coat year-round, and was overweight; any of these could explain his frequent panting. But he also had a cardiac condition, which led to a premature demise.

Determining the Cause of Your Dog's Panting

Why does your dog pant? Let us count the whys.

I’m awakened by the exhalation of my Border Collie’s warm breath on my face: heh-heh-heh. I slowly open one eye and focus on the nose just inches from my own. I may be anthropomorphizing, but I suspect he’s grinning. There it is again – a breathy heh-heh-heh. Wait a minute! Is he just panting or is he laughing at me? Given the way dogs are designed, panting is a very normal bodily function. Dogs don’t have sweat glands throughout their body to expel heat like humans do.

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