If you've ever woken up in the middle of the night because your dog was panting loudly, you're not alone. Maybe your dog is standing over you or even sitting on top of you while panting, and perhaps they won't stop no matter what you do. Or possibly they'll stop as soon as they see that you're awake.
Either way, if your dog has ever startled you awake with their nighttime panting, chances are that it's a common occurrence in your household. However, you might be wondering why this happens and what it means for your pup's health and well-being. Read on to find out more about why your dog is panting at night.
What Is Panting And Why Is My Dog Panting At Night
Panting is normal behavior and a type of breathing that dogs and other animals do when hot or overexerted. It's an automatic response. Your pup will pant heavily when their body temperature rises after a long walk or if they've been running around at the dog park with their bare paws.
But if you notice that your dog is panting at night, don't worry. This is also normal for some dogs. They may be in a new environment or have just woken up from a deep sleep, making them feel stressed or anxious and triggering their bodies to experience heavy panting.
However, if you see that your dogs pant excessively, especially at night, it could indicate something more serious.
Should I Be Worried If My Dog Shows Excessive Panting
If your dog pants excessively at night, it’s best to speak to your veterinarian for possible reasons. Panting is a sign of stress and can indicate something could be wrong . If your puppy shows extreme panting and exhaustion or has difficulty breathing, take them to a vet immediately.
Why Is My Dog Restless And Panting At Night
While it's normal for your dog to wake you up during the night from time to time, it can be disconcerting if they keep waking you up. If you're wondering “why is my dog restless and panting at night?,” here are some things it could be.
It May Be The Bed
One of the most common causes dogs pant at night is being disturbed by something in their environment, such as a bed that's too small or soft.
If your pet is panting once they move to sleep on the floor instead of their bed, your dog may be panting simply because there wasn't enough room for them in their designated spot. You can always consider getting them a larger bed if this seems like the case.
Moreover, if you feel like your dog keeps waking up from sleep due to being too hot under covers or blankets despite having already provided them with plenty of ventilation, then you could consider moving them away from walls to open up space for airflow and reduce their body heat, especially during the summer months.
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Too Much Cortisol In The System May Be The Reason Your Dog Is Panting
When you notice your dog panting at night, it may be related to stress or anxiety. Cortisol is a hormone that is released when a dog is stressed. This hormone helps with the fight or flight response and gives them the energy to react quickly to dangerous situations.
Too much cortisol can also cause other symptoms, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, which leads to heavy panting in some cases. This hormone is not just released during stressful situations. It can also be triggered by pain, fear, and many other factors that you may already know about, such as loud noises.
Noise Sensitivity Or Noise Phobia
Noise sensitivity or noise phobia may be why your dog is panting if they're scared of thunder, fireworks, gunshots, or other loud noises. Dogs are more sensitive to noise than humans because their hearing range extends much lower than ours. In fact, while humans can only hear between 20 Hertz and 20,000 Hertz, a dog can hear frequencies as high as 47,000 to 65,000 Hertz.
Because of this heightened sensitivity to sound waves, a stressed dog can have difficulty coping when confronted with an unnerving noise like thunder or fireworks that startles them . At such times, dogs will often try to escape from whatever is scaring them by running away from it or trying to hide somewhere safe where they won't feel threatened anymore.
Dog's panting is their way of expressing themselves when they feel afraid. They may also be hyperventilating due to panic attacks brought on by these types of situations. When this happens, stay close to your dog – this will soothe them until they calm down.
It Could Be Caused By Separation Anxiety And Stress
If your dog is panting at night and you're sure that there is no physical reason for it, then it could be caused by separation anxiety. Your dog experiences this when he feels stressed or anxious when left alone. Additionally, dogs suffer from this condition because they feel sad and scared when separated from their owners.
This can happen if your dog has experienced a traumatic event in the past that makes him fear being alone. For example, suppose you adopted your pet after being abandoned previously. In that case, he may have developed this stress response since then. If you notice these signs in your pet, such as excessive drooling or trembling, then you should speak with a veterinarian about what to do next.
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Cushing's disease may cause your dog to pant at night. This disease is caused by excessive cortisol secretion, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. The overproduction of cortisol causes some unpleasant symptoms in dogs, including diabetes insipidus (excessive thirst), increased appetite and urination, weight gain, and more severe complications.
Moreover, this disease affects dogs of all ages but tends to be more common in older dogs than younger ones (typically older than 7 years). It can also affect cats. However, there are other possible causes for their symptoms, such as diabetes mellitus. So you should always check with your veterinarian before assuming it's Cushing's Disease affecting them instead.
The Panting Might Be Caused By Dog Dementia
If the panting is frequent and seems excessive, your dog may be suffering from a form of a canine cognitive disorder. This is not a disease, but a condition that causes certain problems with memory, attention span, and other cognitive skills. The most common cause of this problem in dogs is an aging brain.
A dog's age may also contribute to developing dementia, just like in people. However, their symptoms differ from those seen in humans with Alzheimer's disease. For example, other dogs with dementia are more likely to sleep more than usual or have trouble walking straight. Also, it's possible for older dogs without any signs of dog dementia to still show signs later on in life.
It Might Be Caused By Pain Or Injury
Sleeping is a good thing, especially for dogs. It's when they get to rest and recharge their batteries after busy days of hunting down squirrels, chasing your children around the house, and just being cute. However, some dogs' sleep patterns can be disrupted by external factors like noise or temperature changes in their environment.
Another reason you see your dog panting at night is that they may be experiencing pain or discomfort. When this happens, it could be an injury or injury-related issue that needs attention immediately.
They may also have an underlying heart condition that makes them uncomfortable while sleeping. You should bring your dog to see a veterinarian if you notice any signs of panting heavily and other symptoms mentioned above.
What Can I Do To Prevent My Dog From Abnormal Panting
If you notice that your dog is excessively panting at night, you should take them to the vet immediately. Abnormal panting can signify a severe medical condition and should not be ignored. In addition to taking your dog to the vet, there are some other steps that you can take at home:
Give your dog a cool bath. This will help lower the dog's body temperature, which may help reduce their panting and keep your dog calm.
Let them rest in a cool place (use an elevated bed or leave an air conditioner on.)
You could also try putting an ice pack on their stomach or back if they're lying down. Make sure to wrap the ice pack in a towel so the temperature is not too intense.
Try reducing stress in general for both humans and dogs alike by making sure everyone gets enough sleep.
Eat healthy foods together as often as possible rather than junk food snacks.
As you can see, there are many causes for abnormal, excessive panting. If you have senior dogs suddenly panting excessively or otherwise, it's essential to see your vet right away. But if you have a younger dog who's been panting at night lately and none of the other symptoms apply to them, don't fret. Try giving them some extra water before bedtime or opening a window in their room to help cool them off.
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