When a caring dog owner notices any physical changes in their dog or a change in their behavior, it can cause them concern. Sometimes, changes are indicators of something serious, while other changes are a normal reaction to various circumstances. If your dog is panting and restless, then there are several potential causes, and while some of these are things that you should not worry too much about, others are a sign of a problem. To know what to do about the situation, you must first identify the cause. To help you to identify the cause, here is an overview of five reasons your dog could be panting and restless.
1. They Are Too Hot
If you are asking yourself, ‘why is my dog panting and restless?’, then the next question you should ask yourself is if your dog is too hot, as this is one of the most common causes of a dog panting and being restless. Dogs control their body temperature in a different way to humans. While humans lower their heat by sweating when they are too hot, dogs cannot lower their temperature by sweating. Instead, a dog reduces its body temperature by panting, as they lose heat through their tongues. The restless behavior that accompanies the panting when your dog is too hot is simply a sign that your dog is uncomfortable due to the heat and demonstrates discomfort through restlessness. If the cause of your dog panting and being restless is because they are too hot, there are easy ways to remedy this situation. First, make sure your dog has plenty of fresh, cold water in their bowl, as this will help them to cool down. Second, if your dog is outside, make sure your dog has a shaded area where they can sit out of the direct sunshine. Finally, if the problem is the temperature indoors, then turn off the heating, turn on the air conditioning, or open the windows.
2. Your Dog Is in Pain
When humans suffer pain, it can often affect their breathing as it becomes faster and shallower. It can also make you restless as you try to find a position that reduces the pain. The same applies to animals, as pain can cause them to pant and become restless, says Natural Pets HQ. Sometimes, the cause of a dog’s pain is obvious, especially if you have seen them injure themselves or you can see that they are limping. However, it is not always clear what is causing a dog’s pain. For example, if they experience stomach cramps or back pain, it is not always visibly obvious to a dog owner. Therefore, you should always seek a vet’s advice if your dog is displaying symptoms of pain.
3. The Dog Is Experiencing Anxiety
Another common reason for dogs panting and behaving in a restless is because they are experiencing anxiety, says The Anxious Pet. Some dogs are more prone to anxiety than others, and various circumstances can cause a dog to become anxious. Before you can tackle your dog’s anxiety, you must first identify the cause. Ask yourself if your dog becomes more anxious at night, when you are leaving the house, or when your dog is in an unfamiliar situation. Your vet can offer you advice on how to deal with each of these situations to ease your dog’s anxiety.
4. Weight Issues: Is Your Dog Overweight?
A dog that is overweight can often pant or become restless, especially after exercise. When a dog is obese, it makes any activity more difficult. In this case, prevention is better than cure, as allowing your dog to become obese can lead to many serious conditions and significantly impact their quality of life. Therefore, you should avoid them becoming overweight by feeding them a healthy diet and walking them daily. However, if your dog does become obese, there are steps that you can take to reduce the panting and restlessness, along with reducing the likelihood of them developing health conditions. Ensuring that your dog is eating a healthy and balanced diet appropriate for its breed, age, and size is the first step. It will usually involve reducing their food intake to help them to lose weight. Similarly, ensuring they get exercise daily is another important step. If you are unsure of your dog’s diet and exercise needs, then seek your vet’s advice.
5. Canine Cognitive Disorder
One of the most serious causes of a dog panting and behaving in a restless way is canine cognitive dysfunction. It is a condition that usually affects geriatric dogs, resulting in a decline in cognitive function. The condition is like dementia, as the dog may forget how to do familiar tasks and feel confused or anxious. For example, they may seem not to recognize their surroundings, fail to respond to familiar commands, and forget that they need to go outside to use the toilet. Unfortunately, it is an incurable condition that will continue to worsen as your dog becomes older and their cognitive function continues to deteriorate. However, your vet can advise you on managing the condition and making sure your dog has the best quality of life possible. It is also possible that medication can reduce some of the symptoms of this debilitating condition.
The Final Verdict: Why Is My Dog Panting and Being Restless?
A dog panting and behaving restlessly is a sign that something is causing them distress. It is commonly because a dog is too hot, and it is trying to regulate its body temperature. Other causes include pain, anxiety, obesity, and canine cognitive dysfunction. If none of these apply to your dog and they are regularly panting and restless, then you should get your dog a checkup with the vet, as some medical conditions may cause panting and restlessness, such as heart or lung conditions. It is important for your vet to rule out the possibility of your dog suffering from a serious health condition.