13 Reasons Why Is My Dog Panting At Night: What To Do?

Dog panting at night is similar to you sweating; it helps in regulating the body temperature. Panting and sweating help in circulating the cool air throughout the body. However, the concern arises when your dog pants at night excessively

Therefore, to the question, “why won’t my dog stop panting”, or “why is my dog breathing heavily at night”, let’s take a closer look.

Why Is My Dog Panting At Night

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7 Reasons Why Your Dog is Panting and Restless at Night

1. Heart diseases

The heart is the primary reason for sustaining life, but what if the heart of the dog does not function well? Hearts deliver oxygenated blood to parts of the body, without the heart the amount of carbon-di-oxide in the body increases leading to a dog panting at night.

No matter what breed or size the dog is, heart disease is an unfortunate condition involving ineffectiveness in pumping blood. Chronic Valvular diseases and Mycordial diseases are the two heart conditions faced by the dog. 

Dog Panting at Night: Causes of heart diseases

  • An overweight dog can develop Mycordial diseases. In this case, the heart muscle of the dog gets thick resulting in inefficient heart pumping. 
  • Increasing dog age also results in many heart diseases
  • Small breed dogs like Pomeranians, schnauzers and cocker spaniels are the target of a chronic valvular heart condition. Whereas, large breeds like Irish wolfhounds and Great Danes get affected by Myocardial heart diseases. 
  • A larva-infected mosquito can affect a dog’s heart condition. Parasites like heartworm or Dirofilaria Immitis are the reason behind bad heart conditions among dogs.

2. Respiratory diseases

Not only humans but also dogs suffer from respiratory diseases that result in panting at night. The respiratory system is responsible for delivering oxygen into the blood and spreading it throughout the body by removing carbon-di-oxide. 

However, any blockage in the respiratory tract – larynx, pharynx, nasal passage, nose, or sinuses can act as a barrier to reaching air to the lungs. Whenever you find a dog shaking and panting at night check his tongue. If it has turned pink, grey, or blue, it’s an alarming situation because he is not getting enough oxygen.

Dog Panting at Night: Causes of Respiratory diseases

  • Canine Distemper Virus or Hard Pad Disease among the dogs affects gastrointestinal systems, nervous system, and upper lower respiratory system. This may result in partial paralysis and unstopped coughing. 
  • Kennel cough affects the upper respiratory system of the dog, severely making bronchitis and trachea functional. 
  • Laryngeal paralysis affects large breed dogs. After a little walk or any sort of physical exercise, the dogs find it difficult to calm themselves as the nerve continuously opens and closes the larynx.
  • Tracheal collapse affects small breed dogs. The windpipe narrows down resulting in enough oxygen to breathe in. 
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3. Anxiety and fear

“Why is my dog panting at night” in an air conditioner room? Anxiety and fear not only affect human beings but dogs too, however, the reasons are different. Through such anxious phases, dogs remain unhappy, without a safe space or environment, calming an anxious dog at night is a hard task. 

Dog Panting at Night: Causes of anxiety and fear of diseases

  • Loud noises like thunderstorms and fireworks can result in panting and anxiousness. For example, I am sure you have seen your dog fearing or barking during the times of Diwali when most of the people burst crackers. Or, you are cooking and because of excess smoke the smoke detector went off, all these make dogs anxious. They are afraid because they cannot detect the source of the sound. 
  • Separation is another reason why dogs pant at night in anxiety. As per the research, 14-17% of dogs are a victim of separation anxiety, which is getting closely attached to their owners. And, separation, no physical contact, or no attention from that person can result in anxiety. 
  • A new environment or new people can affect dogs because they are a creature of habits. You have to understand that pet dogs before getting adopted have gone through a lot, like changing shelter homes frequently or staying with different people. Under such a situation the dog buries his head on the couch demonstrating “escape and hide”.
fireworks result in panting for dogs

4. Cognitive dysfunction

Older dogs often indicate medical issues like cognitive decline and change in behavior resulting in a dog panting and pacing at night. Cognitive dysfunction in a dog means being unable to process learning, memory, perceptions, and awareness. 

Dog Panting at Night: Cause of Cognitive dysfunction

  • Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) is a neurobehavioral disorder that shows up among old dogs. The symptom of CDS is linked with the dog’s age which affects his cognitive abilities as well as behavior. Moreover, all of these result in altered interaction with the family members, sleep-wake cycle disturbance, not responding to calls and more.  

5. Anemia

Insufficient production of red blood cells may result in aplastic or non-regenerative anemia in dogs. Destruction of red blood cells results in hemolytic anemia resulting in the accumulation of toxins, low phosphorus levels, and parasites.

Dog Panting at Night: Cause of Anaemia

  • Moreover, hemolytic anemia happens because of any reaction of drugs, vaccinations, tumors, or infection. Additionally, dogs with immune-mediated hemolytic are immune to fever, pain, and jaundice.
  • Accidents may result in huge blood loss however, if there is no external injury then internal injury like stomach ulcer and bleeding disorder can also destroy the red blood cells. You will find him less energetic, losing appetite, vomiting, sleeping a lot, increasing heart rate, heart murmur and pale gum.
  • If the dog has a history of exposure to heavy metals, or toxic plants then there is a high chance of developing anemia.
  • Nutritional deficiency anemia is caused because of starvation or lack of Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Copper, and Iron. 

6. Chronic or Acute Pain 

Dogs pant, humans pant and it is very normal to pant when the environment is sunny or we are engaged in any physical activities. However, heavy panting is different and some chronic health problems result in pain making the dog pant heavily. 

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Dogs cannot explain the reason for their pain. Some symptoms like a dog sleeping at my feet, enlarged pupils, loss of appetite, heavy panting, restlessness, licking, biting, or agitation. 

Dog Panting at Night: Causes of Pain

  • Acute pain is associated with injury, surgery, or illness that typically results in a change in behavior like not wanting to be touched, panting, or hiding. A cut to the paw, untreated wound, or joint damage are all examples of acute pain.
  • Chronic pain is also known as maladaptive pain that causes severe stress and a decrease in the joy of life. Arthritis in a dog is an example of chronic pain that constantly bombards the brain about the pain and this results in heavy panting and change in behavior. 
  • As per the research, 40% of old dogs suffer from Osteoarthritis (OA) and the main reason is either hereditary or other congenital factors. 
  • Untreated acute pain may result in chronic pain. Cancer pain, tumor growth or increase in toxic effect if not treated on time with chemotherapy result in acute pain.
  • Damage to nerves or the central nervous system may result in neuropathic pain. This type of pain results in the dog panting heavily and sensing a tingling sensation. 

Read Also: 12 Reasons Why Your Dog Cries When Picked Up

7. Cushing’s diseases

Why is the puppy painting at night? Like humans, dogs pant at night due to an endocrine disorder called Cushing disease. The dog body releases hormones from the pituitary gland in the brain to deal with “fight or flight” responses. This hormone is called Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol is also one of them, when dogs sense threat it helps in regulating blood sugar.  

Hyperadrenocorticism occurs when the adrenal gland secretes an excess of cortisol that may impose a threat on the dog by damaging the kidney and other illnesses. However, cortisol is not at all bad for health, as this chemical helps to respond better to stress but too much can cause a problem. 

Dog Panting at Night: Causes of Cushing diseases

  • A malignant tumor in the pituitary gland results in an increase in ACTH and cortisol resulting in panting. 
  • Long-term intake of oral steroids like prednisone can trigger Cushing’s disease in the dog as this steroid increases the release of cortisol in the blood. Iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome is commonly caused because of the excessive production of cortisol. 
  • As per the research, 15% of dogs are affected by a tumor in the kidneys that are commonly known as adrenal dependent. 
Dog Panting At Night

Other Reasons Why is my Dog Restless and Panting at Night? 

  • 32 degrees Celsius is hot for the dog, so check the environmental temperature because dogs are heat sensitive
  • The dog must be engaged in physical activities like running, walking long, hiking and playing. Therefore, cool him down, offer him water and shift his playdates to early evening. 
  • Study his medical history. Was he bullied by another dog? Is he afraid of loud sounds, or is he not comfortable sleeping alone? Have significant knowledge about your dog’s behavior. 
  • Check his symptoms – why is he panting? Is it because of pain, Cushing disease, or laryngeal paralysis? Keep an eye on his behavior, his food habits, and his ability to exercise, run and walk. 
  • Check his medication and its side effects. Talk to the vet about possible alternatives
  • With age, dogs outcast symptoms like cognitive disorder. 
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How to Calm a Panting Dog?

Dogs cannot explain to you why he is panting hence it is your task to identify the cause and reason for the painting. For identification of such problems, you need to know his medical history as well as his behavior. 

For example, if your pup is allergic to a few foods then stop feeding him that food, or if he gets anxious from loud noises then try to keep him in a calmer place. If he is panting because of the hot weather, you can offer him more water and try to keep him in a cool place. 

And speaking of unexpected behaviors, sometimes a dog barks in the crate all of a sudden. Understanding these various responses helps you provide the necessary care and support.

Moreover, it’s worth noting that older dogs are susceptible to doggy dementia, which can manifest in odd behaviors like circling, wandering, and roaming around. Being vigilant about changes in behavior and responding with appropriate care is essential in ensuring the overall well-being of your furry companion.

Senior dogs are not as active as young dogs; hence water intake must be consistent so that the dog does not reduce their body temperature. Moreover, the senior dog panting at night and drinking lots of water is common and sometimes may not be a sign of disease or any concern. However, factors like senior pet diabetes, urinary tract infections, and kidney diseases are the reasons.

Tips: How to Stop your dog from Panting at Night


Nothing is more important than your dog’s good health, therefore, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to talk to your veterinarian. It is very important to calm an anxious dog at night and allow him to sleep at peace. Dog panting at night is a symptom of discomfort, therefore, try to spend quality time with him, give him water, and offer supplements like CBD oils. Do not let your dog pant excessively!

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FAQ – Dog Panting at Night

1. When should I worry about dog panting? 

A: When you notice he is panting excessively or he is injured, or his tongue is turning purple, grey and blue. 

2. Why is my dog breathing heavily at night? 

A: The common reason dogs breathe heavily at night is respiratory distress, pain, allergies, or fear of something. 

3. How do I know if my dog is panting too much? 

A: When you notice that a dog starts panting all of sudden by stretching his neck out, you should know it is something serious. 

4. Should I be concerned if my dog is panting a lot?

A: Yes, it is concerning if the dog is panting a lot. He must be going through some acute pain and life-threatening trauma. Therefore, check with the vet about his condition ASAP.  

5. How long is it normal for a dog to pant?

A: 8-10 minutes of panting after any physical activity are normal

6. What can I give my dog to stop panting?

A: Sit with him, comfort him and offer him a safe comfortable environment to relax. You can also offer water to a panting dog. 

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