Is It Normal for a Puppy to Pant While Sleeping?

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The short answer is yes. In fact, lots of panting is generally normal for a puppy -- even in his sleep. However too much could indicate a health problem. Because how can you tell the difference between normal and abnormal amounts of panting in a young pup? It's actually not very easy, which is just one reason why your puppy should have regular check-ups with the veterinarian. It's also an important reason why you should pay close attention to his living conditions and general well-being as he grows.

Why Puppies Pant

Puppies don't just pant to catch their breath -- they do it to burn off excess heat. Because Fido doesn't sweat, and the moisture in his mouth carries heat away from his bodies, he leaves his mouth open and pants. Because panting can indicate general health problems as well as heat-related issues, you must be extra careful. If your Fido is too warm at night -- especially if he has irregular nasal passages, like pugs and bulldogs do -- he may become overheated and/or struggle to breathe. Heavy panting at all hours also may indicate a respiratory problem such as pneumonia, or heart failure. If you're concerned about your Fido's panting and the temperature doesn't seem like a factor, see your vet immediately.


By Tom Ryan

WebMD: Why Is My Dog Panting Heavily?

About the Author
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.