Why is my dog panting so much at night?

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why is my dog panting so much at night

Have you noticed your dog panting a lot at night? You’re probably wondering why and if there’s anything you can do to help.

Here’s all the information you need on dogs panting at night.

Why is my dog panting so much at night?

It’s normal for dogs to pant every once in a while. Panting is how your dog manages his body temperature, since dogs don’t sweat the way we do.

It’s not unusual to see your dog panting on occasion, especially if it’s a particularly hot day. But if your dog is panting at night, you might be wondering why.

There are several reasons why your dog could be panting at night. We’ll take a look at why this is happening. But first you should take a look at these articles related to dog difficulties in the nighttime:

Why do dogs pant?

The first thing to understand if you’re wondering why your dog is panting at night is why dogs pant in the first place.

The number one reason why dogs pant is to regulate their internal temperature. While we humans have sweat glands that help us keep cool when it’s too hot, dogs don’t.

Instead, they have to pant to get their bodies to cool off. This is why you’re likely to see your dog panting on a hot summer day.

Dogs will also pant if they are starting to feel stressed. It’s very similar to how humans will begin to overheat and sweat if they are feeling anxious about something.

Most of the time, panting is nothing to be concerned about. It’s just a natural way for your dog to regulate himself!

panting dog

When should I worry about dog panting?

Even though panting is a natural way for your dog to cool off or to manage his stress, there are some situations where panting could be an issue.

You should always be mindful if your dog is showing signs of stress or anxiety. If he’s showing other symptoms along with panting that signal that he’s anxious, try to find the source of the anxiety.

Panting excessively could also be a sign of heat stroke. This is a medical emergency, and you should get to your vet right away if you are noticing other signs. Here are 13 signs and symptoms of heat stroke in dogs.

If your dog is panting and there appears to be no obvious reason why and it’s been going on for a while, this could indicate another medical problem. Get your dog to a vet to ensure he gets any help that he needs right away.

Reasons for your dog panting at night

Your dog is going to pant every once in a while. Most of the time, it’s nothing to worry about.

If your dog is panting at night, that might seem pretty confusing to you.

These are the detailed reasons why your dog could be experiencing this issue.

Your dog is feeling stress, anxiety or fear

Dogs pant when they get too hot, but also when they feel stress or anxiety. The nighttime could make your dog more anxious. If he sleeps in a different room than you do, then he could be experiencing separation anxiety.

These are a few related articles on the topic that can help you:

The issue could also be that your dog is hearing things that you’re not. Dogs have super sensitive hearing, and your dog could be hearing something that’s stressing him out.

Why is your dog panting so much at night? It could be stress
Panting can be a sign of stress any time of the day.

If your dog is a senior, he could also be experiencing something called cognitive dysfunction. This condition leads to a lot of stress and confusion, which could cause the panting.


When dogs get uncomfortable, this can cause stress. That stress might contribute to your dog’s panting issue.

If your dog is panting a lot, then that could signify that he is in pain. You should make sure to check your dog for signs of injury if you’re noticing excessive panting. Lying down or being in his crate could be making an injury worse at night.

Take your dog to your vet to have him looked at. If he does have an injury, your vet will know what to do to treat it.

Some dog breeds pant more

Panting can often be a sign that a dog is experiencing some kind of discomfort, whether it’s emotional or physical. But some dogs naturally pant more often than others.

Dogs that have flat faces like Shih Tzus and pugs will tend to pant more frequently than other breeds. You may still want to get your dog checked at the vet if you have one of these short-nosed breeds, especially since many of them tend to have breathing issues.

But the issue could be something as simple as your dog’s breed making him more inclined to pant.

Obesity hinders breathing at night

One of the most important things for your dog’s health is to keep him at a good weight. If your dog is obese or severely overweight, this could cause some major health issues.

Having excess weight on his body could make breathing more difficult when your dog is lying down at night.

If this is your dog’s problem, helping him lose some weight can assist him in sleeping better. Here are a few articles you should check out that might help:

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Just like humans, some dogs get allergies!

Allergies can make it difficult for your dog to breathe, which could result in panting. This issue tends to be more prominent at certain times of the year, when more pollen is in the air.

Your vet can help you determine if your dog is panting because of allergies. They’ll also be able to help you come up with some good ways to manage your dog’s allergies so you can both sleep more comfortably.

Other respiratory diseases

Allergies aren’t the only thing that could affect your dog’s breathing. If your dog has another respiratory disease, that could make him pant more frequently at night.

If you notice your dog panting excessively and you’re not sure what the reason is, take him to your vet. Your vet will check up on your dog and make sure that he doesn’t have any respiratory problems.

If he does, your vet will be able to treat the issue.


Anemia is a condition in which your dog’s body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells. This prevents oxygen from being carried to different parts of the body effectively.

Your dog will likely have other signs if he’s struggling from anemia. For one thing, he’ll probably experience a lot of fatigue.

Get your dog to the vet right away if you suspect he’s anemic. Your vet will get him on the right treatment plan.

Cushing’s disease

This is a condition that’s caused by the body producing too much of a hormone called cortisol.

If your dog has Cushing’s disease, then you might notice him panting more often. You may also see other signs like weight gain, depression, or excessive thirst.

Like any medical problem, it’s important to get your dog to the vet right away if you think he has this condition.

Heart disease

Breathing issues are closely related to heart problems. Heart disease can cause dogs to pant excessively.

A heart problem is a serious thing. The heart is one of the most important organs in the body. Get your dog to a vet immediately if you think there’s something wrong with his heart.

Medication causing heavy breathing

Is your dog on any medications? Some medications come with side effects like heavy breathing.

Your vet should warn you of any potential side effects of a medication they are prescribing to your dog. If the panting is a major problem, speak to your vet about changing to an alternative medication.

Elderly dogs are often panting at night 

Panting at night is a common issue for elderly dogs especially. As they age, it can be harder for them to regulate their body temperatures as easily.

You can always take your dog to the vet if his panting is particularly concerning.

What can I do if my dog is panting at night?

Wondering how to help your dog if he can’t stop panting? Try out these tips.

Find out if it’s normal for your dog to pant at night

For some dogs, panting at night is totally normal and nothing to be worried about. This is especially true for flat-faced dogs and elderly dogs.

However, if the issue has come up suddenly or the panting seems excessive, then there could be something wrong.

Take him to the vet

Are you worried that your dog’s panting could be indicating a larger problem? Make an appointment with your vet.

Your vet will take a look at your dog to ensure that there’s nothing wrong with him. If there is, they’ll identity the issue and get him the treatment he needs.

Need help with vet bills? Take a look at these related articles:

Speaking of the vet: Have you ever thought about getting pet insurance for your dog? No? Then check out my article on the question “is it worth getting pet insurance for dogs?“. Or go straight to PetAssure for a cheap alternative to get 25% off each vet visit!

Treat the underlying issue for the panting

The best way to fix any problem is to look at the source. Is your dog panting out of anxiety? Then find ways to reduce his stress at night.

Is your dog panting because he has a medical issue? Your vet will help you treat the problem and get your dog healthy again.

How to calm a dog from panting at night

If your dog is panting out of stress, finding the reason why he’s stressed out is the first thing to do.

Once you know the cause, you can fix the problem. One of the best ways to help a dog feel safe at night is to crate train him properly.

Here’s how to crate train a dog easily in 13 steps.

FAQs around dogs panting at night

Still have questions about your dog’s panting at night? Here are some helpful answers!

Why is my dog’s panting worse at night?

If your dog’s panting seems to be worse at night, there are several reasons why this could be. Sleeping away from you if you put him to bed in another room could trigger separation anxiety. This stress could make him pant more.

If lying down puts pressure on an injury or on his lungs, this could also make him pant more.

Your vet will help identify the issue.

Why is my dog panting at night and drinking lots of water?

Panting a lot and being dehydrated could be the sign of a medical condition in your dog.

Try keeping your room a little cooler at night. If this doesn’t help with the issue, then you should get your dog to a vet.

when your dog is panting a lot at night and is also thirsty, that could signal a medical condition
Your dog pants a lot at night and is thirsty? That could signal a medical condition

Why is my dog panting and restless?

When dogs get sick and uncomfortable, many of them become restless. Being sick or injured could also contribute to excessive panting.

Always call your vet as soon as possible if you notice any unusual behavior changes in your dog.

Why is my dog panting and shaking at night?

Does your dog pant and shake at night? If you put him in a crate for bedtime, the problem could be that he’s not used to it and it’s stressing him out.

Proper crate training will help your dog feel much more comfortable in it.

Do dogs pant when they are in pain?

Yes! Although this isn’t always the case, many dogs will pant when they are in pain.

If you notice your dog beginning to pant suddenly and you can’t see an obvious reason, your dog could have an injury. Look him over carefully, and bring him to the vet to get checked.


If your dog pants a lot at night, you might be wondering why. It might also be pretty concerning to you.

There are several reasons why your dog might be panting so much. Once you find the source, you can help fix the issue which will help you and your dog sleep much more comfortably.

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