Reasons why dogs pant excessively include overheating, obesity, heart problems, lung disease, cognitive dysfunction and laryngeal paralysis, according to PetMD. Dogs may also pant excessively when they are on steroid medications, feel extremely anxious, or have Cushing's disease.
Excessive panting is a cause for concern, and dogs who are panting excessively need a thorough exam by a veterinarian, notes WebMD. Some dogs, however, may pant frequently for other reasons that are less serious. One of the best things that an owner can do for a dog who often pants heavily is to ensure that the dog does not go for walks in hot weather and that he stays a cool space during warm weather.
Other symptoms that may accompany excessive panting include weight loss or weight gain, loss of appetite or enormous appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, lameness and vision problems. Dogs may also have trouble sleeping, open sores and a swollen abdomen, explains DogTime. If a dog has any of these symptoms in addition to the excessive panting, there is a strong likelihood that the dog has a more serious issue. Excessive panting in dogs should not be ignored because if a dog has difficulty breathing, the brain and heart may not get enough oxygen, resulting in death, states Newport Harbor Animal Hospital.