Panting is a normal condition for most dogs, as it is their usual cooling or calming mechanism. Moreover, dogs can’t act like humans to express their emotions, so panting is their go-to instinct for dealing with most situations. Simply put, panting is a normal canine respiratory reaction and a symptom of good health.
However, if your golden retriever suddenly starts panting heavily for no apparent reason, then the reason might be one of concern. Panting in a cool environment under normal circumstances when your dog is not excited or chasing something is not something to be ignored. Know that once your pet’s panting becomes consistent, it would be a clear indicator that there is something wrong with your pooch that needs to be acknowledged as soon as possible.
6 Reasons Why a Golden Retriever Would Be Panting
Here are some of the reasons why would a golden retriever be panting abnormally and what actions you can take to address these problems adequately:
1. Feeling Hot at Room Temperature
As mentioned earlier, one of the main reasons dogs pant is because they need to cool down in hot temperatures. However, suppose your golden retriever is panting at a room temperature accompanied by other symptoms such as excessive thirst, glazed eyes, and pale gums. In that case, your furry partner might be suffering from heat exhaustion.
It doesn’t take long for golden retrievers to get a heat stroke. This is why it is considered wise to look out for these symptoms, especially in hot weather, or when your dog puts too much effort into some physical activity. Heatstroke can severely impact your dog’s health, rapidly killing its body cells, which can cause the brain to swell.
In case you notice your pooch being sluggish due to hotness, immediately submerge it into cool water and give it lots of water to drink as well. Once your golden retriever’s panting is under control, take it to the vet at the earliest. It is also a good idea to groom your pet with a deshedding brush during summers to remove its undercoat and loose fur.
2. Behavioral Panting
There is nothing to worry about when your golden retriever is excited, and he starts panting. However, if he is panting due to stress, the situation might be a bit more complicated than that. Stressed dogs also show other symptoms like yawning, whining, pacing, licking their lips, hiding, shivering, and uncontrolled bowel movements when they are suffering from anxiety.
When the situation is particularly stressful, the panting continues to elevate along with an exhibition of aggressive behavior. In these cases, you have to understand the triggers that put your pet into stressful trauma and then work with them to build their confidence. Taking them to your vet is also a safe option as he can understand your dog’s behavioral panting much more expertly.
3. Sudden Intense Pain
Panting at inappropriate times can also be an indication that your golden retriever is in pain. However, it can be hard to realize unless the source of pain is visible or if your dog keeps licking a particular spot to soothe the pain. A change in their posture can also help you figure out if your canine companion suffers from some kind of pain.
Moreover, a golden retriever’s panting pattern becomes unusual in pain. Hence, you may notice it making unfamiliar movements. Arthritis can also cause your dog to pant heavily as it can make even the smallest of movements painful. Besides this, you can look out for include enlarged pupils, restlessness, lack of appetite, or biting on the spot, causing your dog pain.
4. Separation Anxiety
If you’re wondering why a golden retriever would pant more than usual when you are about to leave it, the answer is simple – your dog has some separation anxiety issues.
Separation anxiety is triggered when the guardians leave their emotionally attached dogs at home or dog care centers, distressing them due to loneliness. In this instance, it becomes essential to seek help from a professional dog behaviorist who can teach you tricks to calm down your golden retriever in these situations.
5. Illness, Allergies, or Poisoning
Your golden retriever’s heavy panting could also be caused by several ailments, including heart disease, obesity, Cushing’s disease, and lung disease. Furthermore, reactions to allergies and possible poisonous foods can make it challenging for dogs to breathe without pain, hence the erratic panting.
Some golden retrievers also have allergies to bug bites, mold, dust, or airborne pollen, in addition to particular food items, that might lead them to pant painfully. If a dog’s reaction to these allergies is severely impactful, it might cause them to vomit. This can also be enough of a reason to make a dog pant more than usual.
Dog medication, much like human medication, can leave a long list of side effects on your furry pet. That’s why it’s always a good idea to ask your vet if the medication he is prescribing can have any possible side effects on your dog so you are mentally prepared beforehand.
In either case, it is a better option to contact your vet if you think your dog is panting more than usual due to some medication, especially when it is accompanied by an increase in water intake and urination.
Our Final Thoughts
Now that you know all the possible reasons why a golden retriever could be panting, you can understand why it is necessary to never ignore the mentioned symptoms and take immediate actions against them. Get to know your dog’s everyday panting and breathing pattern so you can easily identify the symptoms before they get out of hand.