Is It Normal For German Shepherds To Pant A Lot?

Is It Normal For German Shepherds To Pant A Lot
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Your clever, hyperactive German Shepherd is breathing heavily. Is it normal for German Shepherds to pant a lot, you may ask? In fact, panting is a natural way for your pet to regulate their body heat and is typically not an indicator of anything dangerous.

As their owner, you will need to thoroughly understand why they pant and how to deal with the labored breathing.

In this post, you will read about the reasons behind every dog’s pant, in which situation they pant heavily, and solutions to help them less panting a lot.

Dog’s Panting Behavior

First of all, we need to understand this special feature of dogs.

Panting is a naturally typical habit in canine animals that they use to regulate their overall temperature according to weather changes. Unlike humans, dogs can’t perspire through their skin as they don’t have the same effective sweat gland arrangement.
Is It Normal For German Shepherds To Pant A Lot

Panting Is A Special Feature Of Dogs

Canines cool themselves by evaporating moisture from their nose, mouths, tongues, and paws.

Panting enables dogs to release the warm atmosphere in their lungs for the chilly air outside.

With so few places to sweat out, a dog could become extremely hot very quickly. As a result, they can stay cooler by swiftly sucking fresh air.

Many dog owners are concerned about excessive panting, but keep in mind that panting is not the same as labored breathing.

Labored breathing, or difficult respiration, is caused by a blockage in one’s nose or windpipe. It typically goes with distressing sounds such as whining, weeping, or whistling.

Reasons Why German Shepherds Pant

Your Dog Is An Active Breed

The German Shepherd is a rather large-sized canine breed. As a result, they own a higher degree of energy than most other breeds.

German Shepherds are full of energy

German Shepherds are full of energy

In addition, because German Shepherds love running, they are prone to overheating, especially when compared to other types of dogs who are more placid and calm.

Your Dog Is Regulating The Body Temperature

The German Shepherds have double coats, hefty double fur, which is naturally heatproof. Panting, therefore, is helpful to reduce the buildup of heat.

Your Dog Has Too Much Exercise

German Shepherds are known to pant heavily after training or engaging in strenuous activity. This allows more oxygen to reach their muscles.

Obviously, if your pet pants are longer than expected, you should consult your veterinarian. Similarly, if you observe even a little or moderate quantity of exercise can make your pooch pant excessively, this could signal a problem.

Your Dog Is Excited

When German Shepherds are active and excited, they may begin to pant excessively. This is due to the fact that they tend to be more energetic and need to supply their muscles with extra oxygen in preparation.

Your Dog Is Anxious

German Shepherds are one of the most clever dog breeds in the world. Their intelligence, therefore, comes with a higher level of sensitivity to their surroundings and their owners.

German Shepherds, in other words, are aware of people and surroundings.

Loud noises, such as fireworks, sirens, or thunderstorms, can easily startle these buddies. They may even be scared of a certain stranger. When they are left alone for an extended period of time, they can develop separation anxiety.

Your four-legged friend may pant excessively in any of the scenarios listed above.

Dogs can easily have anxiety

Dogs can easily have anxiety

Being its owner, you need to keep an eye on your faithful friend, especially in new situations and try to get used to their behavior in varied situations. This way, you’ll be able to tell in which situations it might pant so much. 

Thus, you’ll be able to make timely adjustments to prevent panting and support your canine pet during this time.

Your Dog Has Heat Exhaustion

Another typical reason for a dog panting more than needed is heatstroke.

Heatstroke is frequently induced by engaging in outdoor activity when the weather is too hot. German Shepherds are likely to have heat stroke due to their large size and double coat.

You may notice your pet has bright red tongue, thick or gluey saliva, tiredness and sleepiness, difficulty moving, and diarrhea or throwing up. In the meantime, encourage him to drink water if you observe any of these symptoms combined with panting in hot conditions.

Once your paw friend has calmed down, you should take him to the clinic. Make sure that your pet has enough hydration

Your Dog Can Have An Allergy

An allergic reaction can be the cause of making your dog pants. It is more likely to happen if it began panting unexpectedly when there was no other reason for it to do so or if it began quickly after it ate something it shouldn’t have.

Dietary food or pollen, mites,  dust, washing powders, particular fabric softeners, or even colognes can result in your dog’s allergy.

In such situations, you need to promptly take your beloved pet to the vet for a check-up.

Your Dog Might Have A Cardiovascular Issue

If your pet has started panting more than necessary, there’s a chance they’re having a health problem, particularly cardiovascular issues.

It’s highly recommended to send your pet to the vet if they’ve suddenly begun panting intensely and most of the time when there’s no other cause.

Is It Normal For German Shepherds To Pant A Lot?

The answer is yes. German Shepherds are known to pant a lot, owing to their large bodies. Panting is something that all dogs do to cool off, so size isn’t the primary reason German Shepherds pant.

It Is Extremely Normal For A German Shepherds To Pant A Lot

It Is Extremely Normal For A German Shepherds To Pant A Lot

However, too much of anything is bad. It is time that you should be aware of your dog’s routine, behaviors, and surroundings.

Recognize When Your Dogs Pant Normally Or Abnormally

Normal Panting

The Weather Is Hot Outside

If it pants more than usual while it’s hot outside, that’s normal for a German Shepherd. However, if it has been out in the sun for an extended period of time and has begun panting more than usual, it may be suffering from heatstroke, and you should cool it down and take it to the doctor.

A Sign Of Excitement

Shepherds have double-coat fur, which allows them to stay warm longer in winter. If they’re enjoying the exercise or play, or if their owners have just arrived home, they’ll pant as a sign of excitement.

There Is A Loud Noise

Loud and unexpected sounds can frighten even the most oblivious of us, so it’s not surprising when a German Shepherd would be terrified and pant. It’s normal for your petto pant when he’s scared.

If your dog’s panting is unexpected, deeper, and longer than usual, you should be concerned, especially if he doesn’t have any cause to pant.

Abnormal Panting

GSD Abnormal Panting Signs

Abnormal Panting Signs

When It Was Not Heated, Excited, Or After Sprinting, It Began To Pant Suddenly

If you’ve noticed that your German Shepherd is panting excessively in situations when it shouldn’t, it’s a clue that something is wrong.

For example, if it rarely pants a lot but has been panting consistently in recent days while being in a cool, peaceful, and shaded location, this would be a concern.

Your Dog Pants When You’re Going To Leave

If it only begins to pant more than usual when you are ready to leave, it is likely that it is suffering from separation anxiety.

In this scenario, you may want to seek the assistance of a local certified dog specialist.

The Panting Is Continuous And Severe

A German Shepherd pants more frequently than most dogs. However, if you find that your German Shepherd is constantly breathing, this is a matter of concern that needs to be investigated.

If Your Shepherd’s Tongue Or Gums Become Blue, Purple, Or White

It means they aren’t getting sufficient oxygen. You must take them to the vet straight away.

Heavy and prolonged panting can be a symptom of these diseases: Cushing syndrome, congestive heart failure, mitral valve disease, anemia, or cancer.

Here are some more signs to check out for:

  • It’s cold outside, especially when your German Shepherd hasn’t released enough energy.
  • Intense thirst, urination, and panting indicate that your dog is insufficiently hydrated.
  • Hair loss and dry skin
  • Fatigued or sad

Should you notice any of the unusual signs above, you need to call your veterinarian and have your dog inspected. 

What Should Owners Do When Their Dogs Pant Abnormally?

Allowing Your Dog To Have Enough Water And Cool Places

Providing enough water for your German Shepherd helps them to cool down naturally, stay hydrated as well as minimize the risk of heatstroke.

When it’s hot outside, make sure your dog has access to some shade or a cool spot.

Always ensure that they are able to do so on their own. Most importantly, don’t leave them outside in the burning heat without a chance of cooling off.

Take a break if you’re on a stroll. Be mindful of the times you want to go. Keep an eye out for any high hills or difficult terrain.

Make Sure Your Dog Have Access To Cool Environment

Make Sure Your Dog Have Access To Cool Environment

Bathing Your Dog In Cool Water

Giving your active buddy a cold bath is a good way to reduce its increasing inner temperature. This is especially effective if they are already quite heated and need to be washed!

Reassuring Your Canine Companion

Even if it isn’t hot outside or they aren’t exercising, your dog’s heavy panting could indicate that they are suffering from anxiety or stress.

Try to spend some spare time relaxing your four-legged buddy in this situation. Caress them to draw their focus away from whatever is bothering them. Their breathing will soon return to normal.

Examine The Environment And Keep An Eye On The Food

Panting can indicate that your dog has eaten something they are not accustomed to. They could perhaps have rubbed up against anything to which they are allergic.

Check what he has eaten, as well as the places your dog has visited, to be sure nothing has triggered the panting.

Maintain Your Dog’s Fitness Through Daily Exercise

Your German Shepherd is a large active dog who needs exercise on a regular basis.

To maintain fitness, health and prevent panting, German Shepherds require at least an hour of exercise per day. Moreover, regular exercise can prevent hostility or destructive behavior among German Shepherds.

A common exercise would be to walk for an hour every day. If you’re living in a hot climate, walk your dog in the early morning or sunset when the temperature is cooler, and the sunlight is less intense.

The second way is playing fetch with your German Shepherd. This offers a lot of effective exercises. Your dog can perform a lot of running, which will soon wear it out.

Teaching German Shepherd how to fetch

Teaching German Shepherd how to fetch

Deshedding Your Dog’s Undercoat

Taking off your German Shepherd’s undercoat can help him less panting and feel cool. This method is especially useful during the summer or when you want them to be more active (be prepared for a walking vacation, for instance!).

Taking Your Dog To The Vet If You Feel Something Abnormal

If you suspect the panting is unusual or if there are any indicators of abnormal panting, such as those listed above, the first thing you should do is immediately take your dog to the veterinarian.

Final Words

In conclusion, although no one appreciates the sound of panting, it is a natural behavior in dogs of this breed. It’s never a good idea to try to stop them doing it. 

So, Is it normal for German Shepherds to pant a lot? The answer depends on how your dog behaves, what he eats, and other factors. In most cases, panting indicates that your dog is hot and trying to cool down.

Hopefully, this article has given you helpful knowledge about panting – a dogs’ common habit – and ways to reduce excessive panting in your German Shepherds.

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