Why Is My Dog Panting and Restless at Night?

Panting is one of the ways your dog regulates his body temperature and the good news is that most of the time, its completely normal canine behavior. However, excessive panting, or panting without an obvious reason, may indicate something more is going on. Dr. Julie Buzby, integrative veterinarian and founder of Dr. Buzbys ToeGrips, shares seven reasons why your dog might be panting and restlessreasons too important for you to ignore.

Because you know your dog so well, its important to trust your gut and dig deeper to find out whats behind any changes you notice. Valve disorders, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathies, and heartworm disease in dogs are all examples of illnesses that can affect the hearts ability to do its job properly.

Respiratory disease makes it difficult for the body to get enough oxygen into the bloodstream as well as to remove waste products, such as carbon dioxide, from circulation. Diseases like tracheal collapse and laryngeal paralysis often affect the respiratory tracts of senior dogs. After light exercise, it is difficult for dogs with laryngeal paralysis to cool off because they cannot pant efficiently.

For example, sudden loud sounds such as fireworks cause many dogs to tuck tail, run, and look for a safe place to hide. panting pacing or restlessness frequent yawning averting their eyes licking their lips Canine cognitive dysfunction, or CCD, refers to the gradual onset of dementia-like signs in senior dogs due to changes within the brain.

not responding when called (after deafness has been ruled out) accidents in the house restlessness and difficulty settling into sleep disorientation and getting stuck in places in the home personality and other behavioral changes Although there is no cure for CCD, there are treatment options including medications, supplements, and strategies for behavior modification. These dogs often pant and are restless because their internal organs arent getting enough oxygen and the brain is demanding more.

Like humans, dogs have numerous glands that release hormones to send messages to other parts of the body. In response, the adrenals produce numerous substances, including cortisol, designed to help your dog deal with the perceived threat. Abnormalities on routine blood and urine testing can also be suggestive of Cushings, especially when clinical signs are present.

Adrenal tumors may require surgery, while pituitary-dependent cases can show improvement with an oral medication like trilostane (brand name: Vetoryl). Heres the big takeaway on panting and restlessness in senior dogs: unless its transient and occasional, its not normal. One acute condition which often presents with panting and restlessness and is a true, life-threatening emergency is gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) known more commonly as bloat.

Why is my dog pacing and panting at night?

Dogs with cognitive dysfunction will often sleep much of the day and be up a lot of the night. As the confusion and consequential anxiety progresses we see this as pacing and panting. If your dog is starting to wake regularly at night, a visit to your veterinarian is indicated.

How do you calm a restless dog at night?

Stick to playtime and routines. As well as howling, elderly dogs with CDS can also become very restless at night. So Rosie recommends plenty of daytime stimulation to tire your pet out. ‘ A gentle evening walk can help to reduce restlessness later, while swimming can be very effective for arthritic dogs,’ she says.

Why is my dog panting and won't lay down?

A dog who suddenly can’t or won’t lie down, has labored breathing when lying down, or assumes the “praying position” of lying down with his bum in the air, may be experiencing pain or discomfort due to a serious medical condition: pancreatitis, bloat, or heart disease, for example.

Because your dog doesnt have sweat glands, your dogs only way to expel heat is from their paw pads, but this does not help them much in cooling down. So they use their mouth to get rid of the body heat theyve produced through various activities.

This is normally what happens after a long walk in humid weather conditions or after an exercise session. Heavy breathing also happens in extreme heat conditions without any activities; this is also fine.

Panting and restless during rest while in optimal weather conditions or at night where its not very hot is a sign of something serious. The cause of heavy breathing can vary, so watch for these panting warning signs of serious medical conditions: Along with this, there are symptoms like increased thirst, hunger, urination, hair loss , and a pot-bellied appearance.

This syndrome is so common in older dogs and is one of the main reasons for heavy panting. Respiratory disease can affect the dogs breathing capabilities and make it hard for oxygen to get into the bloodstream. The dog might struggle to pant normally even after a small exercise session.

If this is the case, you will notice heavy breathing after walking for a short distance. Dog heatstroke can turn out to be a major issue and can even lead to death if untreated. Heatstroke or overheating causes heavy panting in dogs, which leads to dehydration.

Temperature over 106F (41C) can put your dog in danger and will need immediate cooling down and medical attention. Especially short-nosed breeds like pugs tend to often struggle, mostly due to heat exhaustion or heatstroke, so be aware. These four major reasons a dog pants heavily, paces, or becomes restless.

A dog with separation anxiety might find it hard to sleep without the owner and wander around the house and pant at night; dogs suffering from separation anxiety are prone to panting at night. If you cant find any injuries, check whether any diseases mentioned could be causing excessive panting. Dogs with Canine Cognitive Disorder often are sleepless and roam around the house at night due to sleep-wake cycle disturbance.

If youre inside your house, take the dog to a place with better ventilation or any cooling spots, or take them to the hospital; make sure to turn on the air conditioner. Try cooling the dog by splashing them with water or use a hose to make them wet. If its separation anxiety, try considering a professional trainer or behaviorist to help the dog with this issue.

You can try CBD hemp oil for pets , which can help give your dog relief from stress and anxiety that might be causing panting. CBD is a natural substance that comes from the hemp plant and contains calming and relaxing properties. Please do not leave your dog untreated when you witness abnormal panting, as the situation can only worsen.

Early warning signs of illness include behavior change, lack of

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Dogs with a painful condition are unsettled and restless because they hurt too much to lie in one position for very long. Symptoms of musculoskeletal discomfort include stiffness, limping, decreased activity as well as having a hard time settling down and panting at night.

Esophageal, stomach, intestinal, pancreatitis and colonic irritation cause mild to severe discomfort. Nauseated dogs often have other symptoms like vomiting, eating grass, licking themselves or objects, drooling, increased drinking, or decreased appetite. Other symptoms include a dog yelping randomly , hiding, excessive panting and shaking.

Symptoms of hyperadrenocorticism include increased thirst, appetite, and urination, weight gain, pot-belly appearance, hair loss, and panting for no reason. Cushings diseases tendency to cause frequent urination, constant hunger and an unquenchable thirst make them even more restless. Symptoms of laryngeal paralysis include increased panting, noisy or heavy breathing, difficulty sleeping, changes in voice and exercise intolerance.

Occasionally, after doing the appropriate testing, we find out a respiratory disease or a heart problem is the reason a dog is panting and pacing so much. If you suspect breathing difficulty, get your buddy to a clinic immediately as their condition can deteriorate quickly. When I lived in the South, it seemed like wed see a rash of dogs with heatstroke every year on the first few warm days of spring.

I always notice heatstroke dogs seem to open their mouth wider than you see with normal panting and their tongue looks super long! The best way to make a real difference in your behavior is to find a specific cause and treat it appropriately. Targeted treatment will save time and money and help everyone get a good nights sleep sooner.

When pet parent shows worry, frustration, and anger it invariably affects their dogs behavior. I bought a couple deep dish beds over six years ago and theyre still in good condition after many washes. Geriatric dogs are notorious for not wanting to get up and move around but it helps them a lot to have regular exercise.

The exercise helps keep a dogs muscles and joints limber and getting out of the house satisfies the psychological need for stimulus. Sleeping 23 hours a day is not a luxury, its a sign of extreme boredom!Try some food puzzles and interactive toys. One of the most popular interactive dog toys Ive ever seen is the Orbee-Tuff Snoop Ball (Amazon link), shown below.

Or make your own inexpensive interactive dog toy by overturning a few plastic cups and hiding a treat under one of them. Try using clicker training to teach your dog some simple behaviors like standing on a certain carpet to get a treat. Introduce some fresh foods to increase natural anti-oxidants and healthy fats in your dogs diet.

Gradually increase the number of fresh foods your dog eats daily over a period of weeks. If your vet suspects pain is the cause of your dogs pacing and panting, try some natural supplements before reaching for a prescription. Natural anti-inflammatories like turmeric and Boswellia quell the hurt of age-related arthritis without the harsh side effects of prescription medications.

GlycoFlex 3 Perna canaliculus (green-lipped mussel), DMG, glucosamine and MSM lubricate joints and decrease soreness. Veterinarians prescribe gabapentin, tramadol, hydrocodone and other opioids for dogs with painful conditions that cant be controlled with NSAIDs. The reason is that as long as dogs have some vision they can compensate pretty well, so you might not notice mild visual impairment.

Sudden loss of hearing and vision can cause a dog distress and worry, especially at night when light and sounds are not as strong as during the day. If youve ever stared at the ceiling at midnight, worrying about something that happened during the day, you know stress and anxiety are enemies of sleep. When one of my dogs was young, the minute she heard wind, rain or loud noises shed start panting and shaking and wouldnt leave my side!

Machinery, fireworks and even the neighbors beeping smoke alarm battery alert can drive dogs crazy. Ive used Adaptil diffusers and Composure chews with L-theanine successfully when my dog gets upset over stormy weather. After consulting with your veterinarian, check out some of the following options to help your dog calm down, settle in and stop pacing and panting!

I always save these strong medications for extreme cases due to their risk of side effects. Video from Southeastern Veterinary Neurology I almost hate to list this one because I dont want you to jump to the conclusion that your dog has a brain tumor. It can be hard to differentiate between brain tumors, cognitive abnormalities and inner ear problems but your vet can help to sort things out.

Senilife is a nutritional supplement that contains Phosphatidylserine and Pyridoxine to regulate and restore neurotransmission, plus Resveratrol, Ginkgo biloba and vitamin E to provide neuronal antioxidant protection. Some of my clients and veterinary colleagues swear by Senilife (click to view on Amazon.com) for senior dogs who arent as sharp as they used to be. MCTs are a special kind of fat that is metabolized into ketone bodies which act as an alternative energy source for aging brains.

Our content is not intended to take the place of professional veterinary advice and should not be relied upon to guide or influence the medical treatment of any animal.

Something is not right: Your dog is panting and restless. His tongue hangs out of his mouth while he paces around the house, curling up in his dog bed for a few minutes before getting right back up and continuing his path from room to room, unable to settleand its even worse at night.

Keeping a journal to look for patterns can help the vet figure out what might be causing behaviors like panting and restlessness. Dogs sweat a little through their paw pads but they largely depend on panting to expel hot air from their lungs and draw in cool air to cool down, notes veterinary behaviorist Dr. Lore Haug of Texas Veterinary Behavior Service in Sugar Land, Texas.

Just like we use breathing exercises [in yoga and meditation] to tap into our anti-fight or flight response, dogs do the same thing, Haug says. Dogs may pant for a combination of reasons, including pain and anxiety or weight issues and medication side effects. If panting and pacing are caused by anxiety, dogs may also have other symptoms, including trembling, whining, barking, increased drooling and, in extreme cases, loss of bladder control.

Calming soft chew treats or hemp oil could help ease the symptoms and give your pup a good nights rest. Your house is also quieter at night, making it easier for your dog to tune into sounds in the environment that could trigger anxious behaviors like panting and restlessness.

1. Heart disease

Excessive panting can be a symptom of problems with your dog’s primary organ system. You may also notice him coughing occasionally or breathing heavily after a casual walk or exercise.The heart plays an extremely important role in delivering oxygen to the rest of the body. When that process is hindered, your dog’s heart can’t pump effectively which means his body doesn’t get the oxygen it needs to perform routine processes. Valve disorders, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathies, and heartworm disease in dogs are all examples of illnesses that can affect the heart’s ability to do its job properly.Your veterinarian can often detect heart murmurs or arrhythmias just by listening to your dog’s chest. Just another reason regular check-ups are so important.

3. Anxiety and fear

Respiratory disease makes it difficult for the body to get enough oxygen into the bloodstream as well as to remove waste products, such as carbon dioxide, from circulation.Diseases like tracheal collapse and laryngeal paralysis often affect the respiratory tracts of senior dogs.

5. Anemia

Canine cognitive dysfunction, or CCD, refers to the gradual onset of dementia-like signs in senior dogs due to changes within the brain. These changes affect a dog’s behavior, motor function, and memory, and can be associated with panting. CCD is most likely to occur in dogs who are more than ten years old. Sadly, dogs with CCD are often confused, have a disrupted sleep-wake cycle, and may seem to get ” lost” in their own homes.One of the most common signs of CCD is frequent pacing, especially during the night. Dubbed “sundowner syndrome,” the condition by the same name also occurs in senior humans.Although there is no cure for CCD, there are treatment options including medications, supplements, and strategies for behavior modification.For more information about CCD in senior dogs, please see Managing Canine Cognitive Dysfunction: Signs, Symptoms, Solutions.

6. Cushing’s disease

Like humans, dogs have numerous glands that release hormones to send messages to other parts of the body. To help with the “fight or flight” response, the pituitary gland in the brain releases a hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) that makes its way down to the adrenal glands. In response, the adrenals produce numerous substances, including cortisol, designed to help your dog deal with the perceived threat. Cortisol also has other important functions including the regulation of blood sugar levels and metabolism.Too much cortisol in the bloodstream causes Cushing’s disease, a condition known as hyperadrenocorticism. It is most common in middle-aged and older dogs and another concerning reason why your dog may be panting and restless.There are a few reasons a dog may develop Cushing’s disease. A tumor on the pituitary gland will cause an increase in the release of ACTH; thus, adrenals are constantly being signaled to release more cortisol. Tumors can also develop on the adrenal glands themselves, also resulting in excess cortisol release. Additionally, long-term use of an oral steroid such as prednisone can provoke Cushing’s, as this type of steroid mimics cortisol.The most common clinical signs of Cushing’s disease are excessive panting, increased thirst and urination, increased appetite, and a pot-bellied appearance. Abnormalities on routine blood and urine testing can also be suggestive of Cushing’s, especially when clinical signs are present. Special blood tests, such as a low-dose dexamethasone suppression test (LDDST) or an ACTH stimulation test, may be recommended to help reach a more definitive diagnosis.The treatment plan depends on the root cause of Cushing’s. Adrenal tumors may require surgery, while pituitary-dependent cases can show improvement with an oral medication like trilostane (brand name: Vetoryl).

7. Acute or chronic pain

Arthritis, surgery, and injury are just a few of the causes of pain in dogs. Some signs are obvious (limping, for example), while others—panting, restlessness, and hiding—are more subtle. A dog who jumps down from a deck or porch, and then starts to limp is exhibiting a sign of acute (sudden onset) pain, while dogs with arthritis or old injuries can have chronic pain that affects them intermittently.It’s important to know the signs of pain in dogs, and to seek help for your dog if you see them. Elevated heart rate and elevated respiratory rate (panting) are classic and objective measures of pain in dogs.

He Doesn’t Feel Good (Pain or Illness)

Let’s discuss the three big reasons for restlessness in dogs that cover most situations:I’ve had plenty of clients complain about their dog panting at night. They’re up at 3 a.m. wondering, “Why is my dog panting and pacing and so restless?” Although it can happen at any time of day, it’s enough to drive a normally rational human to exhausted frustration when it happens at night.Why abnormal panting and pacing always seem to happen at night is up for debate. It could be simply because you’re home and trying to rest so it is more obvious (annoying). On the other hand, some dogs might feel more disturbed when the house is dark and quiet.Read through the following sections to get some ideas on why your buddy is breathing hard and restless.

Cushing’s Disease

Also known as hyperadrenocorticism, Cushing’s Disease symptoms are caused by excessive cortisone production by a dog’s adrenal glands. The disease occurs in dogs at a rate of about 1 to 2 cases per 1,000 dogs each year (1).When an animal has too much naturally-produced cortisone, it’s like he’s taking large doses of steroids (prednisone) every day.Symptoms of hyperadrenocorticism include increased thirst, appetite, and urination, weight gain, pot-belly appearance, hair loss, and panting for no reason. The disease occurs more often in dogs 9 years and older so it’s a common finding for a senior dog panting at night.Cushing’s disease’s tendency to cause frequent urination, constant hunger and an unquenchable thirst make them even more restless.Ask your vet about testing and treatment. There are a couple of treatment options for Cushing’s dogs that greatly reduce their symptoms.The larynx is the “Adam’s Apple” part of a dog’s throat that houses the vocal cords. Muscles in the larynx become paralyzed when there is damage or degeneration of the nerves supplying the area.Symptoms of laryngeal paralysis include increased panting, noisy or heavy breathing, difficulty sleeping, changes in voice and exercise intolerance. Affected dogs tend to pant and pace when they have difficulty breathing.When an animal can’t oxygenate their blood properly, a feeling of panic and restlessness sets in. Occasionally, after doing the appropriate testing, we find out a respiratory disease or a heart problem is the reason a dog is panting and pacing so much.There are many diseases that can affect a dog’s heart and lungs. Some of the more common forms of heart disease are congestive heart failure, bacterial or fungal pneumonia and bronchitis. In these cases, dogs pant due to oxygen deprivation.Watch for coughing, fast breathing and a bluish tongue. You’ll notice rapid breathing even while your pet is sleeping.If you suspect breathing difficulty, get your buddy to a clinic immediately as their condition can deteriorate quickly.Overheating (heatstroke) can occur at temperatures lower than you might expect. When I lived in the South, it seemed like we’d see a rash of dogs with heatstroke every year on the first few warm days of spring.Symptoms of heatstroke include excessive panting, weakness or agitation, very red tongue and gums, or the dog’s gums and tongue might be bluish.I always notice heatstroke dogs seem to open their mouth wider than you see with normal panting and their tongue looks super long!If you check a rectal temperature and it’s over 103 degrees F, your dog might be overheated. After wetting him down with tepid water, get him to a vet clinic immediately.This kind of trauma can be life-threatening even days after your pet seems to have partially recovered.

Treatment for Canine Anxiety

The best way to make a real difference in your behavior is to find a specific cause and treat it appropriately. Targeted treatment will save time and money and help everyone get a good night’s sleep sooner.With so many possible causes for agitation, testing is necessary to choose the best treatment. Most dogs will need these basic diagnostic tests from their veterinarian:Once you figure out what’s bothering your buddy, you can try some of the following tips in addition to whatever treatment your vet recommends…Maintain a positive attitude. Dogs are masters of interpreting human behavior. When pet parent shows worry, frustration, and anger it invariably affects their dog’s behavior.More comfortable bedding can make a huge difference for dogs who are sore or underweight. When it hurts to lay down, it’s tough to relax at night.I recommend starting with a high-quality, thick bed that is larger than you would think necessary. Some dogs love having a bolster on at least one side of their bed. You might need to experiment to find one your buddy really loves.I bought a couple “deep dish” beds over six years ago and they’re still in good condition after many washes. My dogs love the thick memory foam on the bottom and the bolster around three sides.Geriatric dogs are notorious for not wanting to get up and move around but it helps them a lot to have regular exercise.Take your buddy on daily walks lasting at least 5-10 minutes. You can go longer if your buddy is up to it but stop early so you don’t overdo it.Try taking a walk in the evening before bedtime, especially if your dog is restless and panting at night .The exercise helps keep a dog’s muscles and joints limber and getting out of the house satisfies the psychological need for stimulus.For dogs who can’t walk due to severe health issues, outings in an awesome stroller like this one (Amazon link), or even a short car ride can be beneficial.Boredom is not good for the psyche of dogs. They need something to think about, something to do with their minds. Sleeping 23 hours a day is not a luxury, it’s a sign of extreme boredom!Try some food puzzles and interactive toys. One of the most popular interactive dog toys I’ve ever seen is the Orbee-Tuff Snoop Ball (Amazon link), shown below. Load it with low-calorie treats and your dog will have a blast rolling the ball around to get the treats out.Or make your own inexpensive interactive dog toy by overturning a few plastic cups and hiding a treat under one of them. It may seem trivial to you, but this kind of “thinking” game has big positive payoffs for dogs.Don’t believe the old adage that old dogs can’t learn new tricks. Any dog with a brain can learn and adapt but you might need to figure out the appropriate level of training for your dog.Try using clicker training to teach your dog some simple behaviors like standing on a certain carpet to get a treat. Dogs love positive reinforcement training. And it’s very gratifying to see your dog make the connection between what you’re asking him to do and getting a reward!Introduce some fresh foods to increase natural anti-oxidants and healthy fats in your dog’s diet. Ask your vet first, especially if your dog has health problems or a very sensitive stomach. Slowly introduce low-fat, bland fresh foods. Start with a tablespoon of pureed cooked green vegetables (broccoli is popular), baked sweet potato, or lean cooked meat. You might even try a homemade diet for senior dogs like I use for my pups.Gradually increase the number of fresh foods your dog eats daily over a period of weeks. You can feed up to a third of a dog’s daily food intake from non-balanced fresh foods and not risk causing deficiencies.If your vet suspects pain is the cause of your dog’s pacing and panting, try some natural supplements before reaching for a prescription.Natural anti-inflammatories like turmeric and Boswellia quell the hurt of age-related arthritis without the harsh side effects of prescription medications. Glucosamine, chondroitin, and MSM are joint supplements that lubricate aging joints and increase mobility.If you’ve tried several of the gentler options but the result is not good, consider using prescription analgesic. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) work well for more serious conditions.Popular brand names include Rimadyl, Previcox and Deramaxx. These are quite effective at controlling physical discomfort but they’re strong medicines. They can produce serious side effects, so try some of the gentler options mentioned above first.Dogs with severe pain may need more than prescription NSAIDs. Veterinarians prescribe gabapentin, tramadol, hydrocodone and other opioids for dogs with painful conditions that can’t be controlled with NSAIDs. They are reserved for those dogs who really need them due to their negative side effects.

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Dogs of any age can be affected by neurologic diseases, including cognitive problems. Dogs over the age of about nine or ten experience these changes more often. The older a dog gets, the more likely she is to have one or more neurologic problems resulting from aging. This can result in excessive panting in older dogs, along with other symptoms.Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) is also referred to as senility or dementia. Dogs over 11 years old are at increased risk for developing CDS, but it can start as early as 7 years old. The older a dog gets, the more likely they are to develop at least one symptom of CDS.Dogs affected by canine CDS show strange behavior, confusion, wandering, loss of house training, poor memory, abnormal sleep-wake cycles, changes in social behaviors, decreased play behavior and decreased appetite. CDS is a common cause for an old dog pacing and panting at night.I almost hate to list this one because I don’t want you to jump to the conclusion that your dog has a brain tumor. However, the reality is that any dog can get cancer. According to PetCure Oncology, dogs over the age of five are more at risk for developing brain tumors. Brain tumors are not super common in dogs, but not also not rare.If your old dog is panting and restless, walking in circles or seems “not with it,” get a vet to check him. It can be hard to differentiate between brain tumors, cognitive abnormalities and inner ear problems but your vet can help to sort things out.If you and your vet determine your dog has symptoms of CDS, there are many things you can try to make your life with your dog more peaceful. Some of the following recommendations are more proven than others. Discuss supplements with your dog’s veterinarian, especially if your dog has other health problems.Melatonin is an over-the-counter hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. It’s generally regarded as safe for use in dogs but ask your vet first. Melatonin given 30 minutes before bedtime may be just the thing to help your older dog relax at night.Make sure you provide darkness, too! No leaving the lights or TV on at all hours of the night.You can try these convenient chewable melatonin tablets made especially for dogs on Amazon.com.SAM-e stands for S-Adenosyl-L-methionine. SAM-e is a chemical made naturally in the body from the amino acid methionine. SAM-e is beneficial in improving age-related mental decline (5). Denosyl is a canine supplement that contains the right amount of SAM-e for dogs (click the link to view on Amazon.com). I’ve had hundreds of client dogs take SAM-e and recommend it for dogs with cognitive problems.Senilife is a nutritional supplement that contains Phosphatidylserine and Pyridoxine to regulate and restore neurotransmission, plus Resveratrol, Ginkgo biloba and vitamin E to provide neuronal antioxidant protection.Some of my clients and veterinary colleagues swear by Senilife (click to view on Amazon.com) for senior dogs who aren’t as sharp as they used to be. It’s worth a try for a senior dog panting at night..MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. MCTs are a special kind of fat that is metabolized into ketone bodies which act as an alternative energy source for aging brains. A 2010 study showed improved cognition in dogs treated with MCT oil (3).Try this MCT oil supplement made specifically for dogs (click to view on Amazon.com) and start with very small amounts to avoid digestive upset.If your dog is panting at night or pacing excessively, don’t panic. First, analyze the situation and try to figure out if anything has changed that might be bothering your dog. Choose one or two of the options discussed in this article and give it at least a week before you give up on it.Remember:

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Something is not right: Your dog is panting and restless. His tongue hangs out of his mouth while he paces around the house, curling up in his dog bed for a few minutes before getting right back up and continuing his path from room to room, unable to settle—and it’s even worse at night.Figuring out what might be causing these behaviors can require a bit of investigation, according to Dr. Tessa King, veterinarian with Compassion 4 Paws in Edmunds, Washington.“You need to be a detective and look for clues,” she adds. “Keeping a journal to look for patterns can help the vet figure out what might be causing behaviors like panting and restlessness.”

Why Do Dogs Pant?

Panting is a normal behavior. Dogs sweat a little through their paw pads but they largely depend on panting to expel hot air from their lungs and draw in cool air to cool down, notes veterinary behaviorist Dr. Lore Haug of Texas Veterinary Behavior Service in Sugar Land, Texas.While it’s normal for dogs to pant after a long walk or in sweltering temperatures, panting during rest (or in a temperature-controlled home) could be a sign of other issues such as discomfort or pain. Certain medications, including steroids, opioids and thyroid medications can cause increased panting; and overweight dogs are also more prone to rapid breathing. Anxiety is another common cause of panting.“Just like we use breathing exercises [in yoga and meditation] to tap into our anti-fight or flight response, dogs do the same thing,” Haug says. “Panting can help dogs relax and distract them from discomfort.”Haug looks for physical cues to determine why a dog won’t stop panting. A dog that is anxious tends to have his mouth open, lips pulled back and tongue in his mouth while a dog panting due to heat usually has his tongue hanging out of its mouth.Dogs may pant for a combination of reasons, including painMonitoring your dog’s behavior to determine whether it is related to temperature or only happens during certain situations (like thunderstorms) may help explain why your dog won’t stop panting. A physical exam can also help your veterinarian determine the root cause of chronic panting.

Why is My Dog Panting and Restless?

Panting may be accompanied by restlessness. Similar to panting, restlessness can be attributed to multiple potential causes.“A significant portion of dogs start to pace when they become anxious,” Haug says. “Dogs might be restless because they are trying to escape a storm or feel agitated by something in their environment like an unfamiliar noise in the house or a dog barking down the street; pacing helps dissipate their arousal.”Research published in theIf panting and pacing are caused by anxiety, dogs may also have other symptoms, including trembling, whining, barking, increased drooling and, in extreme cases, loss of bladder control. Anxious dogs can also be clingy, looking to their owners for extra comfort and attention.Dogs with injuries or painful conditions such as arthritis are also prone to panting and restlessness: The struggle to find a comfortable position to rest leads to pacing and the pain causes panting.In older dogs, King also cites cognitive issues as a key reason that dogs exhibit symptoms like panting and restlessness. Cognitive issues like Canine Cognitive Disorder or “doggie dementia” can lead dogs to become confused about their surroundings, causing anxiety.

Why is My Dog Panting All Night?

The incidence of Canine Cognitive Disorder increases with age. One study found that dogs over 16 years old experienced the highest rates of this dementia-like disease but symptoms started in dogs as young as 10 years old.Dogs with canine cognitive disorder often experience disturbances in their sleep/wake cycles and may be up—and pacing around the house—all night. Calming soft chew treats or hemp oil could help ease the symptoms and give your pup a good night’s rest.Your house is also quieter at night, making it easier for your dog to tune into sounds in the environment that could trigger anxious behaviors like panting and restlessness.