Dog Panting at Night – Causes and Treatment

A dog panting at night can be a cause for concern among dog owners. In many cases, there is no need to worry as the panting is simply due to a dog being over excited or overheated.

However, in some cases, panting may be a sign of an underlying health condition.

From stress and anxiety to an allergy or medication, this blog post will explore the causes and treatment options for dogs that pant at night.

But first…

What Is Panting?

Panting is a dog’s way of cooling down. When a dog pants, they take rapid, shallow breaths in through its mouth and exhale rapidly through its nose.

Dogs have sweat glands on their paw pads but not all over their bodies like humans. This means that they can’t cool down by sweating as we do.

Panting helps to evaporate the moisture on their tongue and inside their mouth which then helps to cool their body temperature.

It’s important to note that some dogs will pant more than others. Smaller dogs, for example, have a higher surface area to volume ratio.

This means that they lose heat faster and therefore need to pant more frequently to regulate their body temperature.

Dogs that are overweight or obese may also pant more as they have a harder time regulating their body temperature.

Panting is a perfectly normal and healthy way for dogs to cool down. However, if your dog is panting excessively or at times when they’re not hot or exercised, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition.

How To Identify If Your Dog is Panting?

There are a few things you can look for to identify if your dog is panting:

dog with open mouth and tongue out

Check if their tongue and gums are pink in color. If they’re pale or blue, this could be a sign of lack of oxygen and requires immediate medical attention.

Look at their breathing pattern. Is your dog taking deep, slow breaths or are their breaths shallow and fast?

Check if your dog is restless or trying to hide. This could be a sign of pain.

Take note of any other symptoms your dog is exhibiting such as diarrhea, vomiting, or coughing. This will help your vet to identify the cause of the panting.

Common Causes Dogs Pant At Night

There are many potential causes for a dog to start panting at night, and some of the most common include:

Environmental Temperature

If it’s particularly hot or humid outside, your dog may start panting at night in an attempt to cool down. This is especially common in flat-faced breeds (like pugs and bulldogs) that are more prone to overheating.

The temp inside your home may also play a role. If it’s very warm in your house (perhaps you keep the heat cranked up or there’s no air circulation), that could make your dog start panting at night.


Just like humans, dogs can experience stress. And for some pups, that may manifest as increased panting at night. If you’ve recently moved, introduced a new pet or person to the family, or had any other big changes in your dog’s life, that could be the reason he’s panting more than usual.


As dog’s age, they may start to pant more at night. This could be due to health conditions that are common in senior dogs, such as heart or lung disease. It could also simply be that your dog is having a hard time regulating his body temperature as he gets older.


Dogs can suffer from anxiety for a variety of reasons. Some may be anxious due to separation anxiety, while others may suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder. If your dog is panting at night, it could be due to anxiety.

They may pant because they are anxious about being away from their pack (you and your family). If your dog is normally well-behaved but starts panting and pacing at night, it’s likely due to anxiety.


If your dog is panting at night and seems to be in pain, it could be due to an injury or other health condition. If your dog is panting and also whining or crying, this is a good indicator that pain is the cause.


Dogs can be allergic to a variety of things, including certain foods, pollen, and even the air itself. If your dog is panting at night and has other allergy symptoms such as itchiness, red eyes, or a runny nose, allergies are likely the cause.


Certain medications can cause side effects such as panting. If your dog is taking any medication and starts panting at night, talk to your vet to see if the medication could be the cause.

pomeranian checked on the vet's table

Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s disease is a condition that affects the adrenal glands and can cause a variety of symptoms, including panting. If your dog is panting at night and also has other symptoms such as increased thirst, urination, and hunger, Cushing’s disease could be the cause.

Facial Structure

Some dogs pant more than others simply due to the structure of their face. Dogs with flat faces, such as pugs and bulldogs, are more prone to panting because they can’t cool themselves off as efficiently.

How to Treat Dog Panting at Night

There are a few things you can do to help your dog feel more comfortable and stop panting at night.

#1 – Make Your Dog’s Environment Calming

One of the reasons your dog may be panting at night is because their environment is too stimulating. If your dog is in a kennel or crate, make sure they have a soft comfy bed for anxiety to lie on and that the area isn’t too hot or cold. 

You may also want to provide them with a toy or bone to chew on to help keep them calm.

If your dog sleeps in your bed, make sure the bedding is comfortable and that the room isn’t too hot or cold. You may also want to consider playing soft music or using a white noise machine to help your dog relax.

#2 – Make sure they exercise frequently

Another reason your dog may be panting at night is that they are not getting enough exercise during the day. Be sure to take them on a long walk or run every day, and play with them often.

If your dog is older or has health problems, talk to your veterinarian about how much exercise is appropriate for them.

#3 – Consider Supplements

If your dog is panting at night due to anxiety, there are a number of supplements and medications that can help. Talk to your veterinarian about what options may be best for your dog.

Supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and L-theanine have all been shown to help reduce anxiety in dogs.

Medications such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and beta blockers can also be effective in treating dog panting at night caused by anxiety.

Your veterinarian can help you determine which option is best for your dog.

Is Panting a Sign of Anxiety?

Panting is a normal and healthy way for dogs to cool off. However, if your dog is panting excessively or panting when they are not hot, it may be a sign of anxiety.

person petting golden retriever's head

Anxious panting may be caused by separation anxiety, fear of loud noises, or other stressful situations. If your dog is panting excessively, it is important to talk to your veterinarian about possible causes and treatment options.

Our Readers Favorite Questions

How Do You Calm a Dog From Panting at Night?

You can calm a dog from panting at night by doing the following, make sure they have access to fresh water and that their bowl is full. Take them for a walk or run during the day so they can release energy.

Keep the room cool by using air conditioning or a fan.

When Should I Worry About Dog Panting?

If your dog is panting excessively, it could be a sign of heatstroke or anxiety. If your dog is showing other signs of illness, such as diarrhea, vomiting, or lethargy, then you should take them to the vet.

Why Is My Dog Panting While Resting?

There are a few reasons why your dog might be panting while resting. It could be due to anxiety, heatstroke, or heart disease. If your dog is panting excessively, it’s best to take them to the vet to rule out any medical conditions.


Dog panting at night is normal and usually nothing to worry about. However, if your dog is panting excessively, it could be a sign of anxiety or a medical condition.

It may help to provide your dog with a calm environment, make sure they get plenty of exercise and consider supplements or medication if your dog is panting due to anxiety.

If you are concerned about your dog’s panting, talk to your veterinarian. They can help you determine if there is a medical condition causing the panting or if your dog just needs some behavior modification.

Does your dog pant at night? Share your stories and tips in the comments below!

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

Leave a Comment