If your bulldog has been panting a lot, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you nine common reasons why it happens and what you can do about it.
There are actually a number of reasons why your bulldog might be doing it and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main causes and there are many things you can do about them.
Causes of a bulldog panting a lot
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely.
Bulldogs are known to pant a lot due to their short snouts (source). If your bulldog has not started panting a lot suddenly and the vet has not found any issues with it then it is likely to be normal behavior.
With that being said, it would still help to consult with your vet about it when you see them next and to take it to the vet if it is concerning you.
It has heatstroke
If the weather has become hot where you are and your bulldog has started panting heavily after being out in the sun for a long time it could be because it has heatstroke. This would be more likely if it has been showing other signs of heatstroke such as diarrhea, vomiting and seizures.
In this case, it would be important to follow the advice detailed in this article.
It is too hot
Instead of heatstroke, if it is hot where you are and it has been panting more than usual, it might be because it is too hot. Panting helps dogs cool down so they will naturally pant more when it gets hot. In this case, it would help to make sure your bulldog has access to a cool room, shade and water. it would also help to walk it in the morning or evening when the sunlight is not as strong.
The cause might also be that something has been causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if it starts panting more at specific times such as when you are about to leave home or when there are noises outside.
It has a heart-problem
The cause might be due to a problem with its heart. This would be more likely if it has been panting a lot suddenly, it pants heavily constantly and it does it when it shouldn’t be such as when it hasn’t just been running around.
If it has started doing it suddenly, the best option would be to take it to a vet for a checkup.
Illness or injury
It could also be the case that an illness or injury is causing it to pant more than usual. This would be more likely if it started panting more suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of illness or injury such as being fatigued when awake, vomiting or limping. Again, in this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Allergic reaction to something
Another possible cause is that it has had an allergic reaction to something. This would be more likely if you saw it eat or interact with something it shouldn’t have, if it started panting heavily suddenly, if it has swelling or if it has started vomiting. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Dogs will naturally pant more after getting exercise. If your bulldog pants more after getting exercise this would be normal behavior since panting helps supply oxygen to their muscles. It is important to make sure that your bulldog is able to get exercise on a daily basis.
Dogs will also start to pant more when they are excited and it could be the reason why your bulldog sometimes pants more. This would be more likely to be the reason if it does it more in situations such as when you are about to walk it or when you come home.
When panting a lot is normal
Below are some situations where it would be normal for your bulldog to be panting more than usual.
It is hot
If your bulldog has started panting more and the weather has become hotter this would be normal behavior provided that the heavy panting is not constant and intense. However, if it has started panting heavily suddenly after being outside for a long time it could be due to heatstroke which would be a more serious issue that would require help from a vet.
It has just been running
If your bulldog starts panting more after doing exercise this would also be considered normal panting unless it continues panting heavily for a long time after doing exercise.
It is excited
It would also be normal to pant slightly more than usual when it is excited and it should start panting less when it has calmed down.
It is acting normally otherwise
If your bulldog has been behaving normally, the panting is not intense and it has not started panting more suddenly then this would also likely be normal panting.
How to tell if it is abnormal
Below are some situations where the heavy panting would not be normal.
It started to pant suddenly when it is not hot, excited or after running
If it has started to pant a lot and it is not excited, hot outside and it has not just been running around then it would make it more likely to be due to things such as illness, injury or a heart issue.
It pants when you are about to leave
If your bulldog starts panting more when you look like you are about to leave home it would be a sign that it is due to separation anxiety especially if it shows other signs of anxiety when you are leaving.
The panting is constant and intense
If your bulldog pants intensely all the time it would also be a sign that there is a more serious issue and it would be important to take it to a vet.
Your bulldog’s tongue or gums appear blue, purple or white
If your bulldog’s tongue or gums have suddenly become blue, purple or white then it would make it more likely to be due to a health issue and it would be important to take it to a vet.
It is behaving abnormally
If your bulldog has also started behaving abnormally in other ways then it would also be a sign that you should take it to a vet.
Things you can do about your bulldog panting a lot
Below are a number of things you can do about your bulldog panting a lot.
Go to a vet if you think that the panting is abnormal
If it seems like the panting is abnormal, it has started panting heavily suddenly or you are unsure of why it has been doing it, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to rule out medical causes and to get expert advice tailored to your particular bulldog.
Remove its undercoat
If it is summer, it would also help to keep it cool by removing its undercoat by brushing it using a de-shedding brush.
Give it access to shade and cool areas
If it is hot where you are, it would also help to keep your bulldog cool by giving it access to shaded areas, a cool room and water. It would also help to exercise it in the mornings or evenings so that it can avoid being out in direct sunlight for too long.
Give it exercise on a daily basis
Despite their often lazy personalities, bulldogs are meant to get exercise on a daily basis. If yours has not been getting exercise and it is healthy, it would help to make sure that it does start getting exercise.