If your Golden Retriever has been panting a lot, it is probably quite concerning for you. This post will try to help you figure out why it might be doing it and what you can do about it.
So, why does my Golden Retriever pant so much? Golden Retrievers are large dogs so they naturally pant more than others. However, it could also be too hot, frightened, sick or have a health problem. If it started suddenly you should take it to a vet.
There are lots of possible reasons why it might be panting a lot and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can do about it. Depending on the cause, there are also some things that you should do about it as well.
Causes of a Golden Retriever panting a lot
The different reasons why it has been panting a lot will likely come with some clues.
Below are a number of possible reasons and what would make them more likely.
Golden Retrievers are large dogs so it is natural that they will pant more heavily than most dogs. If your Golden Retriever has not suddenly started panting more, your local vet has not found any issues and it is not doing it excessively then it would be more likely to be due to normal behavior.
However, it would still help to consult with your local vet about its panting when you take it for a checkup next to make sure that it is normal behavior.
It has heatstroke
If your Golden Retriever has started panting heavily after being out in the sun for a while, it could be the case that it is because it has heatstroke.
If it has started panting more after being outside for a long time it would be important to follow the advice given in this article and then to take it to a vet since heatstroke is actually a serious issue with dogs.
It is too hot
If the room your Golden Retriever has been staying in is hot or the weather has become hotter, it could be the case that your Golden Retriever has been panting more due to the heat.
This would be more likely if it starts to pant more when the temperature rises. In this case, it would help to try to cool the room down or to give it access to a cooler room and to give it access to water.
Sometimes, dogs will pant more when they are fearful and it might be the cause of your Golden Retriever panting more. This would be more likely if it does it at a certain time such as when there are fireworks outside.
It has a heart-problem
It could be the case that a heart issue has been causing it to pant more. This would be more likely if it started panting more suddenly and it has been doing it constantly it would also be more likely if it has been less active and it has started coughing a lot (source). In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Illness or injury
It could also be the case that an illness or injury has been causing it to pant more. This would be more likely if started panting more suddenly and if it has been showing signs of being ill or injured such as vomiting, being fatigued or limping. Again, in this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Allergic reaction to something
It could also be the case that it has had an allergic reaction to something. This would be more likely if it started panting after it ate or interacted with something it shouldn’t have, if it has swelling and if it has been vomiting. Again, in this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
If your Golden Retriever pants more after doing exercise it would be likely to be because of the exercise and this would be normal panting. Golden Retrievers are meant to get a lot of exercise and it is important to make sure that it is able to get exercise on a daily basis provided that it is healthy.
Another thing that will cause dogs to pant more is becoming excited. When dogs become excited, they will tend to start being more active and to raise their heart rate which in turn will cause them to pant more in order to supply more oxygen into the bloodstream. Excitement would be more likely to be the cause if it starts panting more in situations such as when you arrive home.
When panting a lot is normal
Below are some situations where panting a lot would be normal.
It is hot
If it pants more than usual when it is hot outside then it would be normal for it to pant more since panting helps cool it down. However, if it has been out in the sun for a long time and it has started panting a lot more than usual then this would be a sign of heatstroke and you should cool it down and take it to a vet.
It has just been running
If your Golden Retriever pants more after doing exercise then this would also be normal panting that is to be expected. It is important to make sure that your Golden Retriever is able to get exercise on a daily basis.
It is excited
As mentioned above, another time where dogs will normally pant more is when they are excited.
It is acting normally otherwise
If your Golden Retriever has not started behaving differently in other ways suddenly then that would also be a sign that the panting is normal.
However, even if it is acting normally, it could still be the case that there is something wrong. This would be more likely if it does it in the scenarios that will be mentioned below.
How to tell if it is abnormal
Below are some situations where panting a lot would be cause for concern.
It started to pant suddenly when it is not hot, excited or after running
If your Golden Retriever has suddenly started panting heavily for no apparent reason then this would be cause for concern. In this case, it would help to consider what else has happened that might be causing it to pant more such as feeding it something it shouldn’t have eaten or if it interacted with something it shouldn’t have like a wasp. It would also help to consider if it is showing other unusual signs such as those mentioned below.
It pants when you are about to leave
If you notice that it only starts to pant more than usual when you are about to leave then this would suggest that it has some separation anxiety.
In this case, you may want to get the help of a certified dog behaviorist in your area.
The panting is constant and intense
Golden Retrievers will pant more heavily than most dogs naturally due to their size. However, if your Golden Retriever has been panting heavily for a long time without stopping then this would also be a cause for concern.
Your Golden Retriever’s tongue or gums appear blue, purple or white
If your Golden Retriever started panting a lot more than usual, suddenly, and its tongue or gums appear blue, purple or white then it is a sign it is not getting sufficient oxygen (source). Again, in this case, it would be important to take it to a vet.
It is behaving abnormally
If your Golden Retriever has started panting more than usual and it has also been behaving abnormally by doing things such as vomiting, crying or being fatigued then it would also be important to have a vet look at it.
Things you can do about your Golden Retriever panting a lot
Below are some things you can do about your Golden Retriever panting a lot depending on the cause.
Go to a vet if you think that the panting is abnormal
If your Golden Retriever has started panting heavily suddenly, it does it constantly or you are unsure of why it is doing it then it would be important to have a vet look at it. By getting a vet to look at it you will be able to rule out the possibility of a medical cause.
Remove its undercoat
Another option would be to groom your Golden Retriever with the use of a de-shedding brush so that you can help remove its undercoat and to get rid of loose fur.
You can watch the video below for more tips on how to groom it yourself:
Give it access to shade and cool areas
If the weather has become hotter, where you are, it would help to make sure that it has access to water, shaded areas and a cool room so that it is able to stay out of the heat. It would also help to exercise it in the mornings or evenings when the sun is not as strong and to avoid letting it stay out in direct sunlight for too long so that it avoids getting heatstroke.
Give it exercise on a daily basis
In order to keep it healthy, it is also important to give it exercise on a daily basis. It is generally recommended to give Golden Retrievers at least an hour of exercise daily. You can exercise it yourself or you could get a dog walker to do it for you when you are not able to.