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Why is my dog panting in the crate?

Crates have many benefits, but it’s also possible to run into problems when putting your pooch in a crate. If your dog is panting in their crate, you may wonder if there’s something wrong. 

Your dog may be panting in their crate for several reasons. Some of these are concerning. 

Why is my dog panting in the crate?

Your pooch may be panting in their crate for several reasons. The most common reasons for this are being hot and stress or anxiety. 


When your dog is hot, they don’t sweat the way we do. Instead, their primary method of cooling off is by panting. The way it works is actually fascinating. 

When your dog pants, they inhale rapidly. They humidify the air, and then exhale. This causes the water in your dog’s nose and lungs to evaporate. It’s essentially like sweating, but from the inside out.

The moisture on the tongue also evaporates, allowing the air your dog takes in to be cooler. 

You may not expect your dog’s crate to be hot, but it’s a good idea to check. Some materials can hold heat, essentially insulating the area. 

Just like humans, dogs are at a risk of heat stroke. This is unlikely to occur inside a climate controlled environment, but it’s still good to know the signs. 

A dog who is experiencing heat stroke will pant very heavily. They may have a bright red tongue and gums. Gums can also become pale and tacky if they are dehydrated.  

They may become disoriented or confused, and weak. Severe heat stroke can lead to seizures, coma, and death. 

Stress or Anxiety

Stress or anxiety can also cause your pooch to pant in their crate. In this case, it’s important to figure out the underlying cause of their stress or anxiety. 

Has their crate or environment changed? Have they had a bad experience in their crate? Are they bored? Are there loud noises going on around them? 

These are a few of the issues that can cause your dog to develop anxiety in their crate. 

In addition to panting, a dog with anxiety may bark excessively, whine, or pace. Excessive drooling may also occur. They may become destructive, have potty accidents, or become withdrawn or depressed. 


The crate isn’t the most exciting place for a pooch. However, if they know they are about to get a treat, or you are about to let them out of the crate to play, this can cause them to get excited. 

Just like stress or anxiety, excitement can cause your dog to pant while in their crate. Other signs your dog is excited include a wagging tail, a relaxed body posture, and watching attentively. You may also notice your pooch smiling when they are excited. 


Dogs will also pant when they are thirsty. If your pooch is panting, it’s a good idea to see if they are thirsty. Some dogs do well with a water bowl in their crate, while others don’t. 

If you don’t crate with water, be sure your pooch has plenty to drink before and after their crate time. It’s also a good idea to keep track of their water intake. 

Just like humans, dogs can become dehydrated. This is more prevalent during hot weather, because they lose water by panting. 

Signs of dehydration include pale, tacky gums, dry nose, excessive drooling, and loss of skin elasticity. Severe dehydration can lead to serious illness or death. Even mild dehydration is unpleasant for your pooch, so be sure they have enough water available. 


Dogs also pant when they are nauseous. This is often accompanied by excessive drooling, whining, and gagging. Your dog may vomit as well. 

Nausea can be a sign of a serious issue, like kidney failure or severe dehydration. However, it can also be a sign your dog ate something that didn’t agree with them. 

 If your dog’s stomach is swollen, they are retching repeatedly without vomiting, or they are vomiting repeatedly, call your vet. You should also watch their behavior. If they are acting normally, they are fine. If they are lethargic or feverish, you should get them checked out. However, a single bout of nausea or vomiting isn’t usually a cause for concern.  

Why is my dog panting in the crate at night?

There are a few reasons why your dog may pant in their crate at night. They may be thirsty, hot, or experiencing separation anxiety. 


If your pooch has been a while without a drink, they may be thirsty Many owners limit their dog’s water intake before bed to avoid accidents. 

If you choose to do this, you must make sure your dog has plenty of access to water during the day. If it is hot, your dog is pregnant, nursing, or ill, you should leave them water at night. 

Adults can generally hold their bladder at night. Puppies on the other hand, may need to go in the middle of the night if given water. 

Separation Anxiety

As mentioned previously, stress or anxiety is a common cause of panting. At night, your pooch is more prone to separation anxiety. During the day, you may be nearby when they are in their crate. At night, you are in bed, and they are alone. 

Other signs of separation anxiety include whining, excessive barking, potty accidents, and destructive behavior. 

Why is my dog panting in the crate suddenly?

If your pooch suddenly starts panting in their crate, there are a few possible explanations. 


If the temperature has changed recently, heat may be the cause of the panting. Remember, one reason dogs pant is to cool themselves. 

Stress or Fear 

Stress or fear can also cause your pooch to begin panting. This is common if they’ve recently had a negative experience in their crate. 

It can also occur if their environment has changed suddenly. Lots of activity near the crate or loud noises can cause them to become stressed and start panting. 

What to do if my dog is panting in the crate?

 If your dog is panting in their crate, there are a few steps you should take. 

Check Temperature 

First, check the temperature in the crate. The simplest way to do this is to stick your head inside the crate for a few minutes. You can also use a thermometer designed to measure air temperature. 

Make it Fun and Comfortable 

Toys and treats are a great way to help your dog feel positive about the crate. Many experts recommend feeding your dog in the crate as well. Dogs generally love meal times, so it helps create a positive association. 

Keep Them Hydrated 

You may need to offer your dog more water during the day. To see if they are panting because they are thirsty, offer them water while in the crate. If they drink like crazy, this is probably the reason for the panting. 

Contact a Professional 

If the above steps don’t help, it’s a good idea to get a professional opinion. Your vet can rule out any health issues that may be causing your dog to pant. 

Once physical issues are ruled out, you can suspect that anxiety may be the reason your pooch is panting at night. a behavioral trainer can help your dog work through their anxiety and learn to love their crate.