Dog Breathes Heavy When I Pet Him Why What To Do?

My husband and I have three dogs that we rescued from the local shelter.

We’ve had them since they were puppies, but none of them has been around very long.

We adopted our first dog, a black lab named Jules, in May 2014.

She was seven months old at the time.

Since then, she’s gotten bigger, so we’d like to get her spayed before she starts having babies.

When we adopted Jules, we brought home another lab puppy, and two other dogs as well.

One of those is a small white poodle who we call “Puppy,” and the other is an older, large mixed breed dog that I’ll call “Big.”

Big is about three years old and weighs over 100 pounds.

Puppy is just shy of one year old and weighs about 30 pounds.

The problem is, Big is not exactly thrilled about being in a house full of dogs.

He doesn’t seem to mind sharing his toys with the smaller dogs, but he’s clearly uncomfortable with all the noise and chaos they create.

And even though Puppy is still a little pup, he seems to enjoy playing with Big and gets along really well with both of them.

It’s clear that there’s some sort of bond between them.

Big is also extremely friendly with everyone else, including strangers.

But he’s not so happy when people try to touch him.

He growls at us if we come near without permission.

The only person he seems to respond well to is my husband, and he always follows him around wherever he goes.

Last summer, we got another dog, this time a black lab mix called Gizmo.

He is four years old, and although he’s much smaller than Big, he’s no less intimidating.

He’s a lot smarter too – he knows what we’re trying to teach him, and he wants to learn all the time.

But despite all his smarts, he’s not nearly as friendly as Big is.

That makes me wonder whether he might have some kind of nervous disorder.

As soon as we walk into the room where he lives, he runs away and hides under the bed.

He never comes out unless we coax him out by holding up a treat.

Even then, he won’t come close to anyone until he’s sure we aren’t going to hurt him.

I’m worried that maybe he’s afraid of loud noises, because whenever my husband and I go on walks, Gizmo will run ahead and hide under a bush until we stop walking.

Then he’ll come out and sit next to us while we chat.

But he doesn’t want to play with any of the other dogs.

In fact, he gets quite upset if we try to put him in their laps.

If it’s possible, I’d love to find the right homes for all three of them, but I don’t know how to tell which ones would work well together.

Are there any signs I should look for?

Or am I worrying needlessly?

Why does my dog breathe heavily when I pet him?

Your dog breathes heavy because he’s trying to maintain his body temperature.

As he inhales air into his lungs, heat from his body transfers to the air around him, causing a rise in internal temperature.

This is normal and something that occurs during any strenuous activity.

If your dog is breathing heavily when you pet him, there are several possible causes.

The following list explains some of the most common reasons why your dog might be breathing heavily when you pet him:



Medical Condition

Inadequate Air Flow

Dry Mouth


1. Anxiety

If your dog is anxious, it’s likely that he will pant excessively while you pet him.

Panting is a natural reaction to stress, but if your dog is exhibiting excessive panting while you pet him, it may indicate an underlying cause of anxiety.

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Anxiety disorders often develop in dogs as they grow older.

Common signs include nervousness, restlessness, fearfulness, aggression, and separation anxiety.

If you notice excessive panting when you pet your dog, it’s important to take steps to address the issue.

Consult a veterinarian who specializes in canine behavior issues to determine whether treatment is necessary.

2. Exercise

When you pet your dog, he’ll breathe heavily because he’s working hard to keep up with your pace

. He may also pant because he’s short of breath.

During exercise, the heart beats faster and oxygen levels drop due to increased demand on the body.

If your dog is panting heavily when you pet him, it’s likely that he needs to cool down.

To prevent overheating, provide shade for your dog to cool off and avoid exposing him to direct sunlight.

You should also ensure that your dog has access to fresh water at all times.

Drinking water helps regulate bodily functions and keeps your dog hydrated.

3. Medical Condition

Dogs that are overweight have higher than average blood pressure.

This results in fluid retention in their bodies, which leads to them being unable to expel excess fluid through urination or defecation.

It’s important to weigh your dog regularly to make sure that he doesn’t become obese.

If your dog is breathing heavily when you pet him, it’s possible that he has a medical condition that requires immediate attention.

Contact your vet immediately if you notice any unusual symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, difficulty breathing, or any other concerning behaviors.

4. Inadequate Air Flow

Dogs typically pant when they’re cold.

They use their tongues to warm their mouths and noses so that they can breathe easier.

When you pet your dog, he’ll pant because he’s using his tongue to warm his mouth and nose.

However, if your dog’s breathing isn’t adequate enough to clear out the excess moisture in his nostrils, he may continue to pant even after you’ve stopped petting him.

Provide your dog with a bowl of water to drink whenever you stop petting him.

If your dog continues to pant after drinking, contact your vet right away.

5. Dry Mouth

A dry mouth can lead to overheating because the lack of saliva prevents your dog from licking his lips and gums.

If your dog’s mouth feels dry when you pet him, give him a wet treat to lick to moisten his mouth.

6. Obesity

As your dog becomes overweight, his body loses muscle mass, leading to decreased energy expenditure.

Because his metabolism slows down, he requires less oxygen per pound of body weight.

He’ll therefore become increasingly tired when he exercises.

His breathing rate increases as well, further contributing to fatigue.

It’s important to monitor your dog’s weight daily to make sure that he doesn’t gain too much weight.

If he gains too much weight, your dog will require more food than usual.

Reduce portions of his regular diet and increase his intake of high-energy foods like meat and raw vegetables.

Also, don’t leave your dog alone while he’s eating.

If you do, he may overeat and gain weight.

7. Age

As your dog ages, he may experience health problems that affect his ability to breathe properly.

For example, many older dogs suffer from arthritis, which reduces the flexibility of their joints and makes it difficult to move their ribs forward to expand their chest cavity.

Arthritis can also cause pain in your dog’s back and legs.

If these areas become stiff, it can interfere with your dog’s ability to breathe properly.

Dog Breathes Heavy

What could be the reason for this?

Your dog may be breathing heavily for a number of reasons, including anxiety, exercise, or a medical condition.

If you’re unsure why your dog is breathing heavily, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.

There are a number of things you can do to help your dog feel more comfortable, including providing a calm environment and plenty of fresh air and exercise.

Here’s what you should know about why your dog breathes heavily when you pet her:

Dogs breathe through their nose and mouth at the same time.

This means that whenever they inhale, they also exhale.

When dogs breathe in, oxygen flows into their lungs, which makes them more energetic.

When dogs breathe out, carbon dioxide (CO2) leaves their body, so they become less active.

Sometimes, breathing heavily may indicate an underlying medical condition, such as heart disease or respiratory issues.

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If your dog has trouble breathing, she may need emergency care from a vet.

Is this a medical problem?

Your dog may be breathing heavily because he’s anxious, stressed, or has a medical issue.

If you think your dog is having difficulty breathing, have him checked out by a veterinarian.

The vet will examine your dog and determine what’s causing his heavy breathing.

They might recommend treatment for any underlying medical issues that are keeping your pet from breathing normally.

When your dog starts panting excessively, try these steps to make him feel more at ease:

Keep your dog in an area where there is little noise or distractions.

Provide a safe place for your dog to relieve himself if needed.

Give your dog a treat when he calms down.

Offer praise and affection when he shows signs of relaxation.

Make sure your dog gets enough water and food.

What can I do to help my dog feel better?

There are several steps you can take to help your dog feel better.

Step 1: Calm down!

If your dog is feeling anxious, chances are they’re going through some sort of stressful situation in their day.

As humans, we tend to react negatively when our mind thinks something is wrong.

The same goes for dogs.

They have the same emotions as us, but they don’t have the ability to express them verbally.

Instead, they’ll show stress behaviors such as panting, salivating, or scratching themselves, or they may even vocalize by whining or barking.

To help your dog feel better, you should first try to calm him down.

This is easier said than done, but there are many ways you can help.

First, you should provide your dog with a safe place where he feels comfortable and secure.

Next, you should make sure your dog has enough food and water so that he doesn’t go into starvation mode.

Finally, if possible, you should give him attention by petting him gently and talking to him calmly.

If all else fails, you may need to resort to training.

You can use positive reinforcement by rewarding your dog for calming himself down.

For example, you could offer praise whenever he stops panting, scratches his head, or whines.

If it’s necessary, you might also want to consider using a leash or crate to keep your dog from running around until he calms down.

Step 2: Provide a calm environment

Another way to help your dog feel better is to create a calm environment.

It can be difficult for your dog to relax when he’s surrounded by chaos.

However, you can help your dog feel more relaxed by creating an environment where he feels safe and secure.

For instance, you can install a security camera at home to monitor your house while you’re away.

This will allow you to see whether anything is happening to your dog while he’s alone.

You can also set up a schedule that ensures your dog gets plenty of rest during the day.

This will help him sleep soundly at night, which will make him less stressed out.

Finally, you can play soothing music for your dog.

Music has been shown to improve moods, reduce stress levels, promote relaxation, and increase overall happiness.

One study even found that listening to certain types of music can reduce blood pressure and heart rate in both men and women.

So, next time you’re driving, listen to your favorite songs instead of blasting the radio.

You never know how that song will affect your dog.

Step 3: Keep your dog healthy

While you’re trying to help your dog feel better, you also want to ensure he stays healthy.

A lot of times, when a person is stressed, they tend to eat unhealthy foods.

In fact, research shows that people who aren’t happy often consume more junk food than those who are.

But that doesn’t mean you should feed your dog junk food just because he’s stressed.

Instead, you should look for healthier alternatives.

For instance, you can give your dog fruits and vegetables instead of candy bars or cookies.

Also, make sure you keep your dog well-hydrated.

Drinking enough water every day will help him stay hydrated, which will prevent him from getting overheated.

Step 4: Find the cause of your dog’s stress

The most important thing you can do to help your dog feel better is to find the source of his stress.

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If you notice that your dog is always breathing heavily after spending time outside, then you should probably bring him inside before he suffers any health issues.

Similarly, if you notice that your dog is always panting or licking himself excessively, then you should probably visit the vet.

However, if your dog is constantly panting or breathing heavily after playing, it might not necessarily be a sign of illness.

Instead, it could simply be a sign that your dog is tired.

Dogs typically breathe faster when they’re excited, frightened, or nervous.

So, if your dog is panting after playing with his friends, it might actually just be a sign of excitement.

In addition to finding the root of your dog’s stress, you should also figure out what triggers his stress.

For instance, if you notice that your dog is always breathing heavily after being left alone, it might not necessarily be because he’s stressed.

Instead, it could be because he misses you.

You can help your dog feel better by making sure he has a safe, comfortable home.

As long as you make sure he’s fed, watered, and healthy, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about your dog’s stress.

Dog Breathes Heavy

Should I be concerned about this?

Your dog may be breathing heavily for a number of reasons, including anxiety, exercise, or a medical condition.

If you’re unsure why your dog is breathing heavily, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian.

There are a number of things you can do to help your dog feel more comfortable, including providing a calm environment and plenty of fresh air.

The following list offers some suggestions on how you can help your dog feel at ease when you pet him.

If possible, keep your dog in a room that has no windows or doors.

This will reduce noise distractions.

Keep your dog’s bedding clean, as dirt can cause respiratory issues.

Avoid using perfumes, lotions, soaps, shampoos, deodorants, and other products that contain fragrances or chemicals that could irritate your dog’s skin.

Make sure there isn’t anything around the house that might frighten your dog or make him uncomfortable.

This includes toys, stuffed animals, books, etc.

Make sure your dog has access to ample amounts of fresh water and quality food.

Provide your dog with ample opportunities to run free in an area where he feels most comfortable.

Give your dog plenty of space to roam outside if your yard is large enough.

If your dog is overweight, give him extra attention and exercise regularly to burn off excess calories.

You should also keep your dog away from other dogs when he’s feeling anxious.

Try to avoid letting anyone hold your dog while you’re petting him.

This can be stressful for both parties.

Ask your vet what they recommend to help your dog relax before you pet him.

How to calm down your dog when he’s breathing heavily?

Provide a safe place where your dog feels secure.

Keep your dog away from other animals, especially those who might scare her.

Make sure your dog gets plenty of fresh air.

Offer your dog treats that will make her happy.

If your dog still continues to breathe heavily despite all of these steps, it’s important to see a veterinarian.

Megan Turner

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