Why Do Dogs Pant In The Car?


Under certain circumstances, it is totally natural for a dog to pant and is not a cause for alarm. However, the observation of dogs inhaling and exhaling at a rate that is conspicuously faster in cars seem to be widespread among concerned dog owners. In this article, we will explore the reason behind why dogs even pant, and examine why dogs tend to pant more in cars.

It takes 30-40 breaths per minute for dogs to breathe normally but when they are panting, the rate is 10x of that. There are different ways to alleviate this situation, but let us first examine the reasons why dogs pant.

Why Your Dogs Pant?

Dogs panting can be caused by any reasons, it may be good or bad, happy or excited or could be anything from anxiety to nervous dogs.

Panting may also mean that they are thirsty, so make sure to give your pet clean and fresh water regularly. Also, if they are suffering from health conditions, they also pant. Including dogs who are experiencing stressful situations.

Also, it could be part of their allergic reaction from a probably ingestion of a toxic substance.

Your dog may also pant when their owner comes home which is caused by excitement as well. Your pet may also pant when you leave them inside the room or cage while you are gathering together with your family. They don’t want to get left out and they don’t understand why you are leaving them behind.

My Dog Is Panting Excessively

Panting is normal, but when done excessively then that’s another story. It’s not just about temperature or excitement, but you should know the reason behind it and check with your vet to know what’s really going on with your dog.

Why Do Dogs Pant In The Car?

Have you ever asked yourself why does my dog pant so much in the car? Car rides makes you dog feel happy, excited, anxiety and expect mixed emotions. If your pet is not used to going out with you or you haven’t trained your pet to control from unknown or strange things, they would probably experience anxiety and excitement, which can both lead to undesirable behaviors to your dog, including panting.

Imagine you traveled from the place you have been dreaming of or you just finally bought your dream car. The excitement is the same and with your dogs, they feel extreme emotions which is normally 10x than humans. Anxiety when travelling in a car normally applies to dogs who are not used to going out with their owner or for those untrained dogs. That explains their anxious actions and panting.

You may experience that your dog has fear of riding in a car or put your dog’s head out car window, which is not recommended since your dog might jump out of the car because of too much excitement.

How Can I Lessen Panting For My Dog?

There are several things that you can do to lessen your dog’s panting, but you shouldn’t worry too much about it as long as your dog is healthy.

In order to lessen your dog’s panting, you should find out the main reason behind it. Learn to know how:

  1. Observe Your Pets Emotions – just like humans, your dogs have feelings too. In fact, they feel 10x more than what we feel from sadness, happiness, excitement, fear and etc. Observe how they feel, by knowing how they react from certain situation or things.
  2. Keep Your Dog Healthy – regularly check your dog to a veterinarian especially for older dogs. Keep them back on shape and give them healthy foods.
  3. Avoid Playing Too Much – too much is never good for anyone, not even for your dogs. Don’t exhaust your dog too much from trainings, walkies or playing around. Yes, they need exercise but exhaustion is a different story. Keep your dog hydrated after exercise or play time.

With these three things, you can easily determine that your dog is panting naturally or not. When your dog is in good shape, healthy, playful and happy, there should be nothing to worry about.

Tips On How To Prevent Your Dog For Excessive Panting In The Car

  1. Check The Temperature - before going out for a walk or leaving your dog inside your car, you should check the temperature and the weather. Take note that it’s not ideal to leave your dog inside your car for long hours, it’s not healthy for them and heat can cause your dog to dehydrate or worse, die. Make sure the temperature is good for your dog before taking it out for walkies, training or shopping.
  2. Check Your Dog’s Health – take care of your dog just like a baby, you have to check your pet’s health every now and then. Any signs of excessive panting may be a result of health problems or they may be suffering from pain.
  3. Don’t Let Your Dog Dehydrated – always provide clean and fresh water for your dog so it won’t get dehydrated. Dogs always play and uses a lot of energy even at night, make sure to fill up her water before leaving or going to bed. If you are planning to go out, make sure you bring water and handy cup where your dog can drink after a long walk.
  4. Prevent Car Anxiety – you can either train your dog to calm down from new or strange things or let your pet drink anxiety treatment before going out for car drive. Anxiety is one of the major reasons why your dog may pant excessively. Keeping them calm is the perfect way to keep them happy and prevent dog car anxiety.
  5. Get Your Pet Used To New Things – it’s important to train your dog to calm down from strange new things. The lesser your pet feels excited the better you can prevent your dog from feeling anxious, which makes them keep calm in any situations that may come.
  6. Give Your Dog A Comfort Hug – comfort hugs is a perfect solution for your pet whenever it feels fear, anxiety, excitement and etc. Comfort hugs can make them feel calm and focus on you. They will neglect the situations that are in and you’ll be able to control their actions.

If the list doesn’t help you, then you should resort for treatment and remedies for your pet to stay calm during car rides. Below I have explained how to cure anxiety using treatments.

How To Cure Dog Car Anxiety? Treatment & Remedies

There are numerous treatments available over the counter (OTC) or recommendations from your vet. It’s ideal for any pet owners who want to keep their dog calm from long car rides or certain situations they are in. Some reasons of anxiety could be health issues, so before giving your pet a treatment for anxiety, make sure you checked with a professional vet with your dog’s health.

Excited dogs can make them jump out of the car, bark and feel uncomfortable during car rides. Of course, you don’t like that for your dog.

Fortunately, there are alternative treatments that you can use for your dog to help them feel calm. It’s what veterinarians used as well in performing surgeries or treatments.

Top 5 Dog Anxiety Medication

  1. Benadryl – ideal for regular use and severe anxiety. It’s great for situational anxiety such as thunderstorms.
  2. Clomipramine – ideal for separation anxiety, as it works as an antidepressant.
  3. Buspirone – most used for anxious dogs in socializing. It also works for mild-anxiety.
  4. Amitriptyline – perfect for dogs who have separation anxiety. It’s generally used for anxious tendencies.
  5. Dexmedetomidine – it helps reduce anxiety levels, keep your dog calm from fireworks and thunderstorms.

There are plenty of anxiety medication that you can find and purchase over the counter, but before even buying one. You should consider your dog’s health, some medications may cause allergic reaction. It’s recommended to ask your vet before giving your dog these kind of treatment.

Natural Way To Calm Your Dog In The Car

How to naturally calm your dog in the car? Well it’s not as easy as it sounds, especially for untrained dogs. But let me explain to you how you can calm your pet naturally:

  1. Limit The Movement – the best way to keep them calm is to start limiting their movements, put them at the back of the seat or you can put them inside the dog crate.
  2. Cover The View – once you have placed them where their actions are limited, you can cover their view so they won’t feel too much excitement from new things that your dog can see. Just make sure you still leave some open space for air flow.
  3. Get Him Used To Car Drive – they get excited from the activities that you are about to do together. They love to play and go out with their owners, which is why it gives them too much excitement when going out. But the best thing to do is to get him used to car drive so your dog will feel comfortable in travelling.

Take note that training your dog for car drive for the first time may result to make them feel uncomfortable, vomit, anxious, fear and excitement. It’s recommended to close the windows and don’t travel your car too far or for long hours. You can start from getting in and out of the car, then staying for a couple of minutes in the car, then you can start driving nearby, back and forth. Do it until your dog gets used to travel, but make sure to introduce car drive slowly.

Other Remedies To Calm Your Dog In The Car

There is another alternative that you can use to calm your dog in the car. Using CBD products is one of the most popular ways to keep humans calm from stress, anxiety and depression. Same goes apply with your pets. There are available CBD pet’s products that allows you to keep your dog calm from any situation, even in long rides. Most of these products are handy and easy to administer so it’s definitely a great remedy to keep your dog calm in any situation.


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