Do dogs pant more as they age? A Complete Guide

Create a calming environment

Reduce stress and anxiety by consciously creating a calming environment. Senior dogs’ needs change as they get older, and you must adjust accordingly to keep them as comfortable and relaxed as possible. If your senior dog is the anxious type, be sure to give them a safe space to retreat to when anxious or stressed.


Extremely hot weather can cause heatstroke in dogs and can be one possible reason for your old dog’s panting. Keep your dog away from the sun during the day and well-hydrated to prevent heatstroke.

How to diagnose: A dog suffering from heatstroke will pant abnormally, have red gums, body temperature over 104, increased heart rate, and abnormal thirst. As seriousness increases, dogs can be wobbly, have glazed eyes, or even start having seizures.

Is it serious: Heatstroke can be quite serious and cause life-threatening problems like swelling of the brain, kidney failure, and intestinal bleeding. It’s thought that up to 3 in 10 dogs suffering from heatstroke will die.

How to treat: If you think your old dog is suffering from heatstroke, move them to a cooler part of the house, pour some cool (but not cold) water over them, and give them ice cubes to lick. A fan can be a great help in cooling them down once you’ve wet their fur. If they are showing any more serious signs, you should arrange to take them to a veterinary clinic immediately.

Stress and anxiety

Stress can manifest as panting in dogs and must be appropriately managed. An old dog panting and pacing at night can be suffering from anxiety.

How to diagnose: A dog panting due to anxiety will also pace, bark, shiver, hide, or destroy furniture. You might spot other behavioral changes if your dog is stressed.

Is it serious: Stress and anxiety in dogs are quite common but should be carefully managed and treated to protect your dog’s quality of life.

How to treat: So how to stop a dog’s panting from anxiety? Calm an anxious dog through massage, gentle petting, and physical exercise. Use mental and physical stimulation, consistent routines, and supplementation to reduce stress. You may need to talk to your veterinarian about prescription medication or to a behaviorist for further advice. Learn more about senior dog anxiety and natural remedies to help with anxiety.

Why Do Dogs Pant?