Panting in dogs is typically normal behavior for a dog. Yet, it seems the Great Pyrenees actually pants excessively at times. Is this normal behavior for this dog breed? What is it that makes them pant so much? And should you be concerned with your Great Pyrenees panting? In case you didn't know, panting is when a dog has moderate or rapid breathing, usually where their tongue may be hanging out. This behavior helps a dog to lower body temperature and to get oxygen into a puppy’s bloodstream. With that being said, let us explore why Great Pyrenees pant in a bit more detail.
The Root of the Behavior
First, let’s not confuse panting with labored breathing. If your dog was experiencing labored breathing, you would see signs of strained respiration which would be followed by distress noises such as crying, whining, barking or whistling noises. If you feel it is labored breathing, consult your vet as soon as possible as this could be a serious medical issue. The Great Pyrenees are large dogs with thick coats. These dogs actually can get hot quite easily, even in a 68 degree home. However, you will see this overly hot behavior a lot more in the summer months. Being hot may lead to heavy panting. Signs that your Great Pyrenees is hot may include laying on the cold floor, near the air conditioner or fan or rolling in the cool dirt. Another reason why your Great Pyrenees may pant excessively is if they are overweight, which can cause them to be hot.
Dogs also pant when they are in heat. So, if your dog is not neutered and exhibiting panting only at certain times, this may be something to look into. Typically, pacing and seeming anxious goes hand in hand with panting when a dog is in heat. Your vet may be able to explain their cycles better and give you recommendations to help your dog if this is the case. Great Pyrenees pant for other reason too such as stress, pain, or when they are afraid. There can be health or medical issues involved as well. Panting excessively could be a sign of neurological problems, heart problems, or a respiratory disorder. If your dog is excessively panting and you can’t seem to find the reason behind it, consult your vet. It is always better to get medical advice when you really don’t know what is going on. Your vet will ease any fears you have and give you viable solutions.
Encouraging the Behavior
First of all, if your dog is hot, there are several things you can do such as turn on your air conditioning, give him or her some cool water to drink, or even shave their heavy coats in the summer months. It does not hurt to put an ice cube or two in their water dish either. The Great Pyrenees love to lay in cool areas as well, so if you have a nice cool spot in your home set aside for your dog, he will love you for that.
Another way to keep your pup cool is with a water spritzer bottle. Although this sounds funny, dogs love to get wet when they are hot and trying to cool down. If for any reason you think that your Great Pyrenees is experiencing a serious medical condition such as heart or respiratory issues that may be causing this excessive panting, it is important to talk to your vet or even take them into the local pet hospital for an examination. Your dog’s health is very important, so do not ignore the signs of distress. A vet can also help reassure you of any worries you may have. So you should definitely consult a professional if you are concerned.