Why Do German Shepherds Pant So Much

As a new German Shepherd owner, you’ll most likely be uncomfortable with their frequent panting. But is your dear fido panting more than they should? Is there anything you need to know and consider when dealing with your furry friend’s frequent panting? In this post, I’ll answer this question I always come across on forums and social platforms—why do German Shepherds pant so much? 

So Why Do German Shepherds Pant So Much? 

German Shepherds pant so much because of their thick coats and large nature. So they have to pant frequently to cool down and keep their body temperature low. Furthermore, your German Shepherd will pant more if you live in warmer areas or during exercise periods. 

my canine buddy

German Shepherds are happy and active dogs

However, don’t hesitate to reach out to your four-legged friend’s veterinary officer if you notice excessive panting. Excessive panting could mean that your German Shepherd is having some health complications, which may need to be addressed as soon as possible. 

Reasons Why Your German Shepherd Is Panting So Much

As already mentioned above, German Shepherds will always pant more than other breeds, and this is because of the following reasons. 

First, your German Shepherd possesses a thick coat that’s heavy and retains a lot of heat. To help cool down their temperature, German Shepherds have to pant more to reduce heat build-up. 

Secondly, German Shepherds are large dog breeds—meaning they have higher energy levels than other breeds. And finally, Germans love exercising, so they’ll constantly overheat. 

However, there are other reasons why your German Shepherd could be panting a lot. Let’s find out some of those reasons, shall we? 

1. Your German Shepherd is Anxious 

German Shepherds are one of the most sensitive dog breeds to people. For example, they quickly get frightened at the slightest sounds of fireworks, thunderstorms, or even the movement of people. Furthermore, they can undergo separation anxiety when they’re left alone for long. In any of these situations, your German Shepherd will most likely pant more. 

To ensure that your dear fido is fine throughout, you need to monitor its behavior, especially when relocating to new environments. This way, you’ll be able to know whether specific conditions can make your furry friend pant more. If there’s excessive panting, you may need to reach out to your veterinary officer to diagnose them. 

2. Your Dear Fido Has Heatstroke 

Heatstrokes are also a common reason why a dog could be panting more. It is usually a result of a dog carrying out too many activities outdoors during hot days. And German Shepherds are more likely to experience heatstroke because of their thick coats and large size. 

If your dear fido is panting a lot after being out in the heat, you need to give them water to drink—so that they can replace the lost water. If your dog suffers from heatstroke, you need to take them to your vet to have a good look at them and advise on the way forward. 

3. Your German Shepherd Has Heart Complications 

If you realize that your German Shepherd has started panting more than usual, the chances are that they are having some health issues that need to be addressed. 

Take your dog to a vet to diagnose it and see if it could be a heat problem. If it is, your vet should get them the best treatment and have them back to normalcy. 

When is Panting Normal or Abnormal? 

Panting is considered normal right after your furry friend is from exercising and if it’s hot outside. And because German Shepherds are large dog breeds, it will be normal to see them pant regularly to regulate their body temperature. 

Additionally, German Shepherds possess double coats, which makes them feel hot for longer. Even more, these furry friends will also pant more when they exercise, walk long distances, or when they’re trying to welcome you back home—if you’ve been away. 

However, you need to be worried if your German Shepherd starts to pant all of a sudden, more extended and more profound. Extended periods and heavy panting could be a sign that your German Shepherd is suffering from congestive heart failure, Cushing syndrome, cancer, or anemia. 

If your dear fido’s gums appear blue, purple, or even white, this is a sign that they aren’t getting adequate oxygen, and you should visit a vet with them instantly. That said, below are other factors you need to check out when your German Shepherd is panting more than usual: 

  • The temperature is cold, and your furry friend hasn’t had any exercises
  • Your German Shepherd is frequently urinating and getting thirsty 
  • Your companion friend has dry skin and has lost hair
  • Your German Shepherd appears depressed or lethargic

What Should I Do When My German Shepherd is Panting? 

Panting, in most cases, shouldn’t be a cause of alarm because it just means that your dear fido is trying to cool their body temperature. Below are some practical ways you can help your four-legged friend feel more comfortable when they experience excessive panting. 

1. Give Your Furry Friend Some Water 

Giving your dear fido some water to drink helps them cool down, stay hydrated, and minimize the chances of suffering from heatstroke. Additionally, ensure that your dog has access to a cool area, such as a shade, when they are from the scorching sun. 

Most importantly, you need to ensure that your German Shepherd can do this on its own. Besides, you should monitor them and give them a chance to cool off when they’re in the sun. If you happen to walk your dog, be cautious about the times you take them out for a walk and take breaks in between to allow them to cool off. 

2. Bath Your Dog 

While you can bathe your dear fido in a sink, the best place to bathe them, especially the large ones, is the tub. If you are using your home tub, you must be ready to clean up the mess once you’re done. All the same, you could opt for the self-service dog tubs you can use for a small fee. 

my canine buddy

Bathing your dear fido

Coldwater isn’t always fun for most dogs, including the German Shepherds. So bathe your furry friend with cold water only during warm days. If the weather is unpredictable, it might be best to use warm water for washing your dog. 

3. Comfort Your German Shepherd

If for any reason, your German Shepherd is panting without exercising or when it’s not hot, then it could be because they’re stressed, anxious, or even in pain. 

Find some time and calm your dear fido by giving them the best stroke and diverting their attention from whatever their issue is. 

There will be nothing ever as soothing as an owner’s touch. Identify your dog’s anxiety signs and nip them as soon as you can. This will see them return to normalcy within a short time. 

4. Remove Your Dog’s Undercoat

You can also remove your dog’s undercoat to help them stay cool and minimize their panting. This technique is best during the summers or when you’re looking forward to increasing your German Shepherd’s activity levels. 

To remove your German Shepherd’s undercoat, use a de-shedding brush. There are a couple of de-shedding brushes you can find on Amazon—just make sure you’ve got one of the best that’ll help you. 

why do german shepherds pant so much

Image credit: Amazon

5. Exercise Your Dog

If your dear fido is suffering from separation anxiety, the best thing to do is never leave them on their own. The best way to have more bonding time with your dog is to go for walks and exercise together. 

Since anxiety can result in excess energy, it’s best to play with your dog or take a long walk. Furthermore, you can talk to them and have more physical contact with your dear fido during these times. 

Related Questions 

1. Is It Normal for German Shepherds to Breathe Heavily?

Yes, it’s normal for German Shepherds to breathe heavily when they’re sleeping. You should never worry about anything because this could be resulting from your German Shepherd’s deep sleep—in which they usually take in lots of oxygen. 

2. Why Is My German Shepherd Panting So Much at Night?

Your German Shepherd could be panting so much during the night because it’s hot, they’re suffering from heatstroke, they’re dreaming, and they’re anxious. However, sudden panting when none of these is the case calls for the intervention of a vet. 

3. Do German Shepherds Need a Lot of Attention?

Yes, German Shepherds need a lot of attention because they can always suffer from separation anxiety. That said, these dear fidos need adequate human socialization, lots of training exercises, and long walks to minimize the chances of separation anxiety. 

4. Is It Bad if My Dog Is Panting a Lot?

No, panting is normal for happy and active dogs like the German Shepherds. Usually, German Shepherds pant a lot to regulate their body temperature, especially after an exercise or when it’s hot. However, be sure to take it to a vet if the panting is untimely. 

5. What Does It Mean When a German Shepherd Breathes Fast?

German Shepherds usually breathe fast to try and regulate their body temperature after carrying out an activity or during hot days. In some cases, it could mean that your dear fido isn’t getting adequate exercise, and therefore, you need to work on that. 

Final Thoughts 

It is usual for German Shepherds to pant more than other breeds. Panting is a way of trying to regulate their body temperature since they’ve got larger bodies and thick coats. 

If you notice your German Shepherd panting a lot, you need to confirm the weather condition or if you had an exercise some few minutes ago. 

If none of those are the cause of their panting, it would be best to take them to a vet so they could be diagnosed and possible reasons for their panting uncovered. 

Canine Buddy

As a dog lover—who loves sharing new experiences, I decided to create the canine buddy blog to share what I’ve learned throughout the years managing my dear fidos. Of course, I went through several trials and errors before finding the best way to make a perfect match. Here, we are committed to only giving proven dog and puppy hacks—making you the best dog owner ever.

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