How long should a dog pant after exercise

How long should a dog pant after exercise?

Last Updated: August 20, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

If your dog is overweight or unfit, he or she may pant for longer than 10 minutes after exercise. In order to determine if something is wrong with your dog, you should consider your dog's age, breed, weight, and fitness level. The amount of panting varies from dog to dog.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “How long should a dog pant after exercise?“.

The year 2020 has been challenging for most of us but we have been exercising more as a consequence.

How long should a dog pant after exercise

A 33% increase was reported in activity levels on Strava an app that allows people to log their running cycling and walking and share it with their friends.

During the last three years the number of outdoor walks has increased threefold.

Moreover 55% of runners using Strava since 2019 have logged a faster time for their run.  

The number of dog owners running with their dogs does not appear to be reliable according to statistics. 

The only thing we know is that it is a very popular activity that benefits both the dog and the owner. 

However some of us are concerned about the amount of time a dog should pant after exercising once we have finished.

My goal in todays post is to answer that question. 

To begin I would like to discuss dog panting.

Why do dogs pant?

Dogs pant as a way to control their body temperature – when they become too hot they need to cool down.

Humans control their body temperature through sweating but dogs can not do this because their coats insulate their bodies in cold and hot weather. 

Although most people are convinced that dogs do not sweat the truth is a bit more complicated than saying that they can not sweat because they do. 

Dogs sweat mainly through panting but they can also sweat through their footpads and in their ear canals. 

How long should a dog pant after exercise? Six factors

You cannot tell exactly how long a dog will pant after exercising if it will even pant at all.

Among the factors that impact the length of time your dog pants I can provide you with a list.

I have six elements on my list.

  1. Age of the dog 
  2. Breed of the dog 
  3. Weight of the dog
  4. Outside temperature
  5. The fitness level of dog
  6. Intensity/ duration of exercise

There are some of these that are more obvious than others. 

1. Age of dog

Dogs that are older or senior pant more and for longer than dogs that are middle-aged.

Puppy dogs will also be panting more than middle-aged dogs.

I will go into more detail about how younger and older dogs are more vulnerable later. 

2. Breed of dog 

Other dogs are companion breeds while others are working breeds. 

It goes without saying that how much exercise your dog needs depends on its breed.

There are also some dogs that tend to pant excessively or have breathing difficulties. 

Breeds like the French Bulldog and brachycephalic (short-nosed) dogs are particularly vulnerable.

3. Weight of dog

A dog that is overweight or obese will pant more than one that is at an ideal weight.

4. Outside temperature

Most dogs do not do well when the weather starts to heat up although there are exceptions. 

When they are hot they tend to find the coolest spot and stay there preserving as much energy as they can.

On hot days it is really important for dog owners to recognize this and not overexert their dogs.

I worried and thought the worst when my thirteen-year-old Golden Retriever would only walk for a few minutes this summer.

A few months later it is winter and she is walking for about an hour every day.

The pace is glacial but my point is that she can walk these distances because the cooler temperatures make it easier for her to do so. 

5. Fitness level of dog

In the same way as people dogs need to build up their fitness levels (slowly). 

The fact that they are a dog does not mean they can take part in some hard exercise without feeling any ill effects.

A dog that is not used to a certain level of intensity in their exercise will pant far more after it than if they just stayed at their usual level.

6. Level of exercise

In a similar manner to what was said above the longer or more intensively a dog exercises the longer they will pant. 

At the end of the day you’re looking for a dog whose panting decreases over a few minutes quickly. 

How often do dogs breathe?

A dog takes anywhere between fifteen and thirty breaths every minute according to vetStreet. 

In general large breed dogs take fewer breaths per minute than small breed dogs.

The average age is somewhere around the “mid-twenties.”

We should consider any breathing rate over 35 breaths per minute abnormal. 

When a dog is exercising vigorously its breathing rate can be ten times greater (around 300 breaths per minute).

As a comparison humans should be taking 12- 20 breaths per minute at rest and 60- 100 breaths per minute after exercise. 

What are my dog’s resting breath and heart rate?

Its an easy and fun activity you can do at home even with the kids! 

This video takes you to step by step through the process in just over a minute and a half.

Nowadays most people who want to measure their dogs breathing rate do so because they are concerned about heart disease.

If you want to compare how your breathing rate is after exercising you can do that as well. 

How to stop dog panting sooner: five tips

1. Your dog doesn’t know when to stop

A dog that gets too hot while exercising would not know when to stop and slow down.

Because they want to please you they will keep going and going. 

The only time they will stop is when they have suffered from heatstroke. 

Take control of the situation and make an informed decision before its too late. 

2. On hotter days exercise less

On the hottest days there is not much you can do as a dog owner to ensure that your dog is safe while exercising.

If you can not take your dog to a beach or river to swim or exercise your dog before sunrise or after sunset then you need to reduce the intensity and duration of your dogs walk. 

3. Stop for water

You can also keep your dog from overheating by taking mini-breaks within the exercise blocks where your dog stops go slower or drinks water. 

4. Off lead time (during a run)

I would like to elaborate on what I said above. 

Providing it is safe try to let your dog off the lead from time to time.

It is especially important if you are running with your dog.

For a while letting them go off the lead will give them a chance to go potty sniff around and generally go at their own pace!

5. Cooldown 

Most of us remember being told how important it is to warm up before exercising.

This information was normally “bored” repeatedly to you by your PE teacher before a lesson.

Over the past few years we have realized how important it is to cool down after exercise.

It is important not to stop abruptly and to decrease the intensity of any exercise gradually in the last few minutes.

In this way our blood pressure and heart rate gradually return to normal. 

Our dogs are the same way. Let them cool down after an exercise session. 

In addition to reducing their heart rate and slowing their panting it will make them calmer at home as well as less frantic when they drink from their water bowl. 

6. The right amount of water

As I mentioned above water helps your dog to cool down calm down and pantless.

You need to make sure your dog does not drink too much water too quickly.

A dog that consumes too much too rapidly can suffer from a potentially fatal condition known as water toxicity.

Although the cases are very rare dogs that enjoy drinking straight from a hose are at risk.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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