Dogs Training

How long should a dog pant after exercise?

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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.

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.  

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The number of dog owners running with their dogs doesn’t 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 today’s post is to answer that question. 

To begin, I would like to discuss dog panting.

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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’t do this because their coats insulate their bodies in cold and hot weather. 

Although most people are convinced that dogs don’t sweat, the truth is a bit more complicated than saying that they can’t 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.

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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 don’t 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.

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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 doesn’t 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?

It’s 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 dog’s 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 won’t 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. 

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Take control of the situation and make an informed decision before it’s 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’t 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 dog’s 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 doesn’t 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. 

If you want to read more about dogs training, read here: Dogs Training.

How long should a dog pant after exercise? (Watch Video)

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