Bernese Mountain Dogs pant normally for the same reason other breeds do, to keep themselves cool. Since dogs don’t have a system of sweat glands, the panting mechanism is necessary to help them keep their body temperature normal.
Panting in Bernese Mountain Dog is a desirable cooling mechanism but Berners may pant a lot and for various reasons. Apart from the heat, the reasons for excessive panting might be anxiety, respiratory distress, heart disease, pain, metabolic issues, allergies, dehydration.
How To Identify Excessive Panting in Bernese Mountain Dogs?
To find out if your Berner has a panting problem you need to know what is considered a normal breathing rate for dogs. The non-panting breathing rate, at rest, is 25-40 inhalations and exhalations per minute.
A panting Bernese Mountain dog can take 10 times that many breaths per minute.
It’s important to distinguish between normal and abnormal panting.
Normal panting in Bernese Mountain dogs occurs when they are hot, excited, physically active, and energetic. Heavy/abnormal panting though can be the sign that your Berner is dangerously overheated, struggling with some health problem, or faced some serious trauma.
Follow these steps to find out if your Bernese Mountain dog’s panting is normal or excessive :
- Take note when the panting is happening. Normal panting is characteristic for dogs after physical activity or some kind of excitement and high temepratures, of course. A healthy dog has no reason to pant in the absence of these factors.
- Does your Bernese Mountain dog has any other symptoms along with panting? Do you find him lethargic or he refuses his meals. Does he has any signs of illness like vomiting or coughing? If he does, go to the vet, since excessive panting could be the sign of some underlying health problem.
- Pay attention to the sound of your Berner’s panting. Has it changed lately? There is the condition called Laryngeal paralisys which is not preciselly characteristic for Berners but any breed can suffer from it, and it makes panting sound of the dog more pronaunced. If you find your Berner’s panting sound different then it used to be, you should definately consult the vet, eventough your pet doesn’t have any other symptom.
Why Is My Bernese Mountain Dog Panting?
Dog panting is normal activity for every healthy and happy pooch. Both small and large breeds pant equally but bear in mind that overweight dogs pant more than dogs with normal weight.
The most common reasons for normal panting in Bernese Mountain Dog:
- After physical activity, energetic playtime
- When the weather is hot/ high temperatures
- During car ride ( some dogs afraid of car ride, some of them feel uncofortable or too hot inside of vehicle, while some others may pant more due to motion sickness )
- Bernese Mountain dogs may pant when they meet new people or new dogs. Either they are excited or afraid of meeting someone new, it can result in fast and shalow breathing
- Sudden loud sounds, thunderstorms, firework, anything that can cause them stress or fear will lead to panting in Berners (along with panting, stressed dog will yawn, drool, will have increased heart beat, will pace and make wide cricling movement repeatedly)
- Some medication, especially steriod based ones can cause panting in Berners.
Why Abnormal Panting Occurs In Bernese Mountain Dogs?
Abnormal panting is usually pain or some other health issue-related. But also can be associated with a wide range of behavioral problems like anxiety, stress, phobias.
Bernese Mountain dogs are very sensitive to heat, they don’t tolerate high temperatures very well. It means that even a healthy adult Bernese will feel uncomfortable in temperatures above 75F ( 24c ). This fact suggests that any Bernese can overheat easily which can lead to excessive panting.
Although in rare cases, Berners may pant excessively due to several health issues such as :
- Cushing’s disease ( other symptoms are increased thirst, urination and appetite, reduced activity and hair loss)
- Heart disease ( other symptoms are weakness, coughing, abodminal swelling)
- Respiratory distress ( other symptoms ocassional coughing, blue discoloration of the skin, blue gums, nasal congestion)
- Chornic pain ( other symptoms are sensitivity to touch, grumpines/moodiness, depression, lack of appetite, limping)
- Metabolic disoreders ( other symptoms are lethargy, poor appetite, vomiting, abodminal pain, weight loss)
- Allergies ( other symptoms are itichness, vomiting, red, inflamed skin, sneezing, swelling of the ears, eyes, eyelids, lips)
If your Bernese Mountain Dog is dehydrated for some reason, apart from excessive panting, he will also show the following symptoms: loss of appetite and skin elasticity, lack of energy, dry-looking eyes, dry nose, dry and sticky gums.
How Do You Calm Bernese Mountain Dog From Panting?
To calm your Bernie from panting, you need to know the cause. If it’s normal panting, don’t worry about it too much. Bear in mind that Bernese dogs are super sensitive to heat so keep your dog inside during long, summer days.
If he is outside make sure he rests in some shade and that has unlimited excess to fresh water whenever he desires.
If your Berner pants excessively try to calm him. You can talk to him in a soft tone and with a reassuring voice.
If you know that firework or thunderstorm freak out your dog so he is panting too much, do keep him away from those sounds, keep him inside, lower the blinds, put some relaxing music on, stay with him…
Remember if your Bernese Mountain dog pants excessively even if it’s not hot or he hasn’t had any physical activity you should see the vet. If your dog follows a certain pattern in panting but is accompanied by other symptoms you should definitely consult the vet.