While panting is generally normal for a puppy -- even in his sleep -- too much could indicate a health problem. This is just one reason why your puppy should have regular check-ups with the veterinarian, and why you should pay close attention to his living conditions and general well-being as he grows.
Why Puppies Pant
Puppies don't just pant to catch their breath -- they do it to burn off excess heat. Because Fido doesn't sweat, and the moisture in his mouth carries heat away from his bodies, he leaves his mouth open and pants. Because panting can indicate general health problems as well as heat-related issues, you must be extra careful. If your Fido is too warm at night -- especially if he has irregular nasal passages, like pugs and bulldogs do -- he may become overheated and/or struggle to breathe. Heavy panting at all hours also may indicate a respiratory problem such as pneumonia, or heart failure. If you're concerned about your Fido's panting and the temperature doesn't seem like a factor, see your vet immediately.
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