Why is My Dog Panting at Night? Causes of Dog Pants at Night 2020

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large black dog panting

From time to time, pretty much every dog pants. In cartoons it's the sign of a hungry dog, waiting for a comically sized piece of meat. In real life though, dogs pant for a variety of reasons. Most often, it's just to cool down. Although for a dog panting at night, anxiety might be the issue.

Why Do Dogs Pant?

There are a wide variety of reasons why a dog pants. In plenty of situations, a dog panting is absolutely nothing to worry about. However, there are some situations where a panting dog can be a sign of stress of anguish. These are some of the common causes for a dog sticking their tongue out and panting.

Heat Exchange

The main reason for a dog to pant is just to cool down. Nothing sinister or worrying, just a practical way of cooling.

Dogs don't have sweat glands. They are physically incapable of sweating. Because of this, they have to use different methods of cooling down. Panting is their best way of actually letting heat out of their bodies. This allows them to cool down by exchanging heated air for cool air.

If the weather is particularly hot, this might be why your dog is panting.


Stress can manifest itself in many ways, both in humans and in dogs. One of the ways that our pets can calm down while stressed is through panting. Dogs might end up gasping for breath if they’re feeling particularly stressed about something.

Other symptoms of stress are shedding, hiding or attempting to escape, and avoiding people or situations. If your dog is demonstrating these symptoms and panting, stress might be the cause.


If you’re wondering why your dog is panting at night, anxiety might be the answer. An anxious dog will often seem stressed and nervous. This includes pacing, repositioning themselves, and panting. 

Why is My Dog Panting at Night?

Black curly-haired dog in a dark room watching TV

Panting all through the night is a bit different from a dog panting in the day. If nighttime panting and pacing are disturbing your dog's sleep, it can feel like there is something wrong with them. This can be a real worry for dog owners since sleepless nights are a pretty big indicator of something wrong.

If your dog is pacing and panting at night, there are a few different things that could be the underlying reason.


If your dog is panting at night, anxiety and stress are likely to be to blame. A stressed-out pet is going to struggle to get to sleep, and their anxiety about what Is happening around them is likely to manifest itself in disruptive behavior overnight. CBD is a good way to deal with a dog with stress. Either through oil or treat, CBD can help calm a dog's stress in most environments.

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These are some things that could be influencing your dog's stress levels:

New Environment or Life Change

Dogs are a lot like humans when it comes to what brings them stress. A major change in their environment or life is bound to be upsetting for a pet. With most people, a new environment of a big change in their lives comes about through choice. A dog, largely, has any major changes to their lives forced on them. They also don’t get any warning, since they can hardly understand. A restless dog at night might still be adjusting to a major change in their environment.

Unhappy Home Environment

A dog doesn’t have to be living in an awful abusive home to be stressed out about their unhappy environment. Like people, a dog can be stressed out by as much as people yelling a lot. An unhappy home life can have a real effect on your dog’s stress levels.

New Owner

Adopting an adult dog can give them a second chance, but it can also cause stress. Major changes like a new owner might be beneficial for your pet, but it will still be stressful. Having someone new around every day, living somewhere different, and generally having a radically different life, can be a lot for a dog to cope with.


While stress can be the reason for a dog panting at night, it can be other things. Another possible reason could just be allergies.

Allergic to New Food or Something in the Environment

A dog can react to certain things they’re allergic to with different symptoms. One symptom is panting. If your dog is panting at night, anxiety isn’t always the cause. It could be that where they sleep is putting them in contact with something they’re allergic to. Salmon oil is a good supplement to your dog's diet for many reasons, but it has the added benefit of lowering their allergies.

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One major reason for dogs to be restless and panting at night is anxiety. If you think your dog might be restless at night because if they're anxious, there are a few major causes for their anxiety that could be to blame.

Separation Anxiety

A dog suffering from separation anxiety is very likely to pace and pant at night. Separation anxiety at night can be particularly common if a dog has to sleep on their own. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, then panting at night will be common.

More likely in Older Dogs 

Anxiety is quite common in an older dog, and panting as a symptom of anxiety is quite a bit more common as a dog's age. A dog's physical and mental health changes and develops as a dog ages. When combined with changes to sleep cycles, this can make a dog quite anxious throughout the night.

New People and Party Situations

Some dogs are very social, and others not so much. However, even the most outgoing of pets can become stressed out in situations with a lot of new people. A party-like situation can leave them overstimulated and worried at night.

Things That Are Low-Stress For You Might Make Your Dog Anxious

Your dog isn’t going to be anxious about the same things that you are. Some situations that don’t seem like a big deal to you are going to cause your dog quite a bit of anxiety. Meeting new people, a change in situation, or even some noises heard in the night can cause dogs anxiety.

What to Do with a Restless, Panting, Anxious Dog

Brown dog running through a stream

All of this information might have helped explain why a dog is anxious, restless, panting, and generally unhappy throughout the night. However, it doesn’t exactly help them to feel better. There is plenty you can do to help a dog suffering from anxiety. These solutions should help no matter the cause of the anxiety:

Make an Effort to Create a Calming Environment for Your Dog

One way to help your dog through the night is to ensure they’re in a calm environment. This can do a lot for reducing their stress and anxiety, letting them get a better night’s sleep.

When they feel stressed or anxious, they can retreat to a safe space. This should give them a nice calming environment when they’re too anxious.

Make Sure They Get Plenty of Exercise

A lack of exercise and stimulation can be a big factor in a dog's anxiety, they need an outlet for their energy. Getting some good exercise and stimulation can allow your dog to blow off some steam.

Consider Supplements

Supplements can be a great option for a dog panting at night from anxiety. CBD Oil is an effective tool that has been found to really help ease anxiety in both humans and dogs.

This can be a good treatment to help your dog through the nights, while you work at reducing their sources of stress and anxiety in everyday life.

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Check with a Veterinarian to See if Your Aging Dog is Going Through Physical Changes That Might Cause Anxiety

It is common for a dog to pant and pace more at night as they age. This is because of their physical changes as well as increased anxiety. A trip to the vet can give you some reassurance and help you decide what is the best treatment for getting your anxious dog a good night's sleep free from panting.

A dog panting at night because of anxiety can be really worrying. However, irrelevant of the reason for your pet’s anxiety there is plenty you can do to try and help them out. Between cutting down their sources of anxiety and supplements to keep them comfortable overnight, your dog should be able to return to getting a proper night’s sleep.



Why is my dog ​​panting at night?
Dog panting at night may be due to the room being hot. If you are sure that the dog’s pant at night is not related to temperature, then this can be a sign of various health problems. The dog may be stressed if he does not sleep near the owner.
Why is my dog ​​panting and restless?
Panting and anxiety in a dog may be due to injury. Because of the pain, the dog will have dilated pupils and they will bite places where they feel pain. Often this is accompanied by a loss of appetite. Panting can also be caused by anxiety and stress.
What to do to stop dog panting at night?
Dog pants at night may be due to digestive problems. Try to start giving him food earlier and not giving him food before going to bed. Also, try to keep your dog on a balanced diet. See your doctor and perform the necessary tests to determine the problem.
What is the reason dog panting at night only?
The reason for dog panting at night only can be due to health problems, as well as due to the temperature in the room. If your room is not hot, then most likely you need to contact your veterinarian to find out what is the problem of this behavior and prescribe the right treatment.
How to help stop dog heavy panting at night?
This behavior can be stressful if, for example, your dog sleeps elsewhere away from you, also because of the high temperature in the room or injury. Try to reassure your pet, if he continues to pant, then contact your veterinarian to find problems.
Is dog pants at night related to dog age?
Dogs who are already middle-aged or older are more likely to painting, and also drink more water and need more rest. They also require more food and urinate more often.


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Meet the Author

Jordan Ashley

Jordan Ashley

Jordan is an experienced author who enjoys writing about all things dogs. He loves all animals and when he is not working he spends his time curled up with his two dogs playing video games and maybe enjoying a craft beer.