Why Dogs Pant In The Car? & All That You Need To Know

Dogs are the most popular pets and for good reason! They’re loyal, loving, and make great companions. But did you know that dogs pant in the car?

It’s true! Here’s why your dog might be panting in the car, and what you can do to help. This blog will deal with everything from what is panting, the reasons why your dog pants, what you can do about it, and even about differentiating panting and labored breathing.

Why does my dog pant in the car? Dogs pant for a number of reasons, but they most often do it when they are stressed about the destination. It is also common to see dogs pant in the car because their body temperature has risen too high and needs to cool down. Sometimes, your dog may be anxious or excited by what’s happening outside of the car. If you notice that your dog is panting excessively or seems like he is having trouble breathing, it’s time to get out of the car and check if he needs to go to the vet.

What Is Panting In Dogs?

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Do you know what “panting” is in dogs? It’s when they open their mouth and stick out their tongues, and breathing becomes heavier than normal.

It can also be through the nose or both through the nose and mouth. Identifying panting involves counting the number of breaths per minute.

If the number of breaths exceeds 40 per minute, it is technically treated as panting.

Why do they do it? The main reason is thermoregulation. That is nothing but temperature regulation.

Panting in dogs is a natural way for them to cool off. But sometimes, panting can be a sign that your dog is uncomfortable or sick.

When dogs pant, they open their mouth and inhale deeply, drawing in a lot of air over a short period of time. The air passing through the dog’s warm lungs warms the blood, which is then circulated throughout the body.

This is why you’ll often see dogs panting after exercise or when it’s hot outside. Dogs will also pant when they’re anxious or excited. In some cases, panting can be a sign of respiratory distress. 

In this post, we will restrict ourselves to dogs panting in cars, why they pant and what can be done about it. If you would like to know more about panting

Why Do Dogs Pant In The Car? – Reasons

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If you’ve ever been in a car with a dog, you’ve probably noticed them panting. You might have even wondered why dogs pant in cars and if it’s something to worry about. Here are the reasons why dogs can pant in the car.

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Fear Of Destination:

Did you know that dogs pant in the car when they are afraid of going to the veterinarian? Their previous experience with the veterinarian might have been really unpleasant and the next time they get into the car, dogs think you are again taking them to the veterinarian.

They’re really worried about what might happen during their next meeting with the veterinarian. So getting into the car may only trigger memories for your dog which may make the dog pant.

Regulation Of Temperature:

Panting is a common behavior among dogs? Did you know that panting also serves as a cooling mechanism for dogs? Dogs pant in the car to cool down just like people do. When dogs pant, they are exhaling hot air and inhaling cooler air which helps to regulate their body temperature.

This happens at a faster pace than the normal breathing rate of the dog. This helps the dog to regulate its body temperature. Dogs are unable to sweat as humans do, so they use panting as a means of evaporative cooling. This helps them maintain their temperature at normal.

Pro Tip: If it’s a hot day and your dog is panting in the car, you may want to consider turning on the air conditioning. Otherwise, they could get too hot and become uncomfortable.


If you’ve ever been in the car with a dog, chances are you’ve seen them pant. Some dogs love car rides. Yet you see them panting. It may seem like they’re just hot and thirsty, but there’s actually a bigger reason why dogs pant in cars – dehydration.

Dogs need fresh water throughout the day to stay healthy, and driving around in a hot car can quickly dehydrate them. If the dog hasn’t had water before the drive and stays long hours without water, it could lead to dehydration.

Pro Tip: Always carry a bottle of water and a bowl for your dog. Remember to check if it’s fresh water and avoid plastic containers.

Car Sickness:

Dogs also pant in cars to combat car sickness. Motion sickness is a common problem for both dogs and humans and can be very uncomfortable for your pet. They can feel nauseous during the drive making your dog feel really sick.

There are a few things you can do to help reduce your dog’s chances of getting sick in the car, including keeping them cool and comfortable and avoid long trips. If your dog does get motion sick, there are treatments available to help make them more comfortable.


Dogs pant in cars because they get anxious about several things: loud noises, unfamiliar smells, and the speed of the car. This can be a problem for dog owners because it can make dogs uncomfortable.

Did you drop off your dog in a dog boarding center? The dog can anticipate separation and get anxious too. The strange movement can cause anxiety too.

The frequent brakes, a sudden halt, you’re leaving the dog in the car could all trigger anxiety in your dog too.

Pro Tip: If your dog is getting anxious in the car, try to soothe them by petting them or giving them a toy to play with. Remember, leaving the dog in your car has to be done with windows open for airflow.


If you’re a dog owner, there’s a good chance that at some point you’ve taken your furry friend for a ride in the car. And if you’re like most dog owners, you’ve probably noticed that your dog seems to get really excited when it sees the car.

My dog gets to the car even before I do. In fact, she asks for a ride every day. She just seems to love rides. They always seem to know when it’s happening and start getting so excited that they can’t help but pant.

You probably got him a treat last time or took him to the park? He or she is simply excited for the next round of fun. Dogs tend to pant when they get excited. Once you are back home the dog tends to relax.


It’s a well-known fact that dogs love going for car rides. It’s also a well-known fact that dogs can get over-stimulated in cars and start panting heavily. But what exactly causes this over-stimulation?

All the vehicles outside, the speed-breakers, and the lights (during the evening). The sheer number of passing cars can be too much for them to handle, more so in view of what they see and the colors they see.

Dogs pant due to overstimulation just like we sweat when we get too hot. A study by the University of California, Davis found that when dogs are in an environment with a lot of stimuli (like a busy street).


If you’ve ever been driving down the road with your dog in the car and they start panting, you may have wondered why. You might even think that your dog is getting too hot and needs to cool off.

However, the reality is that dogs pant due to a lack of exposure. In other words, your dog is not used to traveling in the car.

And while it’s important to make sure your pet stays safe and comfortable when you’re on the road, there are a few things you can do to help them get used to car travel.

So if your dog is new to car rides, then it’s time you take your for more frequent rides so it gets used it. This will prevent the dog from getting anxious as well.


Dogs pant in the car due to stress which can be triggered by many factors, including the movement and sound of the car, the temperature, and being in an unfamiliar place.

Dogs may also pant when they are under-exposed or anxious which can lead to stress. Dogs pant in cars due to stress, which can be triggered by many factors such as motion sickness, changes in temperature or sound, and even the smell of other dogs

By being aware of these signs, you can take steps to help your dog feel more comfortable and reduce his or her stress levels.

Pro Tip: You can help your dog stay calm in the car by providing a safe and comfortable environment, avoiding sudden movements or loud noises, and bringing along their favorite toy or blanket.

Mixed Reasons:

Dogs are similar to humans in that they experience a variety of emotions. When you take your dog for a car ride, he may pant with excitement or anxiety, or even both.

It can even be a combination of physical reasons like excessive heat along with stress and nervousness too. All these can together lead to panting in dogs.

Pro Tip: The best way is to reassure your dog by talking to him. Provide him with a comfortable seat and keep the temperature right.

Is It Normal For Dogs To Pant In Cars?

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You’re driving somewhere with your dog and he starts panting. You may have even wondered, “Is it normal for a dog to pant in the car?” The answer is yes, it is normal for a dog to pant in the car as long as he’s only in the car.

Here’s why: Dogs pant to cool down. They only have a minor sweat system in the paws. When they’re in the car, they’re not able to get out and walk around to cool down, so they pant instead.

As long as your dog isn’t showing any other signs of distress (like vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive drooling), there’s no need to worry.

A Word About Panting & Labored Breathing

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Dogs panting and labored breathing can be differentiated in several ways. The first thing to understand is that finding is okay if it is only at times when the dog travels with you in the car. If the dog is panting all the time then you may want to investigate the cause.

A dog’s breath is calculated in terms of the number of cycles per minute. When it exceeds 40 it is technically treated as panting. If it exceeds 45-50, then it becomes labored breathing

If the dog is finding it difficult to breathe then it is not finding that labored breathing. One has to understand that when the dog is panting it is still at a particular and consistent pace.

However when it comes to labored breathing the dog finds it difficult to inhale. It is then time to consult a professional and get the dog completely examined for any inherent illness.

What To Do About Your Dog Panting In The Car?

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There is a lot of things that you can do about your dog panting in the car.

  • The first is always the maintenance of the temperature so that your dog does not find it too hot.
  • Second, take your dog for short trips and then increase the duration so that they get used to longer rides.
  • Third, go slow near the bumps and keep your dog comfortable during the ride. A harness for the dog will be useful here.
  • Five, try to keep the dog away from the window and raise the glass so that the dog is not overwhelmed by the happenings of the outside such as the busy and fast movement of vehicles and the noise. A dog crate or dog car compartment would be perfect in this case.
  • Seven, ensure that all trips are not to the vet where the dog is going to be uncomfortable and has a bad experience.

Wrapping Up:

Panting can happen when a dog’s body temperature has risen too high and needs to cool down. It may also occur if your dog is anxious or excited by what’s happening outside of the window.

Keep an eye on their behavior so you know how best to help them feel better! As always, remember that excessive panting could indicate there might be something else going on with your furry friend- take him/her to see his veterinarian.

If any part of this blog helped you do let me know which part did and if you still have a question, our team of experts will be happy to answer.

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