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Why Is My Dog Panting And Has Diarrhea?



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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If you’ve noticed your dog panting excessively and experiencing diarrhea, it’s important to understand the possible underlying causes. 

Excessive panting and diarrhea in dogs can have various causes, including stress or anxiety, heatstroke, ingesting harmful substances, and diseases like pancreatitis.

Seeking veterinary help is crucial to accurately diagnose and treat the underlying issue. In the meantime, there are steps you can take to help manage your dog’s symptoms and promote their well-being.

Key Takeaways:

  • Excessive panting and diarrhea in dogs can be indicative of underlying health issues.
  • Common causes include stress, heatstroke, ingestion of harmful substances, and diseases like pancreatitis.
  • Seeking veterinary help is important for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
  • Keep your dog cool and hydrated, monitor their diet, and reduce stress factors.
  • Preventive measures like regular vet check-upsheat stroke preventionstress reduction, and proper diet and exercise can help minimize future episodes.

What is Panting In Dogs?

Panting in dogs is a normal physiological response that serves to regulate body temperature, express excitement or anxiety, and is also a way for them to cool down.

Panting is a common behavior in dogs and it plays multiple roles. One of the primary functions of panting is thermoregulation.

Unlike humans, dogs don’t have sweat glands spread all over their bodies.

So, when they get hot or engage in vigorous physical activities, they pant to evaporate water from the moist surfaces of their lungs, tongue, and throat to dissipate heat and cool themselves down.

What is Diarrhea In Dogs?

Diarrhea in dogs is a condition characterized by frequent loose or liquid bowel movements, which can be a symptom of various underlying health issues ranging from dietary indiscretions to serious illnesses.

Diarrhea in dogs is quite common and is often the body’s way of trying to get rid of something it finds undesirable.

This could be due to eating something inappropriate, a sudden change in diet, or as a reaction to certain medications. Stress or anxiety can also cause a dog to have diarrhea.

Why Is My Dog Panting And Has Diarrhea?

Why Is My Dog Panting And Has Diarrhea

Your dog may be panting and has diarrhea due to reasons ranging from heatstroke, gastrointestinal upset, and pancreatitis, to even severe conditions like anemia or tick disease.


Heatstroke in dogs is a life-threatening condition that occurs when they overheat. Symptoms include excessive panting and diarrhea. This typically happens if a dog has been exposed to high temperatures without adequate shade or water.

Gastrointestinal Upset

Gastrointestinal upset, which could be from eating something inappropriate or a sudden change in diet, often results in diarrhea. The discomfort can also cause distress, leading to heavy panting.


Pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas, can cause both diarrhea and panting in dogs. The pancreas plays a crucial role in digestion, and its inflammation can disrupt normal digestive processes.

Anemia or Tick Disease

Severe conditions such as anemia or tick disease might also cause symptoms like panting and diarrhea. Anemia, potentially caused by a bleeding tumor or an autoimmune disease, leads to pale gums along with these symptoms. Similarly, tick-borne diseases can also manifest these symptoms.

Poisoning or Intestinal Obstruction

Continuous vomiting or diarrhea could be indicative of poisoning or an intestinal obstruction. Both conditions are serious and require immediate veterinary attention.

If your dog is showing persistent symptoms, it’s crucial to seek veterinary care immediately. These symptoms could indicate a range of issues, some of which are severe and require prompt treatment.

When To Contact a Veterinarian For a Panting Dog With Diarrhea

If your dog is experiencing excessive panting and diarrhea, it’s crucial to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

These symptoms can be indicative of an underlying health issue that requires professional attention. By seeking veterinary help, you can help identify the cause of your dog’s distress and implement appropriate treatment measures.

Excessive panting and diarrhea can have various causes, including stress or anxiety, heatstroke, ingesting harmful substances, and diseases like pancreatitis.

These conditions can be serious and may require immediate veterinary intervention. It’s important not to delay contacting your vet when you notice these symptoms in your dog.

During your veterinarian visit, they will perform a thorough examination and may recommend further diagnostic tests to identify the exact cause of your dog’s symptoms. Diagnosing the underlying issue is crucial for effective treatment and to prevent any further complications.

Possible Underlying Health Issues For Panting and Diarrhea In Dogs

Possible Health IssueSymptoms
PancreatitisExcessive panting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, loss of appetite
Gastrointestinal DisordersChronic diarrhea, excessive panting, weight loss, nausea, vomiting
InfectionsDiarrhea, dehydration, panting, fever, lethargy

Excessive panting and diarrhea in dogs can sometimes be symptoms of more serious health issues that should not be ignored.

It is crucial to consult a veterinarian to accurately diagnose and treat the underlying cause of these symptoms. Conditions such as pancreatitis, gastrointestinal disorders, and infections can all contribute to these distressing symptoms.

One possible underlying health issue that can cause excessive panting and diarrhea in dogs is pancreatitis.

This is an inflammation of the pancreas that can be triggered by factors such as a high-fat diet, obesity, or certain medications. Dogs with pancreatitis may also exhibit symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

Another potential cause of these symptoms is gastrointestinal disorders. Conditions like inflammatory bowel disease or food allergies can lead to chronic diarrhea and, in some cases, excessive panting. It’s important to work with your veterinarian to identify the specific triggers and provide appropriate treatment and dietary adjustments for your dog.

Infections, both bacterial and viral, can also result in symptoms like panting and diarrhea. For example, parvovirus is a highly contagious viral infection that commonly affects puppies and can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration. Other infections, such as bacterial gastroenteritis, can lead to similar symptoms as well.

Managing Panting and Diarrhea at Home

Possible Causes of Panting and DiarrheaTreatment Recommendation
Stress or anxietyImplement stress reduction techniques, and provide a calm environment
HeatstrokeKeep your dog cool, offer plenty of fresh water, provide shade or air conditioning
Ingesting harmful substancesContact your veterinarian immediately for guidance
Pancreatitis or other underlying diseasesSeek veterinary advice for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment

While waiting for veterinary advice, there are steps you can take at home to help alleviate your dog’s panting and diarrhea. It’s important to keep your dog cool and hydrated, especially if excessive panting is a concern.

Provide access to fresh water at all times and consider using a fan or air conditioning to create a comfortable environment.

Monitoring your dog’s diet is also crucial during this time. You may want to try temporarily feeding your dog a bland diet, such as boiled chicken and rice.

This can help settle their stomach and provide easily digestible nutrients. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian before making any major changes to your dog’s diet.

Additionally, stress can contribute to gastrointestinal issues in dogs. Be mindful of any potential stress factors in your dog’s environment and try to reduce them as much as possible.

Creating a calm and quiet space for your dog, providing mental stimulation through toys or puzzles, and establishing a regular exercise routine can all help to minimize stress.

While managing your dog’s symptoms at home, it’s essential to consider possible causes for their panting and diarrhea.

If you suspect that your dog ingested a harmful substance, contact your veterinarian immediately for guidance.

It’s also important to be aware that some underlying health conditions, such as pancreatitis, may require specific treatment, so seeking veterinary advice promptly is crucial for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Preventive Measures for Future Episodes of Panting and Diarrhea

Preventive MeasuresBenefits
Schedule regular veterinary check-upsMonitor health, detect issues early
Prevent heat strokeAvoid overheating, potential organ damage
Reduce stress factorsPromote emotional well-being
Promote proper diet and exerciseOptimize nutrition and physical health

Taking proactive steps to prevent future episodes of panting and diarrhea can significantly improve your dog’s overall well-being.

Fortunately, there are several measures you can implement to reduce the likelihood of these distressing symptoms reoccurring.

  • Schedule regular veterinary check-ups: By bringing your dog for routine check-ups, your veterinarian can monitor their health and address any potential issues before they escalate. Regular vaccinations and parasite control are also crucial in maintaining your dog’s well-being.
  • Prevent heat stroke: Dogs can easily overheat, especially during summer months or in hot climates. Ensure your dog has access to shade and fresh water at all times. Avoid exercising them during the hottest parts of the day and be mindful of their exposure to direct sunlight.
  • Reduce stress factors: Stress and anxiety can trigger digestive distress in dogs. Create a calm and secure environment for your furry friend by providing a comfortable resting area, engaging in positive reinforcement training, and avoiding loud noises or sudden changes in routine.
  • Promote proper diet and exercise: A balanced diet and regular exercise are essential for your dog’s overall health. Consult your veterinarian to ensure you are feeding them a nutritious diet suitable for their age, breed, and any specific dietary requirements. Engage in physical activities that suit your dog’s needs and consider mental stimulation through interactive toys or puzzles.

Understanding your dog’s body language is also crucial in identifying any signs of distress. Monitor their behavior closely, paying attention to excessive panting, changes in appetite, or any other unusual symptoms.

Additionally, maintaining a healthy environment by providing mental stimulation, socialization opportunities, and regular visits to the vet can contribute to your dog’s well-being and prevent future episodes of panting and diarrhea.

Understanding Your Dog’s Body Language

Body Language SignalMeaning
Tail waggingHappiness or excitement, but tail position and movements can convey different emotions
Pinned back earsSign of fear, anxiety, or discomfort
Raised hacklesIndication of fear or aggression

Dogs communicate through body language, and understanding their signals can help you identify when they are experiencing excessive panting and potential underlying issues.

One of the key indicators to watch for is changes in their body temperature. Excessive panting can be a sign that your dog is overheating or experiencing distress.

Keep an eye out for other symptoms like drooling, rapid breathing, and restlessness. If your dog’s panting seems excessive or out of the ordinary, it’s essential to take their body temperature and consult with a veterinarian.

In addition to panting, your dog’s body language can provide insights into their overall health. For example, a tucked tail, hunched posture, or hiding could indicate anxiety or discomfort.

On the other hand, a dog that is excessively panting and pacing may be experiencing stress. It’s crucial to consider the context and observe other signals your dog is displaying to determine the underlying cause of their symptoms.

To further understand your dog’s body language, pay attention to their eyes, ears, and tail. Dilated pupils, staring, or a raised hackle can be signs of fear or aggression.

A wagging tail can indicate happiness and excitement, but it’s important to note that different tail positions and movements can convey different emotions. By observing and interpreting these subtle signals, you can better comprehend your dog’s state of mind and potential reasons for their excessive panting.

Being attuned to your dog’s body language is crucial in recognizing when something is amiss. By understanding their signals, you can promptly address any potential underlying issues that may be causing their excessive panting and ensure their overall well-being.

Creating a Healthy Environment for Your Panting Dog

Creating a Healthy Environment for Your DogBenefits
Mental Stimulation– Engages your dog’s mind
– Reduces boredom and stress
– Prevents excessive panting and diarrhea
Regular Exercise and Proper Nutrition– Maintains a healthy weight
– Promotes physical well-being
– Supports immune and digestive health
Regular Veterinary Check-ups– Monitors overall health
– Identifies and addresses issues early on
– Provides preventive care

Creating a healthy environment is crucial for your dog’s overall well-being and can contribute to preventing episodes of panting and diarrhea.

Dogs, like humans, thrive in an environment that promotes mental stimulation, regular exercise, and a balanced diet.

By implementing a few simple measures, you can help ensure your furry friend leads a happy and healthy life.

Providing Mental Stimulation

Mental stimulation is essential for dogs to keep their minds engaged and prevent boredom. Dogs are intelligent creatures that benefit from mental challenges and problem-solving activities.

You can provide mental stimulation for your dog by introducing interactive toys, puzzle games, and training sessions.

These activities not only keep their minds sharp but also tire them out mentally, reducing the likelihood of stress-related symptoms like excessive panting and diarrhea.

Regular Exercise and Proper Nutrition

Regular exercise is vital for maintaining a healthy weight and overall physical well-being in dogs.

Taking your furry friend for daily walks, engaging in playtime sessions, and providing them with appropriate exercise according to their breed and size can help prevent obesity and related health issues.

Additionally, a balanced diet tailored to your dog’s specific nutritional needs is essential. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your dog and ensure they receive the necessary nutrients to support their immune system and digestive health.

Regular Veterinary Check-ups

A key aspect of creating a healthy environment for your dog is regular veterinary check-ups.

These visits allow your veterinarian to monitor your dog’s overall health, catch any potential issues early on, and provide preventive care.

Routine vaccinations, parasite control, and dental check-ups can all contribute to your dog’s well-being. Your veterinarian can also provide advice on nutrition, exercise, and any specific concerns you may have regarding your dog’s health.

By prioritizing regular vet check-ups, you demonstrate your commitment to your dog’s well-being and reduce the likelihood of them experiencing episodes of panting and diarrhea.

Treating Your Dog’s Panting and Diarrhea

Treating Your Dog’s Diarrhea:Key Points
1. Bland dietProvide boiled chicken and white rice
2. Serve small, frequent mealsAvoid overwhelming the digestive system
3. Remove skin and bones from chickenPrevent additional digestive upset
4. Follow veterinarian’s recommendationsAdminister prescribed treatments and interventions

Treating your dog’s diarrhea involves dietary adjustments and potentially other interventions recommended by your veterinarian.

bland diet is often recommended during this time to help soothe the digestive system and promote healing.

One popular option is a combination of boiled chicken and white rice. These ingredients are gentle on the stomach and easy to digest, providing your dog with the necessary nutrition while giving their gut time to recover.

When preparing a bland diet, it’s important to remove the skin and bones from the chicken to prevent any additional digestive upset.

Boil the chicken until it is fully cooked, then shred it into small pieces. Cook the white rice separately and mix it with the shredded chicken. Serve the bland diet in small, frequent meals throughout the day to avoid overwhelming your dog’s system.

In addition to the bland diet, your veterinarian may recommend other interventions such as probiotics or medication to address any underlying causes of the diarrhea.

It’s crucial to follow their guidance and administer any prescribed treatments as directed.

Regular communication with your veterinarian is essential for monitoring your dog’s progress and adjusting the treatment plan if necessary says Pet Dog Owner.


Why is my dog panting and having diarrhea?

Excessive panting and diarrhea in dogs can have various causes, including stress or anxiety, heatstroke, ingesting harmful substances, and diseases like pancreatitis. It’s important to seek veterinary help to accurately diagnose and treat the underlying issue.

What are the possible underlying health issues causing panting and diarrhea in dogs?

Possible underlying health issues that may cause panting and diarrhea in dogs include conditions such as pancreatitis and other serious diseases. These require veterinary attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.

When should I contact a veterinarian?

If your dog is experiencing excessive panting, diarrhea, or other concerning symptoms, it is important to consult a veterinarianImmediate veterinary care may be necessary in certain cases, so contact your vet immediately.

How can I manage panting and diarrhea at home?

To manage panting and diarrhea at home, you can keep your dog cool and hydrated, monitor their diet, and consider potential causes for their distress. However, it is always recommended to consult a veterinarian for proper guidance and treatment.

What are some preventive measures to avoid future episodes of panting and diarrhea?

Preventive measures to reduce the chances of your dog experiencing future episodes of panting and diarrhea include regular vet check-ups, heat stroke prevention, stress reduction techniques, and maintaining a proper diet and exercise routine for your pet.

How can I create a healthy environment for my dog?

To create a healthy environment for your dog, provide mental stimulation, practice responsible dog ownership, and make regular visits to the vet. These measures contribute to your dog’s overall well-being and help prevent health issues.

How can I treat my dog’s panting and diarrhea?

Treatment options for your dog’s panting and diarrhea may include a bland diet, such as chicken and rice, as well as other options prescribed by your veterinarian. It’s important to consult a professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Conclusion and final thoughts

Excessive panting and diarrhea in dogs should never be ignored, and seeking veterinary help is essential for the health and comfort of your pet.

These symptoms can have various causes, including stress or anxiety, heatstroke, ingesting harmful substances, and diseases like pancreatitis. It is important to consult with a veterinarian to accurately diagnose and treat the underlying issue.

In the meantime, there are steps you can take to help your dog. Keeping them cool and hydrated is crucial, especially during hot weather or after physical activity.

Monitoring their diet and providing a balanced and easily digestible meal, such as a bland diet of chicken and rice, may also help alleviate their symptoms.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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