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Why Does My Golden Retriever Pant So Much? Vet Approved Facts & Advice

Written by: Jeff Weishaupt

Last Updated on July 16, 2024 by Dogster Team

golden retriever dog lying on the floor

Why Does My Golden Retriever Pant So Much? Vet Approved Facts & Advice


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Have you recently noticed your golden retriever panting more than usual and wondered if that’s bad? Well, more often than not, panting is normal for dogs, especially Golden Retrievers.

The dense double coat of a Golden Retriever tends to store more heat than most other breeds, necessitating more regular panting. Besides, they also tend to pant more than other dogs due to their excitement and playful activities.

However, if you’ve noticed unhealthy and excessive panting, there could be a medical condition your pet might be going through. To figure out the exact cause, you should be aware of the common factors. Keep reading to find out why your Golden Retriever may be excessively panting.

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The 8 Reasons Why Your Golden Retriever Pants a Lot

After hours of staying active, your dog may become overheated and excited. Panting helps them cool off. It’s also worth noting that Golden Retrievers breathe about 15–30 times each minute, depending on their size. The resting or normal respiratory rate of a dog is about 15–30 times each minute, depending on their size.

If the dog has been active or running around, this rate will be significantly elevated. A dog’s respiratory rate after exercise can be as high as 180–190, and even close to 300 breaths per minute for working dogs. This is because dogs use rapid panting to relieve excessive body heat and regulate their body temperature. Here are the common reasons why your dog frequently pants:

1. Nature

Large canines, like Golden Retrievers, naturally pant more than most dogs because of their size and dense fur. If the vet doesn’t diagnose your dog with a medical issue, there’s nothing to worry about. The cause of their excessive panting is probably just a regular habit.

But it would be beneficial to talk to your neighborhood veterinarian about your pet’s panting. You can do it when you take the pet for a checkup, just for preventive measures.

woman jogging with golden retriever dog
Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

2. Heatstroke

In dogs, especially the larger ones, heat strokes are more common than you may think. The leading causes of these strokes are mostly humidity and inadequate ventilation. Your dog’s excessive panting is the main indication of a heat stroke.

Heat strokes can develop in as little as 30 minutes. If you have doubts about your dog having one, you can arrange ways for better ventilation for your golden retriever. It’s also best to head to the doctor if the condition gets too extreme.

3. Fear

Most Golden Retrievers will pant when faced with fears, as loud noises like sirens, fireworks, or thunderstorms can instantly make them afraid. Another common reason for your pet’s panting can be separation anxiety, as being away from their favorite people is a nightmare for your furry friend.

Anxiety or fear symptoms also include pain, licking, and chewing. So, of course, an instant way to help them is to give them some space and calm them during these noisy times, but some vets say that you can also treat them with supplements or CBD products to help with their anxiety.

4. Heart Problems

Dogs may also suffer from heart failure. It’s undoubtedly a devastating medical condition, but it can still be treated. The main cause of your dog’s heart failure will determine how you should treat it. However, it’s worth noting that this treatment may involve taking drugs like ACE inhibitors and diuretics.

Like humans, dogs exhibit some of the same symptoms related to heart issues. So, if you catch your pet excessively coughing, having trouble breathing, or duller than usual, don’t wait—take them to the vet as soon as possible.

vet checking up on sick Golden Retriever
Image By: StudioByTheSea, Shutterstock

5. Injury

If your golden retriever has a major injury or an underlying medical condition, they may pant more than usual. Even throughout the treatment, they may pant till they’re completely healed. But if you observe no apparent injury or sickness and your Golden is still panting excessively, you should take a trip to the vet.

You should also look for other illness-related symptoms, such as vomiting, pale eyes, and poor energy. If your Golden’s panting habit gets increasingly erratic, you should also check if your pet is limping.

6. Allergic Reaction

Being a naturally adventurous breed, Golden Retrievers tend to explore when they are out in the open. Therefore, it’s very likely for your pet to consume or interact with something that causes them allergies during their active hours.

Pacing, swelling, irritability, and a change in mood are all possible symptoms of allergic reactions. In addition, your canine’s panting rate will considerably rise when dealing with allergies. So, we strongly advise you to take them to the vet if you suspect an adverse reaction.

7. Excitement

If your golden starts panting out of nowhere, he might also just be thrilled. Panting is a very common way dogs express excitement, so you shouldn’t worry if your pet shows no distress. Instead, enjoy your time together as he’s delighted and enthusiastic to have you around!

golden retriever dog running at the beach
Image By: sharkolot, Pixabay

8. Exercise

Due to their extroverted and exciting nature, Golden Retrievers enjoy playing and engaging in physical activity. Unfortunately, physical exertion during playtime raises the need for oxygen in the heart and muscles, which is an obvious reason your furry friend may be panting excessively.


When Panting Can Be Abnormal in Your Golden Retriever

Remember that your Golden Retriever will typically pant after exercise, in excitement, or during warm weather. However, if you sense any unusual panting, don’t wait.

If any of these conditions apply, you need to go for a checkup right away:
  • Abrupt panting
  • Constant tears from their eyes or vomiting
  • An apparent change of attitude or dullness
  • Suspecting an internal or external injury
  • Noticeably reduced appetite
  • Frequent whining or snapping when you approach them
  • Severe and continuous panting
  • The appearance of bluish, purplish, or whitish marks on the dog’s tongue or gums may indicate low oxygen levels
  • Facing trouble standing up, jumping, or using the stairs
  • Licking or focusing exclusively on a paw or other particular part of the body
golden retriever not eating its food
Image By: Phuttharak, Shutterstock

What to Do if Your Golden Retriever Is Panting Too Much

Below are the tried-and-true techniques to help your Golden Retriever slow down the panting:

  • Activate a fan to help in removing any extra body heat
  • Move your dog indoors or to the shade after cooling them off using water
  • Provide them with water to drink
  • Run the air conditioner in your car or inside your house
  • Put them at ease by consoling them
  • Reassure them of your presence and keep them close to their favorite person
  • If the panting is still non-stop, run to the nearby emergency hospital or your veterinarian



Now you know when it’s normal or abnormal for your golden retriever to pant excessively. Panting is usually normal, but always look for worrying signs of an allergic reaction, heart failure, heat stroke, and other causes.

Putting your pet’s health at risk should never be an option. Thus, it’s best to take your golden retriever to the vet immediately, regardless of what measures you’ve taken to calm the dog down. It’s worth noting that some of these illnesses can be fatal if not diagnosed at the right time.

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Featured Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

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